Witness to the resurrection

Daily Reading for February 24 • Saint Matthias the Apostle

[Judas must be replaced by] “one of the men who have accompanied us,” continues Peter. Note how he requires them to be eyewitnesses, even though the Spirit was about to come. There was still great care concerning this: “One of the men who have accompanied us,” he says, “during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us.” He means those who had dwelt with Christ, not simply been present as disciples. . . .

“Until the day he was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.” He did not say a witness of the rest of his actions but a witness of the resurrection alone. For indeed more trustworthy is the man who can say, “he, who ate, and drank, and was crucified, he rose again.” Therefore, he must be a witness not only of the time preceding this event or of what followed it and the miracles: the thing required was the resurrection. The other matters were evident and acknowledged, but the resurrection took place in secret and was evident to these only. And they do not say, “Angels told us,” but, “We have seen.” Why is this evident? Because we perform miracles. For this reason they had to be trustworthy, especially then.

From John Chrysostom’s Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles, quoted in Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, New Testament V: Acts, edited by Francis Martin (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2006).

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