The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,…
These verses form an introduction to the whole book. The risen Christ is the chief Object in view. The light which has been a lowly light upon the earth, is now about to ascend and take its place as the Sun of Righteousness in the heavens. From thence he will shine upon the earth - first upon that part of the earth immediately below the point of his ascent; and from that, as a starting-place, from country to country, till the whole earth is enlightened. The Acts begins its narrative at Jerusalem, the metropolis of Palestine, and ends it at Rome, the metropolis of the world. Again, we recognize the divinely chosen method, the appointment of apostolic witnesses and representatives, who heard the things which Jesus "spake concerning the kingdom of God," and received from him "the commandment," or commission, to preach and labor for the spread of the glad tidings of the kingdom. And then, further, in these verses, the vital distinction is set prominently forth between the kingdom of Christ and the kingdom of this world - the indwelling presence and operation of the Holy Ghost, which is represented as first in Jesus himself, speaking in him, working in him, promised by him, and then as bestowed upon the messengers of the kingdom according to "the promise of the Father," repeated by the Son. Thus the great fundamental lines of the Book of the Acts are hid down; the kingdom of the risen and glorified Christ proclaimed and spread through the world; chosen and consecrated men the representatives and ministers of the kingdom; baptism of the Holy Ghost the prerequisite for Christian work and achievement, without which it must not be attempted and cannot be accomplished. - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,