Acts 1:1-3 – Jesus Gave Many Convincing Proofs

After the resurrection, Jesus gives many “convincing proofs” of the resurrection (1:3). The word Luke selects for “proof” (τεκμήριον) in this opening paragraph is word associated with other historical texts in the ancient world. The word is different than witness (a key word in Luke’s introduction to Acts) since “proof” refers to “evidential proof credible on its own merits” (EDNT, 340). Keener says the phrase “many proofs” appears in Hellenistic  historiography (1:666). The Greek historian Thucydides, for example, makes a statement the offers proof for the assertion using this word (2.39), and he used the verb in his introduction of his history with the sense of “prove positively” (1.3). I am not sure Luke would have intended this word to be understood in the same sense as Aristotle, who used the word in contrast to fallible signs (σημεῖον). For Aristotle, the word refers to “demonstrative proof” (LSJ).

Road to Emmaus Robert_Zund_ZUR010

Another way of understanding of the word is as a “confirming sign.” When Josephus created a speech for Joshua just before the Israelites enter the Promised Land, he described the miracles Israel experienced in the wilderness as “many signs” (Ant. 5.39 διὰ πολλῶν τεκμηρίων). This is intriguing; perhaps Luke refers to Jesus doing things to prove he was actually alive (eating with the disciples, Luke 24:41-43) or miracles (John 21:4-8). The “signs” were proof Jesus was indeed alive.

Most likely the “evidence” Jesus gave was scriptural proof drawn from the Hebrew Bible. Jesus explained to the disciples the key texts about the messiah and demonstrated to them Scripture anticipated a suffering messiah who would die and rise again. Certainly the disciples needed to be convinced Jesus had really died and was not alive (John 20, Thomas), the bulk of the proof took the form of opening the disciples minds to the idea that messiah came to suffer and die before judging and ruling the nations. This is exactly how Luke ended his gospel, the disciples who met Jesus on the road to Emmaus: “and beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27).

Why would Jesus need to provide “convincing proofs”? In Second Temple Period Judaism, no one expected the messiah would die, let alone rise from the dead. A possible exception is 4 Ezra, but even in this book the messiah establishes a kingdom and dies after a very long reign. There was no Jewish expectation the suffering servant of Isaiah 40-55 would die, and no one read that text as messianic quite the way Christians do.

Jesus gives these proofs or signs to draw his disciples to the conclusion the messiah had to die and be raised from the dead. This claim demands a decision from disciples but also the reader of Acts. If Jesus was who he claimed, then what is going to happen at Pentecost?

When we read Peter’s sermons in Acts 2-3, there are several passages from the Hebrew Bible which could qualify as “convincing proofs.” What does Peter claim about Jesus in these sermons?

34 thoughts on “Acts 1:1-3 – Jesus Gave Many Convincing Proofs

  1. You know, I’ve studied Acts a whole lot, as well as the Gospels and Paul and related non-biblical material. Still, I’m not sure quite what “Luke’s” purpose was in the “convincing proofs” statement, or just how he meant it.

    But in general it seems to be connected and similar to accounts of resurrection appearances in Matt., Luke, and John (Mark being a remarkably different account in its apparently original ending). In turn, they seem pretty clearly to be embellished stories of what probably WERE actual “appearances” of Jesus to a number of people in some (likely visionary) manner. Being neither a biblical literalist nor a purely rationalist “liberal”, I don’t have any trouble interpreting the biblical passages and the indirect evidences as an indication of such appearances, interpreted by the disciples as a “resurrection”. However, I don’t see any historically verifiable indications of a “bodily” resurrection which included a miraculous emptying of Jesus’ tomb. (Other “emptyings” are feasible, as James Tabor has developed at length).

    Such communication from a departed loved one would not then have been thought unusual (as it is not really now, either… just minimized or doubted by “science” and pure rationalists). However, what WOULD need verification by “convincing proofs” would be the physical kinds of presence and interaction claimed by Luke in his Gospel and by Matt, John. But apparently Luke felt just “recalling” them with this remark and adding that it was over 40 days, etc., was sufficient (as it would be for those already believers).

    Perhaps the reason he relates this supposedly 40-day period was to do at least a couple things: 1) solidify his appearance geography of Jerusalem-area-only (in Luke as well as here, over against Mark’s implication of appearing in Galilee and John’s specifics re. one at the Sea of Galilee), and 2) provide a segue to his theme of the coming of the Kingdom of God and have Jesus himself speak of the upcoming “baptism of the H.S.” It also, via guidance of the H.S., is vital to the story-line of Luke as he interprets the early history of the Jesus Movement.

  2. The truth and the reality that Peter’s teaching to all the ones who would listen were not his words or his truth but rather God’s that he simply was preaching on. There are many questions that arise in the Old Testament about what is wrong and right, and what is clean and unclean. However Peter would address truth and address people to walk outside of the darkness that may be consuming them. Peter contained love and compassion for the people to know the truth and love of God. God is a God who simply does not judge by solely the outward appearance but what is inside the person. Peter would encourage individuals to walk towards the light and be a light of Christ to others who may be lost in the darkness. “Specifically, their role is to witness and provide testimony to God’s powerful activity in raising Messiah Jesus from the dead and God’s outpouring of the Spirit” (Jipp 38).

  3. In Acts 2 Peter uses the proofs from David to confirm that Jesus resurrected. The first proof Peter quoted from Psalm 16 gives reason for Jesus death and resurrection. He is saying that God promised to “not abandon my soul to Hades.” Jesus actions of death and resurrection confirm this saving. The next confirmation of the Lords work came through the Holy Spirit which Peter also talks about in Acts 2. In Acts 3 Peter speaks about the prophets foretelling Jesus suffering and the beginning of the new age. Peter is now explaining that the new age includes the Holy Spirit and salvation, not Jesus restoring everything else the prophets talked about, at least not yet. (v. 21)

    • Heather, good job on your discussion post this week. I, too, gave the example of how Peter used a prophetic word from David as convincing proof that the messiah needed to die and be raised from the dead in order for one to be saved (Acts 2:25-28). Besides eyewitnesses of Jesus performing miracles and of His death and resurrection, I believe prophecies from the Old Testament are one of most convincing proofs one can look at to see and then believe that Jesus truly was the son of God. This is because how would someone from years ago be able to predict this? Take today’s weatherman, for example, he can not even predict tomorrow’s weather; yet, David knew a messiah would die and be resurrected in years to come. There was no way for King David to know this information unless it was God sent. Also, by the way Peter explains the prophecy in his sermon it is clear to see that David was not referring to himself when speaking the prophecy (like some believed) but that he was speaking of a future prophet (Acts 2:30-33) (Jipp, 2018). On that note, why do you think Jesus needed His disciples to continue giving convincing proofs? Why wasn’t Jesus’ actions and life enough to convince people? The individuals Peter preached to already knew of Jesus yet still did not believe He was the messiah (Acts 2:23). I believe this is because as humans we are stubborn and only believe what we think is possible. In the minds of many it was not possible to raise from the dead, so individuals needed more than just seeing Jesus. They needed to hear it multiple times before the realization took over. The sad truth of this is no matter how many times some individuals hear about Jesus or see miraculous signs they will never believe.

  4. Acts 1:3 says that Jesus gave His disciples many “convincing proofs.” He did this to fully establish to His closest followers that He was the Son God. He gave them many signs throughout His whole ministry. The proofs He gave were intended to give His displaces a glimpse of God’s kingdom, which He was only able to give because He was the Son of God, despite His human form. Throughout His time with His disciples, Jesus also used Hebrew scripture to show further evidence that He was who He claimed to be (Long). Why is it important that Jesus was in fact the Son of God? Because it gave Him the right to say, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about” (Acts 1:4). If Jesus had not established Himself as God’s son, then His father sending the disciples something would not be a special or critically important moment. Acts 1:5 and 8 go into further detail to show more explicitly what the followers of Christ would be receiving. “What Jesus sends and what the Father has promised is explicitly spoken of in 1:5b and 1:8a, namely, the Holy Spirit who will empower the witnesses for mission” (Jipp 35). The disciples, and the readers of Acts, need to be confident in that fact that Jesus is who He says He is in order for these verses to have the meaning and power they were intended to have. Since Jesus had offered them many “convincing proofs” throughout His ministry, the disciples could more easily believe that God the Father, would in fact be sending them the Holy Spirit. With this in mind it is easy for the readers of Acts to guess what comes next in the story. At Pentecost God does send the Holy Spirit and He indwells disciples. The Holy Spirit comes into the lives of the believers as a replacement for Jesus. They then had God with them, and in them, forever. That is the gift that Jesus so strongly urges His disciples to wait for, and that is why it is important for them to believe that He truly is the Son of God.

    • Yes Haley,
      The 12 true Apostles were person witnesses of the entire earthly ministry of Jesus- the 11 plus Matthias. They knew Jesus best. Only 3 of them wrote Scripture in our Bibles, Matthew John and Peter.

  5. Acts 1:3 states, “He presented himself alive for them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.” As I mentioned in another post, Acts 1:1-8 connects the plot with God’s promise to fulfill His promises to Israel (Jipp, 34). God offers himself as a proof many times in Scripture and this is evident in Acts. In Acts 1:3, Luke is connecting Jesus’ proclamation of God’s Kingdom to his command to stay in Jerusalem and “wait for the promise of the Father which you have heard from me (Jipp, 35).” I think that this perfectly shows that Jesus offers himself as a proof. Acts given multiple instances of when Jesus presented Himself as a proof. Although, I only used Acts 1:3 as an example, there are plenty more in the Book of Acts.
    Overall, I believe that the Book of Acts does a great job of showing that Jesus does offer Himself as a proof. Acts shows interactions of where Jesus directly interacts with people. This shows that he presented himself by many proofs. Jipp also did a great job of highlighting what parts of Acts are shown in this aspect. Jipp clearly stated that Jesus interacted with people and it shows the love that Jesus gives. Jipp does a great job of illustrating that Jesus is here for us and not for Himself. He uses Scripture to back this up which is extremely important in cases like this. Especially in books where there are some areas that are only witnesses and there is no recording.

  6. In Acts, Jesus does many signs and miracles to help his close followers know that he is the Son of God. The One that was prophesied in the Old Testament. Even the coming of the Holy Spirit was prophesied in Isaiah 32:15, “until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is deemed a forest” (ESV). Jesus did many proofs that He is the Messiah and Acts shows it through Luke’s language and writing. “Luke connects Jesus’s proclamation of God’s kingdom to his command to stay in Jerusalem and to “wait for the promise of the Father which you heard from me”” (Jipp, 35). In one section of Peters sermon, he states “Let all the house of srael therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2:36).

  7. During Second Temple Period Judaism it was known that a messiah would come to save His people; however, it was not known that He would have to die and raise from the dead in order to do so. Therefore, it was made clear that while Jesus was still alive He left convincing proofs to His twelve disciplines and others to make sure they knew He was the true messiah and that he was required to die and be raised from the dead for one to be saved. Jesus did this by showing powerful signs, miracles, and wonders (John 9, Luke 17:11-17, and Mark 5:21-43), through foreshadowing (Luke 18:31-34), and by teaching (John 5:16-30). Even though Jesus did so much He was only one man which is why He raised up His disciplines to know the truth allowing them to tell others about it once He was gone.

    In Acts 2-3, Peter preaches sermons to many whom then hear about the convincing proofs. In both of these chapters Peter claims that Jesus is the messiah who died for the sins of the world and then was raised up by God so that everyone who calls on His name would be saved (Acts 2:32-36, Acts 3:13-15). However, there are different convincing proofs found in both chapters that help explain the truth about Jesus.

    In Peter’s sermon in Acts 2 one can see that he uses Joel to show that those were the last days and one can now be saved when they call on the name of the Lord due to a savior dying and be raised from the dead (Acts 2:17-21). After this the first point he mentions about Jesus is how everyone already knows the wonders, signs, and miracles Jesus had done (Acts 2:22); meaning, he did not need to explain to the crowd who Jesus was because the crowd already knew Him because of His many signs and sentencing Him to death (Acts 2:23). However, using a passage King David wrote he went on to explain how David prophesied that a messiah would have to die and be raised from the dead (Acts 2:27) (Jipp, 2018). His next step in the sermon was to then connect all the points he first made (Acts 2:36). The man that the people knew for miracles, signs, and wonders that they had killed was the messiah who Joel and King David were prophesying about. This opened the eyes of many individuals and around 3,000 individuals became saved due to the convincing proofs Luke preached about that day (Acts 2:41).

    In Acts 3 Peter used different convincing proofs to claim that Jesus truly was the messiah who died and then raised from the dead for everyone’s sins. He did this by preaching to those in the temple after they could not believe the crippled beggar found outside the Beautiful Gate was healed (Acts 3:1-9). He explained that the only way he was able to heal this man was through the name of Jesus (Jipp, 2018). “Peter’s speech explains that it is the resurrection power of ‘the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob- the God of our ancestors,’ which has exalted Jesus and thereby enabled Peter to heal the lame man (Acts 3:13) (Jipp, 2018).” Next, Peter used another past prophet as proof that Jesus was the messiah (Acts 3:22). Peter explained that Moses foretold that a prophet would come and that anyone that did not listen to Him would be cut off from God (Acts 3:23). Peter then concludes the message the same as he did in Acts 2 by telling everyone to repent and turn back to God through Jesus Christ (Acts 3:24-26).

  8. Acts 1:3 “He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs…” Jesus uses this proof to help prove them that he is the true “Son of God” Using these proofs He was able to prove through his ministry that he was sent by God to preach to the people. These proofs helped show others that he was the son of God. In Acts 2, Peter uses a prophetic word from David in Psalms 16 as a convincing proof that the Messiah would be resurrected. “I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; therefore, my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. For you will not abandon my soul to Hades or let your Holy One see corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence (Acts 2:26-28.)” God is telling Peter that He is promising him that he will not leave us, and we will be saved. Jesus’ crucifixion is proof that God wasn’t going to leave us here for corruption, “let your Holy One see corruption,” (2:27.) Acts 3, Peter talks about the new age which is the Holy Spirit and the salvation that God has given us after life.

  9. “He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs..” (Acts 1:3). Jesus worked to give proof to the disciples that He is the one and only Son of God. There are many different examples within Acts of the proofs that Jesus used. One example would be how Peter used a quote from Psalm 16 to explain why Jesus needed to die and be resurrected so that we can be saved. Many examples of proof that Jesus was alive and the Son of God can be found in the eye witnesses of the miracles that Jesus did. However, some other prime examples of proofs are the prophecies of the Old Testament. These prophecies allow us to compare them with the life that Jesus lived and see that Jesus is the Son of God. Some may wonder why Jesus needed His disciples to continue giving convincing proofs. I believe that it is because as humans, we are stubborn and require proof for why we should believe something. We do not tend to blindly follow something just because we are told it. We require some evidence for why we should believe in something. The people that Peter was talking with were probably people that did not believe that Jesus is the Son of God, even though that they had heard it before. They required more proof and evidence to believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

  10. Peter uses David’s words in the Old Testament to make claims about who Jesus is. The people that he was speaking to would have heard and studied these words before so they would have been familiar with them. The idea of Peter using them to show the people who Jesus was is a huge thing. He would have been able to relate with the people and to show them things about Jesus. Luke writes in Acts chapter 2:31 “seeing what was to come, he [David] spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah.” Peter would have known that the people knew the scriptures that David wrote and so he would have been able to connect with them on that level. Peter also talked about the idea that David had wrote about the Messiah being at the right hand of the Lord (Acts 2:25,34). Jipp points out that “David cannot be speaking about himself since he has died and the place of his tomb is common knowledge to everyone in Jerusalem” (Jipp 46). This concludes that David was then speaking as a prophet who anticipated God to do a work through his descendants (Jipp 46). As readers of the scriptures in today’s society, we have to remember what it would have been like to be the people that Peter was talking to. The fact that he is repeating the words that David had written to these people and saying that they have been fulfilled would have been strange during that time, but they also would have had a better understanding about who Jesus was and why he did what he did.

  11. Acts 1:3 talks about how Jesus gave the disciples many proofs. The reason that Jesus did this is because he knew that he was going to suffer and die, and he needed to show his followers who he was so that they may believe and be able to go out and expand the church. In Acts 2, Peter quotes David talking about how Jesus rose from the dead. Then in Acts 3, Peter talks about how many prophets have said that Jesus will suffer. Peter is drawing upon what the prophets have said in the past concerning Jesus and then using examples of things that Jesus did when he was alive so that he can create more disciples and expand the telling of the gospel. Without these convincing proofs, Peter would not be able to do any of that.

  12. Acts 1:3 speaks of the “convincing proofs” shown to the disciples after the resurrection. Maybe those proofs could be the evidence of Christs resurrection and being alive, or the signs and miracles performed to prove the fact that he has the power and authority to rise from the dead. I would agree with you that “Most likely the “evidence” Jesus gave was scriptural proof drawn from the Hebrew Bible.” What Jesus had done, coming into this world and not doing what the Jews believed the messiah would come to do, was unexpected and not exactly what the jews at beloved what would happen. But what those “convincing proofs” are, are the evidence that what Jesus had come to do, was exactly what was foretold in scripture. That His death and resurrection, although were very unexpected to the Jews, revealed evidence from Isaiah 40-55 as the suffering servant and displayed messianic footprint of Jesus’ as that suffering servant. We are able to make this connection confidently because this is what Jesus had told us. That all the things in the Old Testament and all of scripture was written about Him. “and beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27).

  13. When attempting to convince an individual of anything, such as Jesus being the Son of God and he died and rose from the grave, it is helpful to learn about every possible source of “convincing proof”. Jesus understand this fact, as well as Luke in the introduction of the book of Acts. It would be difficult to understand, even today, that an individual who died three days ago was now alive. There would naturally be skeptics in this type of situation. Therefore, Luke in Acts 1, needed to provide an abundant amount of “convincing proof” because the situation is one that would not be and is not easy to believe. With that being said, it is important to comprehend this aspect when looking at the selection of Matthias to replace Judas. Matthias was someone who was noted to have been with Jesus and the disciples regularly since the baptism of John because Matthias did not need to be convinced in any circumstance of the power of Jesus (Acts 1:21-22). There would not be a better addition to this group of leaders than an individual who was a true follower of Jesus throughout all of Jesus’ preaching, teaching, and miracles. Matthias most likely knew Jesus well and could easily share his perspective of the life of Jesus and need no prodding or convincing on who Jesus was and His purpose on earth because Matthias saw Jesus’ life firsthand. When it comes to Jesus preparing the disciples for their “gift” sent from the Father, the disciples most likely had little to no idea of what Jesus was referring to as a helper. I can imagine if I was a disciple of Jesus I would be expected a prophet or person as a helper, not the Holy Spirit to live within me and guide me.

  14. Firstly, Peter talked about the identity of Jesus, a man accredited by God through miracles, wonders, and sign which was being displayed by God through Jesus, but however, because of the plan of God and his foreknowledge, the people of Israel handed him down to the hand of the wicked nailing him on the cross. However, despite the crucifixion, Jesus was being raised back to life by the Father on the third day, then Peter quoted a Scripture from Psalm concerning why it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. So first, Jesus was accredited by God, and the convincing proofs were miracles, wonders, signs, and the crucifixion.

    Secondly, Peter made a comparison between the tomb of David and Jesus, claiming the tomb of David as still here in existence whereas the tomb of Jesus is not to give convincing proof to the people. Also, Peter addresses the crowd that King David himself see the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was no abandoned by the Father from the realm of death, and in Acts 2:32 Peter said that they the apostles themself were witnessed to it. And in 33 Peter addresses the crowd Jesus as exalted to the right hand of God and contrasts it with the quote from David, “‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” To sum this, Peter gave many convincing proofs regarding Jesus. First, making a comparison between the tomb of David and Jesus to prove his resurrection, and the foreknowledge of King David on the resurrection of the Messiah, an eye-witnessed from the apostles, was exalted to the right hand of God and references it with the saying of David.

  15. In Acts 1:3 it states, “He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs…”. Jesus was constantly working to show the disciples that He was truly the one and only son of God. There are many proofs through the book of Acts that Jesus needed to die and be resurrected. Jesus knew that He was going to suffer during His death, and he wanted to show His followers that so they would go out and expand the church even further. Peter wrote in Acts 3 quoting David about how Jesus was going to rise from the dead. Then during Acts 3 Peter is telling us things that prophets have said about Jesus and giving us examples of things, that Jesus has accomplished during His life so there will be more disciples created that could go out and expand the church. If there had been zero proof, then Peter would not have been able to accomplish any of his work. Overall, there are convincing proofs that were given to the disciples that Jesus would suffer His death and be resurrected.

  16. Luke did a very good job at providing enough convincing proof of the resurrection of Jesus. He had to put enough “proof” into Acts 1 because it is something that little to no people would believe without proof. I couldn’t imagine being told that someone died and rose again and was living. Without already believing in the works that Jesus did, I would not have believed in the resurrection without any of the “convincing proofs”. These proofs not only showed that the resurrection was real, but it showed that all of this was talked about in scripture before. Looking directly at the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), all of these proofs were discussed in different ways throughout the gospels. There were other ways it was discussed throughout scripture as well, but the book of Acts just shows how the people needed some convincing evidence to understand how powerful and almighty He was. It is interesting to me to try and put myself into the shoes of the people that needed the convincing evidence to believe that the resurrection was real. When I first believed that Jesus died for our sins and rose again, I didn’t need to see any evidence other than the Bible, so that was just interesting for me to think about.

  17. Thomas Hill

    For most of us Christians we understand the importance of Jesus’s resurrection and the importance that it actually happened. This is something that has always frustrated me when I hear folks say there is a lack of credibility that Jesus rose from the dead. Moreover, the book of Luke “refers to Jesus doing things to prove he was actually alive” (Long, Phill. Para 2). Jesus was able to prove his resurrection by miracles in the book of John or in Luke where he is seen eating with his disciples. Lastly, there is more proof that would be convincing is in the book of acts 2-3 where “several passages from the Hebrew bible could qualify as convincing “ (Long, Phil, para 6). Sometimes it hard to explain to others who don’t believe that Jesus rose from the dead because they haven’t read the bible and don’t understand that the bible itself is credible

  18. I believe that Luke was doing the right thing by showing the proof that Jesus was resurrection, I think he showed that because in Acts one and even still today in 2021 people want to want proof that Jesus died on the cross for our sins which is crazy for people not to believe because the things we do on a daily no one us but Jesus can do that for us. I think is crazy though to think that someone died and came back and died and again all just for us but that why Jesus is the best and so selfish because he always puts us first and want the best for us even if we have to go through times and always going to be there for us and help us get to where we need to be in life while living for him. In Acts it shows how great and marvelous he is. I don’t think I could of did what he did and sacrifice the way he did but that why he the best and people just need to wake up and realize that

  19. In today’s society, people want proof of everything. The common phrase in today’s world is “Prove it!” Jesus did that with His disciples, Jesus didn’t have to spend time showing and proving Himself to people, but He did. The blog post did touch on this part of “Why Jesus had to give proof.” It was because no one knew it would happen the way that Jesus did. Meaning everyone was expecting the Messiah to come in a certain way but Jesus died and rose again, and no one expected that. The more I think about it the more I wonder if Jesus did this on purpose to get more people to come to Him and ask more questions and learn more about Him. Trying to prove something to someone is hard expressly with little evidence to back it up. We want people to just believe us. Like we just can’t go up to someone and tell them to believe something they don’t know anything about. This is why I think in the passage when it talks about how many days Jeus spent with His disciples to provide evidence to them to help them believe that He was resurrected. Jesus giving His disciples evidence that He was resurrected only made the disciples have more faith and strength in their relationships. The blog post talks about how the word in the passage is just a way of confirming and a sign to the disciples. The connection of the different signs Jesus gave is the same as the proofs given to show that He was alive while being with His disciples.

  20. As I was reading this post I thought back to a discussion we had in my church’s youth group. We were talking about the miracles that Jesus had done and the authority given to the disciples to perform miracles in Luke 9. Someone then asked why there were no more people in our time period who were performing miracles. While our pastor explained the specific authority they were given from Jesus himself, I began to think about further reasoning behind it. At the time people were hoping for a Messiah with an army, so when Jesus showed himself he had to get their attention so that they would believe him, and he did so through miracles while fulfilling the prophecies from the old testament. Now in Luke despite having been present with Jesus before his death, Jesus was still giving out convincing proofs to the disciples that he was alive, especially so that they could understand the importance of his resurrection (Long, par. 5) and thus tying it back to the fulfillment of the prophecies again. This being said, it challenges us today who were not able to witness Jesus on this Earth or who were not present for his resurrection to truly have faith. We don’t really get to witness those outright miracles that Jesus performed by physical contact in today’s era, nor are we able to see the convincing proof that Jesus was giving the disciples after his resurrection. However, it doesn’t negate the truth of it all, but rather it is where faith comes into play. As Paul said in Romans 10:17 “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” and later in 2 Corinthians 5:7, “For we walk by faith, not by sight”, therefore it is believing that Jesus died for our sins and rose again without depending on proof.

  21. In the early text of Acts, it is quoted as saying “He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs…” (Acts 1:3) As I read this, a lot of thoughts come about inside my head, but the main question that I am asking myself is what would it be like throughout history if Luke didn’t do a good job of providing this convincing proof in the resurrection of Jesus? How would the beliefs and conversations shape how we live our lives in present time? Luckily, we don’t have to worry about any of that because Luke indeed did a good job with all this evidence in the resurrection. However, this brings me to reflect on my own life and about the people that I interact with on a daily basis and what they think about the resurrection. I don’t know many people who would believe that someone died and rose from the dead other than someone in a movie. However, we obviously believe the importance of it because we have cold hard facts from the Bible, but some people who haven’t read the Bible or believe it may not think there is any way that would be true. This is where I think our duties as Christians is to turn to the Bible and the facts to show all these proofs to prove that this is indeed true. A few examples that are stated by Dr. Long in paragraph two of these proofs are in when Jesus is physically doing human actions such as eating with the disciples (Luke 24:41-43), or all the miracles in John showing that Jesus was definitely alive and living (John 21:4-8).

  22. Throughout both Acts 2 and 3, Peter makes many claims that could qualify as “proofs” of Jesus’ greatness. First and foremost, Jesus told his disciples to wait for “the promise of the Father,” (Acts 1:4) which is the acquiring of the Holy Spirit. The apostles eventually do obtain the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-15) after much prayer in the Upper Room (Acts 1:14). The sole act of the Holy Spirit tangibly descending on the apostles is almost enough proof that there is a living God. Luke describes that when the Holy Spirit arrived, it gave the apostles “tongues of fire” (Acts 2:3). Polhill explains that the fiery tongues were not literally composed of real fire (2008, p. 2263). But that fire in the Old Testament is often used to signify the presence of God, because of his almighty pureness (Polhill, 2008, p.2263). Due to his purity, the fire is meant to indicate the fact that God will dissipate everything that is impure (such as; the tongues of the apostles) (Polhill, 2008, p.2263).
    Peter expresses in Acts 2, “this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it” (Acts 2:23-24). This is a proof that shows the importance of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, as well as the supreme powers God holds, to be able to beat death. This serves as sufficient proof to Peter’s audience because they witnessed the death of Jesus and can understand the sensation around his resurrection.

  23. I believe what Luke may also be referencing when saying “He presented himself alive after suffering many proofs,” could also be an allusion to him having not only suffering the proofs of walking after death, but everything within Jesus’ life proving he was the Messiah. Being openly beaten with whips, dragging his cross through the streets, being nailed to a cross, and being pierced in his side, more than enough proof that he was a real man being killed. Then after his resurrection having appeared to more than 500 within his 40 days before ascension (1 Cor 15:6). Even so beyond Peter’s proofs quoting David in Acts 2, Paul, who as we know was a devout Jew persecuting the church, experiencing a complete 180 after his trip on the road to Damascus. Someone as zealous as Paul would likely be unconvinced unless having witnessed a resurrected Jesus himself. Back to Peter and the other apostles in Acts 2, having now the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues, this would be proof that to the Jews at this time that what was to be said was that coming from God. Peter later points to Psalm 16:8-11 as his proof text for the case of resurrection being foretold of Jesus being the one who conquered death and is the Messiah whom David was referring to (ESVB 2084).

  24. Currently my church has been studying the book of Acts. Therefore, I was pretty excited to take this class to learn more about it as my church also goes through the book of Acts. I believe one example of convincing proofs in Acts 2-3 starts in Acts 2. This example would be when the disciples began speaking in tongues. Many around them heard and questioned what this meant Acts 2:12. I believe this would be proof because many people witnessed it. Whether people believed it was a sign or not, they cannot deny it was out of the normal. Other proofs would be the various healings and miracles the disciples performed. They were continuing Jesus’ work even after he had left the earth. These miracles proved to people that even though Jesus had passed, he was still performing work in heaven through his disciples. This showed people that while Jesus was dead, his work was still alive because he was in heaven.

  25. The word “proof” is very important in this part of the Bible. Luke chooses this word specifically because he knew that it would be the most assertive word to use. In the blog post, Long directs this by saying, “The word is different than witness (a key word in Luke’s introduction to Acts) since ‘proof’ refers to ‘evidential proof credible on its own merits’” (Long). While I was reading this post, it made me think about how having proof and citing evidence is such a big part of our lives. If someone said that they met a celebrity, but didn’t have a picture or a signature, people would have a harder time believing them. Eating with the disciples (Luke 24:41-43) and the miracles in the book of John (John 21:4-8) are examples of Jesus sending messages to His people to have faith that He is the son of God. As it says in the blog, “no one expected the messiah would die, let alone rise from the dead” (Long) Jesus wanted to provide these “convincing proofs” to show to everyone, not just His believers, but every person that He is indeed the Messiah and can do otherworldly things, like rising from the dead.

  26. For us as Christians, the book of Acts is important because there are many things it teaches us about Jesus especially when it comes to the word “proof”. The verse to me that sticks out the most is Acts 1:3, which talks about proofs and how it relates to God’s kingdom. Assurances were also given in order to provide a glimpse into God’s kingdom and what God’s word looks like. In the reading, the most prevalent thing to look at when we want to see the proofs that Jesus has given is when we read in John and Luke, which talks about eating with disciples and the miracles that were done. When we look into these books we can see that there were signs given to prove that Jesus was in fact alive. Long describes this in his writing by saying, “When Josephus created a speech for Joshua just before the Israelites enter the Promised Land, he described the miracles Israel experienced in the wilderness as “many signs” (Ant. 5.39 διὰ πολλῶν τεκμηρίων). This is intriguing; perhaps Luke refers to Jesus doing things to prove he was actually alive (eating with the disciples, Luke 24:41-43) or miracles (John 21:4-8). The “signs” were proof Jesus was indeed alive” (Long). Proofs are important in the Bible because they can direct us to the many miracles that were done by God and the many things that have occurred out of it. The reasoning behind why Jesus has convincing proofs is because this can lead us closer to God’s kingdom and the real reason why Jesus has died for our sins and has risen again. There are many reasons to proofs in the book of Acts that are important to look at.

  27. Luke writes about many proofs Peter claims in Acts 2-3 that Jesus is the Messiah. Peter quotes from the prophet Joel, stating that the events of the day of Pentecost (the apostles speaking in tongues) were a fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy that, “in the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people” (Acts 2:17). “The last days explained are not just in the near future but were initiated at Pentecost and the furthering of the Holy Spirit in the Church and is the key for salvation before Christ returns” (Polhill, 2008, 2084). This is the fulfillment Joel had prophesied about as proof of Jesus as the Messiah. He also sights Psalm 16:8-11, which speaks of the resurrection of the Messiah, as evidence that Jesus had risen from the dead. As shared in the blog post, people were not expecting a Messiah that would come down to die, and then rise from the dead (Long). Matthew 9:6-8 shares of Jesus performing the miracle of healing a man who was paralytic. Acts 19:11-12 shares God using Paul to perform miracles and healing people. Many people look to proof as physical evidence to believe something. Someone may not believe in gravity because they cannot see it, but they can see the effects gravity has on earth. It is shared through Jesus and eyewitnesses that He is the Messiah. Peter refers Jesus’ miracles, His teachings, and the fact that he was crucified and rose again as further convincing proof that Jesus is the Messiah.

  28. The convincing proofs of Acts 1:3 that are presented by Jesus to His followers can be seen as a way to strengthen their faith as well as to show His disciples that He had to die and be resurrected. In appearing to His disciples multiple times, He gave them proof which strengthened their faith. Their increase in faith could be due to this evidence (Polhill, 2008, p. 2080). Understandably, it may have been hard for Jesus’ disciples to fathom the resurrection of Jesus, but His proofs can be seen as His way of bolstering their faith before they started proclaiming His resurrection, particularly Peter in Acts 2-3. Acts 2:32, which is when Peter shared a sermon at Pentecost, says, “This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses.” Not only does Peter boldly proclaim this, but he uses the Hebrew Bible in this sermon and the sermon at Solomon’s with convincing proof that Jesus is the one foretold by the prophets to be the one who would suffer and to be the messiah. Particularly, referencing prophets and how Christ was meant to suffer, and how he was the offspring of Abraham that blessed all the families on earth (which is mentioned in Acts 3:25). The physical proofs that Luke refers to in Luke 24:41-43 (Long, 2019, para. 2) showed that He was resurrected and that he was the messiah that Peter was going to proclaim in Acts.
    Polhill, John. “The Book of Acts,” page 2073-2145 in the ESVSB. Wheaton: Crossway, 2008.

  29. Jesus Christ consistently was working to show the disciples that He was truly the one and only son of God. There are many proofs through the book of Acts that Jesus needed to die and be resurrected. Jesus knew that He was going to suffer during His death, and he wanted to show His followers that so they would go out and expand the church and life even more. Peter wrote in Acts 3 quoting David on how Jesus was going to rise again from the dead. Then during Acts 3 Peter is telling us things that prophets said about Jesus and giving us examples of things, that Jesus has accomplished during His life so there will be more disciples created that could go out and expand his teachings through the church.

    Other proof is the many healings and miracles the disciples performed. They were continuing Jesus’ work even after his death, which is amazing to think about. His death made it even more clear in a way of who they just killed and what was happening after. These miracles proved to people that Jesus is with the people and his teaching and other important messages will live on and be carried out for eternity.

  30. Acts begins with a reference towards Jesus’ ascension, followed by him coming back, giving his disciples “many proofs to strengthen their faith,” (Polhill, 2008, p. 2080). When I see a passage that speaks on the suffering Jesus had to face, I always find myself looking back at Matthew 26:66-68. This verse always stuck out to me, which states that Jewish leaders claimed Jesus deserved death, while also physically abusing him. Aside from confirming what Jesus’ disciples believed to be true, I am not sure why Jesus would need to come back to life and give convincing proofs. It is possible Jesus came back so his disciples could write about it and pass it on to people like us today. Jesus gave everyone he came in contact with many reasons to believe he is the Son of God, even telling his disciples that he would be killed, and after three days would rise (Mark 9:31). His resurrection confirmed him being the Son of God for anyone who was willing to believe but not fully convinced. The proofs that Jesus provided for us are very important as they give us a reason to strengthen our faith and put our trust into God and God alone. Without God we are nothing, and the proofs in the Bible help us prove that to be true.

    Polhill, John. “The Book of Acts,” page 2073-2145 in the ESVSB. Wheaton: Crossway, 2008.

  31. I find it interesting that Jesus had to “prove” himself in the first place. Now, I never thought before about how the Jews would have just been reading into the prophecies of the Messiah so wrongly. With them not even thinking it was a possibility for Him to die, I can’t imagine what some of the disciples must have thought about Jesus when He was headed to His death. With that in mind, it’s likely that many of Jesus’ closest friends doubted if He was actually the Messiah. It’s also interesting because I always just assumed that the disciples would not have any doubts and that they should have the strongest faith of any Christian who’s ever lived because of how close they are to Jesus! However, Polhill notes, “Jesus appeared multiple times to his disciples and gave them many proofs to strengthen their faith. Solid evidence and knowledge of facts increase faith (an idea contrary to some modern views of “faith”)” (Polhill, p. 2080). With this in mind, then perhaps it was so ingrained in the Jewish way of thinking what the Messiah would look like that Jesus still had to prove to the people in His own friend group that He really was who He said He was, and that He really rose from the dead after three days.

  32. The Bible taught us that God would give the world his son to save us. In the Old Testament, there was a prophecy that God had a plan for his son Jesus to be born on this earth. In Isaiah 9:6–7, it says, “For a child has been born to us, a son given to us, and the authority is upon his shoulder, and the wondrous adviser, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, called his name, “the prince of peace.” In the New Testament, this prophecy has been fulfilled, but it was sad. When Jesus was born, most of the people did not accept him as the Messiah and thought he was just a teacher or prophet. Some religious people opposed him and did not believe he was God’s son. Jesus told them that he was the King and Savior. He told them that he was there before Abraham, and he also performed miracles many times, but people did not believe him. Religious leaders and the people wanted to kill him, and he was crucified for our sins. He rose again after three days and three nights. He showed his disciples that he rose again and proved to them that he was the son of God. People did not know or understand what God’s love was. Peter preached about loving God and trusting in him. Peter preached that people were in the darkness and did not see what God had done for them. In particular, people did not believe in God’s beloved son, Jesus. Peter preached that people must accept the truth and believe in Jesus. And believers must live for Jesus and be a great witness. Peter desired for believers to assist and lead the lost to Jesus in order for them to be saved.  

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