2137.) Acts 1:12-26

Acts 1:12-26   (NLT)

Matthias Replaces Judas

12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, a distance of half a mile. 13 When they arrived, they went to the upstairs room of the house where they were staying.

Here are the names of those who were present: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (the Zealot), and Judas (son of James). 14 They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus.

Their obedience is notable: They returned to Jerusalem. Jesus told them to return to Jerusalem and wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit, and that is exactly what they did.  They didn’t forget the sermon right after they heard it, and they actually did what Jesus told them to do, even though He was no longer physically present with them.

Their unity is notable: These all continued with one accord.  When we saw the disciples in the gospels, it seemed that they were always fighting and bickering.  What had changed?  Peter still had the history of denying the Lord; Matthew was still a tax collector; Simon was still a zealot.  Their differences were still there, but the resurrected Jesus in their hearts was greater than any difference.

Their prayer is notable; they all prayed, and they continued in prayer and supplication.  The idea of supplication is a sense of desperation and earnestness in prayer.

–David Guzik

15 During this time, when about 120 believers were together in one place, Peter stood up and addressed them. 16 “Brothers,” he said, “the Scriptures had to be fulfilled concerning Judas, who guided those who arrested Jesus. This was predicted long ago by the Holy Spirit, speaking through King David. 17 Judas was one of us and shared in the ministry with us.”

18 (Judas had bought a field with the money he received for his treachery. Falling headfirst there, his body split open, spilling out all his intestines. 19 The news of his death spread to all the people of Jerusalem, and they gave the place the Aramaic name Akeldama, which means “Field of Blood.”)

"Judas hangs himself" an illumination by Jean Colombe, 1489 (Musee Conde, Chantilly). Matthew 27:5 further explains Judas' death: "Then he went away and hanged himself."

“Judas hangs himself” an illumination by Jean Colombe, 1485 (Musee Conde, Chantilly). Matthew 27:5 further explains Judas’ death: “Then he went away and hanged himself.”

20 Peter continued, “This was written in the book of Psalms, where it says, ‘Let his home become desolate, with no one living in it.’ It also says, ‘Let someone else take his position.’

Their reliance on God’s Word is notable; this wasn’t the wisdom of man at work, but a principle revealed in Scripture. 

–David Guzik

21 “So now we must choose a replacement for Judas from among the men who were with us the entire time we were traveling with the Lord Jesus—22 from the time he was baptized by John until the day he was taken from us. Whoever is chosen will join us as a witness of Jesus’ resurrection.”

23 So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24 Then they all prayed, “O Lord, you know every heart. Show us which of these men you have chosen 25 as an apostle to replace Judas in this ministry, for he has deserted us and gone where he belongs.” 26 Then they cast lots, and Matthias was selected to become an apostle with the other eleven.

We never hear of Matthias again. But then, after chapter 1, none of the apostles is mentioned again, other than Peter and John. Yet their significance remains:

Revelation 21:10-14 (NIV)

And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.



HERE  is a modern hymn for missions, from Keith and Kristyn Getty. We, like the apostles, are “Facing a Task Unfinished,” and with the same certainty that the story of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus is the story that every heart in the world is longing to hear.


Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
Acts 1:8.   https://s3.amazonaws.com/BridgeFaithBuilder/fullsize/2014-04-23.jpg
Colombe.    http://www.christusrex.org/www2/berry/DB-f147v-d1l.jpg

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