Acts 1:3 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 1:3, NIV: After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

Acts 1:3, ESV: He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.

Acts 1:3, KJV: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

Acts 1:3, NASB: To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of things regarding the kingdom of God.

Acts 1:3, NLT: During the forty days after his crucifixion, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.

Acts 1:3, CSB: After he had suffered, he also presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.

What does Acts 1:3 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus' suffering is well documented in the Gospels. The Jewish leaders had Him beaten at His first trial (Matthew 26:67). The Romans flogged and stripped Him, impaled His head with crown of thorns, and beat Him on the head (John 19:1; Matthew 27:28–30). Then they subjected Him to the humiliation and torture of the cross. Most horrifying, however, Jesus in some sense lost the constant connection with God the Father and the Holy Spirit in which He had lived for eternity (Mark 15:34).

But after that death on the cross, Jesus rose again (John 20:1–10) and made Himself known to His followers. He appeared to Mary Magdalene (John 20:11–18) and the other women (Luke 24:1–12) at the tomb. He met two unnamed disciples on the road outside Jerusalem (Luke 24:13–35) and the disciples in Jerusalem (John 20:19–29). Sometime later, He met the disciples on the shore of the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1–14) where He reconciled with Peter (John 21:15–19). Paul recounts one event in which Jesus appeared before five hundred followers at once (1 Corinthians 15:6).

It is inconceivable, then, that the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem didn't know Jesus was alive. Their incredible, willful, blindness to the facts is impressive. The denial is not monolithic, however. In time, even some of the priests will become "obedient to the faith" (Acts 6:7). And so many Pharisees believe that their legalism forces the early church leaders to establish requirements for Gentile Christians (Acts 15:1–35).

Throughout Jesus' ministry, He told many parables about the kingdom of God, which is sometimes called the kingdom of heaven. The meaning of "the kingdom of God" depends on the context. It can mean heaven, the rule of Jesus in the hearts of His followers, the reign of Jesus in the millennial kingdom, or any time on earth that God's glory and authority are on display. After spending three years listening to Jesus teach and watching Him die and rise again, the disciples are convinced more than ever that Jesus will release Israel from Roman rule very soon (Acts 1:6). Once again, Jesus must tell them not yet (Acts 1:7). Without the Holy Spirit, they don't understand the richness of what they are about to experience. Jesus will not take a small, relatively obscure country from Rome; He will rule in the hearts of the people of His church all over the world (Revelation 7:9–10).