Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Acts 1:11

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Gazing up into heaven - Not to the top of a mountain, to which an unbridled fancy, influenced by infidelity, would intimate he had ascended, and not to heaven.

This same Jesus - Clothed in human nature, shall so come in like manner - with the same body, descending from heaven by his sovereign and all-controlling power, as ye have seen him go into heaven. Thus shall he come again to judge the quick and the dead. It was a very ancient opinion among Christians, that when Christ should come again to judge the world he would make his appearance on Mount Olivet. Some think that his coming again to destroy the Jewish nation is what the angels refer to. See a connected account of the different appearances of Christ at the end of this chapter.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Ye men of Galilee - Galilee was the place of their former residence, and they were commonly known by the name of Galileans.

Why stand ye … - There is doubtless a slight degree of censure implied in this, as well as a design to call their attention away from a vain attempt to see the departed Saviour. The impropriety may have been:

(1)In the feeling of disappointment, as if he would not restore the kingdom to Israel.

(2)Possibly they were expecting that he would again soon appear, though he had often foretold them that he would ascend to heaven.

(3)there might have been an impropriety in their earnest desire for the mere bodily presence of the Lord Jesus, when it was more important that he should be in heaven. We may see here also that it is our duty not to stand in idleness, and to gaze even toward heaven. We, as well as the apostles, have a great work to do, and we should actively engage in it without delay.

Gazing up - Looking up.

This same Jesus - This was said to comfort them. The same tried friend who had been so faithful to them would return. They ought not, therefore, to look with despondency at his departure.

Into heaven - This expression denotes into the immediate presence of God; or into the place of perpetual purity and happiness, where God especially manifests his favor. The same thing is frequently designated by his sitting on the right hand of God, as emblematic of power, honor, and favor. See the Mark 16:19; Mark 14:62 notes; Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 8:1 notes; Acts 7:55 note; Romans 8:34 note; Ephesians 1:20 note.

Shall so come - At the day of judgment. John 14:3, “if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again,” etc.

In like manner … - In clouds, as he ascended. See the Acts 1:9 note; 1 Thessalonians 4:16 note. This address was designed to comfort the disciples. Though their master and friend was taken from them, yet he was not removed forever. He would come again with similar majesty and glory to vindicate his people, and to tread his enemies under his feet. The design for which he will come will be to judge the world, 2 Peter 3:4. It is right that he should defend his cause. Hence, the Lord Jesus will come to guard the avenues to heaven, and to see that the universe suffers no wrong by the admission of an improper person to the skies.

(4) the great transactions of redemption have been public, open, often grand. The apostasy was public, in the face of angels and of the universe. Sin has been open, public high-handed. Misery has been public, and has rolled its deep and turbid waves in the face of the universe. Death has been public; all worlds have seen the race cut down and moulder. The death of Jesus was public: the angels saw it; the heavens were clothed with mourning; the earth shook, and the dead arose. Jesus was publicly whipped, cursed, crucified; and it is proper that he should publicly triumph - that all heaven rejoicing, and all hell at length humbled, should see his public victory. Hence, he will come with clouds - with angels - with fire - and will raise the dead, and exhibit to all the universe the amazing close of the scheme of redemption.

(5) we have in these verses a description of the most grand and wonderful events that this world has ever known - the ascension and return of the Lord Jesus. Here is consolation for the Christian; and here is a source of ceaseless alarm to the sinner.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
They were earnest in asking about that which their Master never had directed or encouraged them to seek. Our Lord knew that his ascension and the teaching of the Holy Spirit would soon end these expectations, and therefore only gave them a rebuke; but it is a caution to his church in all ages, to take heed of a desire of forbidden knowledge. He had given his disciples instructions for the discharge of their duty, both before his death and since his resurrection, and this knowledge is enough for a Christian. It is enough that He has engaged to give believers strength equal to their trials and services; that under the influence of the Holy Spirit they may, in one way or other, be witnesses for Christ on earth, while in heaven he manages their concerns with perfect wisdom, truth, and love. When we stand gazing and trifling, the thoughts of our Master's second coming should quicken and awaken us: when we stand gazing and trembling, they should comfort and encourage us. May our expectation of it be stedfast and joyful, giving diligence to be found of him blameless.
Ellen G. White
The Faith I Live By, 351

Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. Acts 1:11. FLB 351.1

The angels who lingered upon Olivet after Christ's ascension, repeated to the disciples the promise of His return: “This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” FLB 351.2

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Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 358.4

The glory of Christ's humanity did not appear when He was upon the earth. He was regarded as a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. We hid as it were our faces from Him. But He was pursuing the path the plan of God had devised. That same humanity now appears as He descends from heaven, robed in glory, triumphant, exalted.... His believing people have made their calling and election sure. They come forth at the first resurrection, and the song is sung by innumerable voices, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:3, 4). HP 358.4

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Ellen G. White
Lift Him Up, 101.1

Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. Acts 1:11. LHU 101.1

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 417.4

There will be calamities by land and by sea, “men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Verses 26, 27). In just the same manner as He ascended will He come the second time to our world. “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Verse 28).—Manuscript 40, 1897. 3SM 417.4

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