December 26 - Acts 1:12-20

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Acts 1:12-17 – Matthias Chosen

Luke tells us that the disciples to Jerusalem returned from the Mount of Olives, which was about a Sabbath day’s walk. This was the longest distance a person could walk without breaking the rules of the Sabbath. It doesn't necessarily mean that this occurred on the Sabbath, it was simply a measure of distance.

Then, in response to Jesus’ command to remain in Jerusalem, they did just that, gathering and praying fervently together. They devoted themselves to prayer. Luke names the Eleven and then ensures that we recognize there were others who were also part of this intimate group – the women (at the very least, those who were named as part of the group who had gone to prepare Jesus’ body for burial), Jesus’ mother, Mary as well as his brothers.

We don’t know how much time passed between Jesus’ ascension and the arrival of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2, but while they were waiting and praying, it was important that some business be dealt with. They needed to replace a member of the Apostolic Circle.

Luke tells us in Acts 1:15 that the believers who were gathered numbered about 120 persons. This number is different than many in the Gospels because of the way it was worded. This number represented both men and women. In the re-telling of the feeding of the five thousand, the number was that of only the men.

As spokesman for the Apostles, Peter stands in tells them that in accordance with the Scripture and fulfillment of prophecy, the work of Judas had to have been done, as did his death. He quoted from Psalm 69:25 to show that Judas’ place among them had been made empty and then to Psalm 109:8 to emphasize the need to bring another into the group as a replacement.