Summary of passage: Acts 1:1-4: Luke (the writer of Acts) tells Theophilus that he previously wrote (in the book of Luke) about Jesus’s actions and teachings up to the day he ascended to Heaven after instructing the apostles through the Holy Spirit. Jesus gave proofs to the apostles that he was alive after he had been crucified and Jesus continued to appear before them for 40 days, speaking about God’s kingdom. On one occasion, Jesus instructed the apostles to not leave Jerusalem until they received the gift God has promised.
Luke 24:25-27: Jesus, speaking to two men he had joined on the road to Emmaus, admonishes them for not believing the prophets when they spoke of Jesus’s death. Jesus then explains the scriptures (the OT) to them concerning himself (basically, how his life, death, and resurrection crowned centuries of God’s work).
Luke 24:36-53: Jesus appears before the disciples in Jerusalem. The apostles are frightened and Jesus asks why they don’t believe it’s him. “Look at my hands and my feet. It is I…” and Jesus showed his hands and feet where he had been pierced on the cross. He ate with them and reiterated how every prophecy must be fulfilled from the Old Testament. Then Jesus opened their minds so they could understand how he must suffer, die, and rise again; forgiveness of sins will be preached. But first, Jesus will send them what God has promised so they must remain in Jerusalem until they have been clothed with power from on high.
Jesus led them to Bethany where he blessed the disciples and arose into Heaven. The disciples worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem where they remained, praising God at His temple.
3a) Verse 2: He gave instructions through the Holy Spirit. Verse 3: He appeared to them over a period of 40 days and spoke about the Kingdom of God. Verse 27 & 45: He explained the Scriptures to them. Verse 50: He bless them and Verse 49 said wait to leave Jerusalem until clothed with power from on high
b) The Bible gives us instructions on how to live. God “speaks” to us and we receive the Holy Spirit when we accept Jesus in our hearts.
c) Personal Question. My answer: When we accept Jesus we endeavor to become more like Him. He lives within us and we are therefore better people. I read God’s word and Jesus’s words and teachings and try to incorporate them as much into my life as possible.
4) The huge, heavy stone was rolled away and Jesus’s body was missing. Jesus appears to 2 of his followers on the road to Emmaus, explaining the Scripture to them and eating dinner with them. He appears to Simon and to his disciples and commissions them. Jesus appears to his disciples twice in 2 weeks, the second time with Thomas present. Then Jesus appears a third time by the Sea of Tiberias to his disciples and multiplies their catch. He eats with them again.
5) To demonstrate to His followers He truly was alive and to teach His disciples and prepare them for sharing the Good News. To give them the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49; Acts 2:1-4).
Conclusions: What I learned? Details I hadn’t really taken to heart: Jesus stayed 40 days with his disciples after his resurrection. How significant the number 40 was: Moses was on the Mount for 40 days to receive the Law (Exodus 24:18); 40 days Jesus was tempted by the Devil (Matthew 4:2); 40 days of Jonah (Jonah 3:4); 40 days of Elijah (1 Kings 19:8).
I thought how important teaching the disciples must have been to God and Jesus–to make sure they get it, get Him–and be able to convey that to all of humanity.
The importance of God demonstrating His power. The significance of Jesus’s death. Very impactful lesson.
End Note: Theophilus (Greek meaning lover of God) is the person to whom Luke is writing the books of Acts (and the book of Luke previously) to. Be careful reading this because my first go-around, I thought his former book was called Theophilus. Nothing else is known about who exactly Theophilus is.
Since Theophilus means “lover of God” I’d like to think Luke is speaking and writing to me and all those who love God.
The following link gives a detailed background and introduction to the book of Acts. Great info: