March 14, 2011

The Book of Acts-Week 1

Acts 1:12-26

12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day's walk(about 2/3 of a mile was allowed) from the city.13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James.14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.  15 In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty)16 and said, "Brothers and sisters, the Scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus.17 He was one of our number and shared in our ministry."
18 (With the payment he received for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. 19 Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)  20 "For," said Peter, "it is written in the Book of Psalms:
"'May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it, and, "'May another take his place of leadership."

21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us,22 beginning from John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection."  23 So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias.24 Then they prayed, "Lord, you know everyone's heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen 25 to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs."26 Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.

This passage highlights one of the apostles first leadership decisions.  Judas has died and they must replace his position among the disciples.  

  • They pray!  Note that this is not just the disciples, but also those who are constantly traveling with them.  See it says about 120 people in all.
  • They seek scripture! Prophecy had been fulfilled in the Psalms concerning Judas, and a directive given to find a replacement.
  • They seek someone qualified.  To be qualified to be a disciple, you must have been with Jesus and around Jesus during his entire ministry.  An eyewitness to his ministry was crucial for those who would go out spreading the gospel.
  • Joseph and Matthias fit this criteria.  
  • They cast lots.  Since this is taking place in time when Jesus had gone to heaven and the Holy  Spirit had not yet come upon them, lots were used in a way that let the Lord speak through this sign.  They were usually stones marked with each possible outcome.  They prayed beforehand and trusted that the lot that was revealed was the answer from God.
  • Interestingly, even though Matthias was chosen, this is the only time in the entire New Testament that either of these two men are mentioned.
 The application to our lives today about making decisions is pretty clear through this passage:

  1. pray
  2. seek scripture
  3. seek the wisdom of someone qualified
  4. allow God to show you His choice
  5. everyone is important in the Kingdom of God

Thanks for joining me today.  I hope you'll stop back next week for more on the Book of Acts.

1 comment:

  1. How exciting. The book of Acts is SO rich. I'm looking forward to this!



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