Acts 01

June 15, 2012 | 0

Acts 1:1-5

Key Words:

first (1) 4413 protos -superlative of pro – forward. First, foremost.

word (1) 3056 logos – the act of speaking and the wordspoken. Intelligentexpression.

made/do (2) 4160 poieo – to make,form, produce, bring about, cause, do.

teach (1) 1321 didasko – from dao – to know orteach. To teach orinstruct verbally.

taken up (1) 353 analambano – from ana – up , and lambano – totake. Take up, ascend.

ordered (1) 1781 entellomai – fromen – in, and tello – order. To order, enjoin upon.

Holy (2) 40 hagios – set apart, holy, sanctified, consecrated, anymatter of religious awe.

Spirit (1) 4151 pneuma – breath, wind, spirit: the spirit breathed by Godinto man.

apostles (1) 652 apostolos – from apostello – tosend. One sent, an ambassador, apostle.

chose (1) 1586 eklego – from ek – out, and lego – to select,choose. To choose foroneself.

presented (1) 3936 paristemi – from para – beside,and histemi– set. Set beside, present.

living (1) 2198 zao – live, havelife, refers to physical life and existence of some duration.

suffered (1) 3958 pascho – tosuffer, to be affected by something whether good or evil.

proofs (1) 5039 tekmerion – from tekmar – a mark,sign. A sure sign,positive proof.

kingdom (1) 932 basileia – royal dominion,kingdom. Eternal/SpiritualKingdom of God.

assembled together (1) 4871 sunalizo – from sun – together, and halizo – to assemble.

commanded (1) 3853 paraggelia – frompara -beside, and aggello– declare, command. Topass on an announcement; to give a message to someone nearby, to advance anorder.

depart (1) 5563 chorizo – to put apart, separate, sever.

wait(1) 4037 perimeno – from peri – around,and meno -to remain, wait. Towait around.

promise (1) 1860 epaggelia – alegal term denoting a promise to do or give something.

baptized (2) 907 baptizo – to dip, immerse,submerge for a religious purpose.


The first account to Theophilusincluded everything Jesus said and did.Jesus presented Himself alive to the apostles, over a period of fortydays, until He was taken up. Beforeascending, Jesus assembled His apostles, and commanded them to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of theFather. They would soon be baptized inthe Holy Spirit.


1:1 The first word I myself made, O Theophilus,about everything which Jesus Himself began both to do and to teach,

Luke/Acts are a two-volume set written by Luke (see”Introduction to Acts”). Thetwo volumes may have originally been one account (follow Luke 24:49 with Acts1:4) with a brief introduction added (Acts 1:1-3) possibly after the gospelpart (Luke) was separated to be “packaged” with the other threegospels. Theophilusis a Greek name that means, “friend ofGod.” This first verse correspondsdirectly to Luke 1:1-4 where Theophilus is identifiedas “most excellent.” He mayhave been a high ranking Roman citizen who was very interested in the Christianfaith. “Everything which JesusHimself began to do and to teach” refers to “the things accomplishedamong us” (Luke 1:1). The authorwants to insure that Theophilus “might know theexact truth” (Luke 1:4). The”consecutive order” (Luke 1:3) of the life of Jesus in the gospelcontinues with the life of the church in Acts.

1:2 untilthat day He was taken up, having ordered through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom He Himself chose,

This verse corresponds to the brief closing of thegospel (Luke 24:50-53). There is nomention by Luke of Jesus going to Galilee (Matthew 28:7; Mark 16:7;John 21), but the focus is on Jerusalem where Jesus would ascend toheaven. The “day He was takenup” was mentioned in Luke 24:50, and will be mentioned again in Acts1:9. The reference in this verse seemsto join the closing of Luke with the beginning of Acts. According to Luke, the ministry of Jesuscontinues with the acts of the Holy Spirit.Before Jesus “was taken up,” He gave orders to His apostles”through the Holy Spirit.”Everything Jesus did imitated His Father (John 5:19-23) because They are one (John 10:30). This unity of Son and Father is alsodemonstrated in the unity of Son and Spirit.The “orders” by Jesus to the apostles are through the”Holy Spirit” who is the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Jesus. The orders Jesus gives to the apostles arethe orders of God, “whom He Himself chose” (Luke 6:13).

1:3 towhom also He presented Himself living, after He suffered, by many proofs, beingseen by them through forty days, and speaking about the kingdom of God;

“To whom” (the apostles) Jesus showedHimself alive by resurrection, “after He suffered” bycrucifixion. Jesus appeared to theapostles on resurrection day (John 20:19), eight days later (John 20:26), “after thesethings” in Galilee (John 21:1) and “to more than five hundred brethren at onetime” (1 Corinthians 15:6). Hepresented Himself “by many proofs” to many people for forty daysafter rising from the dead. Luke gives Theolphius “proof” of the resurrection byalluding to the appearances of Jesus.The word proclaimed by Jesus after resurrection (“speaking aboutthe Kingdom of God”) is the same word Heproclaimed before resurrection (Luke 4:43). Jesus and His word endure forever.

1:4 andbeing assembled together, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but wait the promise ofthe Father that you heard from Me.

This verse corresponds to Luke 24:50, and couldeasily follow Luke 24:49 as a natural transition from the gospel. Acts 1:4-8 includes the last words of Jesusbefore ascending into heaven (Acts 1:9-11).Before Jesus “led them out as far as Bethany…blessed them… andparted from them” (Luke 24:50) “He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem” as indicatedhere. This command parallels Luke 24:49where Jesus tells His disciples to “stay in the city until you are clothedwith power from on high.” This”power” is the “promise of the Father.” The disciples heard this promise from Jesusjust before His death (John 14:16); it is the promise of theHoly Spirit who will come from the Father.

1:5 For, indeed, John baptized in water but you will be baptizedin the Holy Spirit after not many days.

The “promise” is specified here as the”Holy Spirit.” Jesus directsthe attention of His disciples back to the days just prior to His publicministry when John the Baptist was preparing the way for Jesus. At that time, John expressed the same wordsthat Jesus expresses now, “I baptized you with water, but He will baptizeyou with the Holy Spirit” (Mark 1:8).John prepared the way for people to come to God by “preaching abaptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Mark 1:4). Water baptism symbolized cleansing inpreparation to receive the Spirit of God.Baptism “in the Holy Spirit” is a work done by Jesus (Mark1:4) when God fills the life of the believer with His Spirit. This is the ultimate purpose and mission ofJesus Christ. Repentance prepares theheart for Spirit baptism (receiving Christ).Jesus tells His disciples that the promised Holy Spirit would come verysoon (“after not many days”).This promise is fulfilled in Acts 2:1-4.

Application:To wait for God patiently, and to let Him fill me with His HolySpirit.

Acts 1:6-11


Key Words:

questioning (1) 1905 eperotao – from epi – intensive, and erotao -ask. To ask intensely, question,inquire, interrogate.

time/times (2) 5550 chronos -time. Quantitative time measured inhours, days, etc.


restore (1) 600 apokathistemi – from apo – back again,and kathistemi– constitute. Restore, to put back intoa former state or condition.

kingdom (1) 932 basileia – royal dominion, kingdom. Eternal/Spiritual Kingdom of God.

know (1) 1097 ginosko – toknow, in a beginning or completed sense.

seasons (1) 2540 kairos – season.Qualitative time (i.e. opportunity, set time or season).

set (1) 5087 tithemi – to set,put, place, lay, especially with reference to a person or thing.

authority (1) 1849 exousia -permission, authority, right, liberty, power to do something.

power (1) 1411 dunamis – power,ability to do something, especially to achieve power.

Holy (1) 40 hagios – set apart, holy, sanctified, consecrated, anymatter of religious awe.

Spirit (1) 4151 pneuma – breath, wind, spirit: the spirit breathed by Godinto man.

coming upon (1) 1904 eperchomai – fromepi -upon/over, and erchomai– to come or go. Tocome upon a person or place.

witnesses (1) 3144 martus – awitness, one with information or knowledge of something.

remotest part (1) 2078 eschatos -extreme, most remote, with reference to place and time.

looking (1) 991 blepo – to see with the eyes.

lifted up (1) 1869 epairo – from epi – upon, and airo – to liftup, raise up.

gazing intently (1) 816 atenizo – from a – intensive, and teino – strain. To gaze intently.

heaven (3) 3772 ouranos – heaven,sky.

departing (1) 4198 poreuomai– a passing or passage, to go from oneplace to another.

taken up (1) 353 analambano – from ana – up, and lambano – totake. To take up.

stood by (1) 3936 paristemi – from para – near, and histemi – toplace, stand. To standby.

stood (1) 2476 histemi – tostand, place or set.

gazing off (1) 1619 ektenos – from ek– out, and teino – stretch, strain. To gaze off or out.

Overview:Jesus is asked if He will restore the kingdom to Israel at this time; He says theywill not know the time set by the Father, but they will receive power when theHoly Spirit comes, and they will be witnesses of Jesus from Jerusalem to the ends of theearth. After saying this, they watchedJesus being lifted up into a cloud. Twomen tell those watching that Jesus will come from heaven in the way He has goneinto heaven.


1:6 Therefore, after coming together, they were questioning Him,saying, “Lord, is this the time You restore the kingdom to Israel?”

While Jesus assembles His apostles together, Hecommands them to stay in Jerusalem, and to “wait thepromise of the Father” (Acts 1:4).Now, “after coming together,” the apostles have a question toask. The word, “questioning,”is an intense form of, “ask.”The imperfect tense means their questioning continued; the apostlespress Jesus to answer their question, “Is this the time Yourestore the kingdom to Israel?” “Time” (chronos) refers to measured time(hour, day). The apostles interpretedthe “promise of the Father” with the restoration of Israel. They are probably thinking about the literalrestoration of the kingdom to its glory established by God through King Davidand developed through King Solomon. Itseems that these men still do not understand the spiritual nature and impact ofthe Kingdom of God. They are also preoccupied with the specifictime of the event. The Jews anticipated(then and now) the Messiah to come soon, and restore the earthly kingdom to Israel. This was not the mission of Jesus.

1:7 Hesaid to them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons which theFather Himself set in His own authority,

Jesus answers their questioning with a directstatement: “It is not for you to know the times (chronos- quantity of time) orseasons (kairos– quality of time) which the Father (God) has set (fixed) in His ownauthority.” In other words, it isthe Father’s business, not the apostle’s, to know the time for the Kingdom tobe established. The specific time (chronos) and thegeneral time (kairos)are not for the them to know, nor for anyoneelse. Jesus said previously that neitherHe nor the angels in heaven knew the day or hour, only the Father (Matthew24:36, Mark 13:32).

1:8 butyou shall receive power, the Holy Spirit coming upon you, and you shall bewitnesses of Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and unto the remotest partof the earth.”

After Jesus makes clear the fact that the time ofKingdom restoration is not their business, He impresses on them a missionstatement that is their business: “You shall be witnesses of Me.””Witnesses” (martus: English – martyr) give testimony of what they haveseen and heard, sometimes by giving their lives for their faith. The apostles have not been dynamic witnessesfor Christ up to this point because they have not yet received”power” (dunamis:English – dynamite). Such power comesfrom the Holy Spirit (God’s Spirit) who is sent from the Father (John 14:16), and the Son (John16:7). Jesus will baptize these men inthe Holy Spirit (Luke 3:16) so they can bear witnessof Christ to the world. The gospel willcome from the Father, through the Son, to the apostles, in the power of theSpirit. The apostles will testify”in Jerusalem (center of Jewish faith), in all Judea (Jewish region), and Samaria (mixed region:Jewish/Gentile descent) and unto the remotest part of the earth” (Gentileregions). Jesus commissions His apostlesto bear witness of Him to the world; this is what they need to know (Matthew28:18-20).

1:9 And after saying these things, (with) them looking, He wasbeing lifted up, and a cloud received Him from their eyes.

The mission statement of Jesus is the last statementHe makes while physically present on earth.This statement parallels His closing remarks to the apostles inMatthew’s gospel. Last words are mostimportant words; Jesus gives His last words to the men He spent the most timediscipling. They will continue Hisministry on earth; therefore, these words are most significant for them, andfor all believers. There is nothing elsethat needs to be said, and so Jesus departs while the apostles look on. Jesus is “lifted up” (raised up)into a cloud where He is hidden from their sight.

1:10 And while they were gazing intently into heaven, He Himselfdeparting, behold, two men stood by them in white garments,

The apostles must be amazed at the departure ofJesus; they have never seen anything like this before. After Jesus is out of sight they continue tolook up, perhaps wondering what may happen next. The “two men” standing by “inwhite garments” are angels.Sometimes angels are identified as “men” (compare Luke 24:1-4with John 20:11-12). Angelsare messengers of God who may appear to explain an event (Luke 1:8-20; 26-38).

1:11 and they said, “Men of Galilee, why have you stood gazingoff into heaven? This Jesus, the Onebeing taken up from you into heaven, shall come thus in the way you yourselvessaw Him going into heaven.”

These angels ask the apostles a question, and thensupply an answer that addresses their wonder.The apostles are probably asking themselves, “Where did He go, andwhen will He return?” They areaddressed as “Men of Galilee” because that is where they live; theseare just ordinary men who have witnessed an extraordinary event. “Why have you stood gazing off intoheaven?” is a practical question. Physically, Jesus is gone, and so there is noneed to keep looking for His bodily presence.He has been “taken up…..into heaven;” He is “sitting atthe right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven” (Mark14:62). The angels remind the apostlesthat Jesus will return from heaven in same way He went into heaven, just as Hetold them. 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and Revelation 1:7 revealJesus coming from heaven in the clouds.This is their hope, and ours, too.

Application:To bear witness of Jesus Christ to all, in the power of the HolySpirit, without concerning myself with the time of His return from heaven.

Acts 1:12-20


Key Words:

Jerusalem (2) 2419 Hierousalem – thedwelling of “peace,” both literally and figuratively.

Olives (1) 1638 elaion – from elaia – olivetree. In the N.T. it is the Mount of Olives.

Sabbath (1) 4521 sabbaton – from shabath – rest, a cessation from labor.

upper room (1) 5253 huperoos – from huper – upper,and oios -possession. Upperroom.

waiting (1) 2650 katameno – from kata – intensive,and meno -to remain. Wait patiently.

continuing (1) 4342 proskartereo -from pro – to, and kartereo -endure. To continue.

with one mind (1) 3661 homothumadon -from homo – one, thumos – mind. One mind.

prayer (1) 4335 proseuche – from pros – to, and euche – a prayer. A prayer to anyone.

brothers (3) 80 adelphos – from a – unity, and delphus – a womb. A brother, generally denoting a fellowship oflife based on identity of origin. Members of the same family.

crowd (1) 3793 ochlos – a crowd,throng, unorganized multitude.

Scripture (1) 1124 graphe – from grapho – to write. Usedin the plural for the Scriptures.

fulfilled (1) 4137 pleroo – full, tofill up, satisfy, accomplish, achieve.

Holy (1) 40 hagios – set apart, holy, sanctified, consecrated, anymatter of religious awe.

Spirit (1) 4151 pneuma – breath, wind, spirit: the spirit breathed by Godinto man.

foretold (1) 4277 proeipon – from pro – before, and enarchomai – to make abeginning. To begin before, foretell,predict.

guide (1) 3595 hodegos – from hodos – way, and hegeomai – tolead. A leader of away.

arresting (1) 4815 sullambano – fromsun – together, lambano – to take. To seize, arrest.

counted with (1) 2674 katarithmeo -from kata -with, arithmeao– number. Count with.

portion (1) 2819 kleros – a lot,allotment, part or share.

ministry (1) 1248 diakonia -service, labor. A diakonos (deacon) is a servant(minister).

wage (1) 3408 mistros – wages,hire, reward.

unrighteousness (1) 93 adikia – from a – not, dike – expected behavior. Unjust, wrong.

falling headlong (1) 4248 prenes – bendingforward, prostrate headlong.

burst open (1) 2997 lascho – tocrack, snap, burst, open.

bowels (1) 4698 splagehnon -an intestine, bowel.

dialect (1) 1258 dialektos -language spoken by a people, ethnic language, dialect.

estate (1) 1886 epaulis – from epi – in, and aulis – astall. A dwelling,tent, house, abode.

deserted (1) 2048 eremos -desolate, deserted, lonely.

dwelling (1) 2730 katoikeo – from kata – intensive,oikeo -dwell. To residepermanently.

office (1) 1984 episkope – apurely biblical word, perhaps derived from episkeo – to visit, consider,examine (episkopeo– to look after). Theoffice of bishop (overseer).

Overview:The eleven apostles return from the Mount of Olives to the upper room in

Jerusalem. The apostles remain there, in prayer, withthe women, mother and brothers of Jesus, a crowd of about 120 people. Peter stands and tells the brothers that theScripture had to be fulfilled with reference to the unrighteousness and deathof Judas. The field where Judas died wascalled the Field of Blood.


1:12 Then, they returned to Jerusalem from the mount calledOlives, which is near Jerusalem, of a Sabbath (journey)away.

The Apostles return to Jerusalem after the angelsinform them that Jesus will return from heaven in the same way He departed intoheaven (Acts 1:11). The Mount of Olives is a small range of four summits, the highest (2600 feet) overlooks Jerusalem and the Temple Mount from east across the Kidron Valley. In the time of Jesus, the mount was thicklywooded with olive trees. According to Zechariah 14:1-4, the Lord will divide the Mount of Olives in two when He comes and stands on it. According to Jewish law, the distance allowedfor travel on the Sabbath was about half a mile. Therefore, the journey from the mount to thecity was relatively short.

1:13 Andwhen they entered, they went up into the upper room where they are waiting,both Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew andMatthew, James of Alpheaus and Simon the zealot andJudas of James.

This “upper room” is possibly the sameroom where Jesus offered the Last Supper to His apostles (Mark 14:15, Luke 22:12). It seems logical for these same disciples toreturn to that special place of fellowship.The eleven remaining apostles are listed by name to let the reader knowthat the men closest to Jesus before and after resurrection are allpresent. These men are “waiting”(patiently) for the next event to occur.Jesus told them to “wait the promise of the Father” (Acts1:4). The baptism of the Holy Spiritwill be the next event “after not many days” (Acts 1:5). At this time, the mission of the apostles isvery simple: “Wait!”

1:14 These were all continuing with one mindin prayer with (the) women, and Mary the mother of Jesus and with His brothers.

“These” (the eleven apostles) were”continuing” (to endure steadfastly with someone) “with onemind” (unanimous consent, one accord, together). The “women” must include those withJesus at the cross (Luke 23:49), at the tomb beforeresurrection (Luke 23:55) and at the tomb afterresurrection (Luke 24:1). Besides these”women,” Mary is named, and the brothers of Jesus are mentioned (theyare named in Matthew 13:55); the sisters of Jesus mayhave also been present (they are mentioned in Matthew 13:56). This gathering of relatives and close friendsare “continuing with one mind in prayer” to God. They are following the command of Christ to”wait” (Acts 1:4). The unityin prayer of this group is early evidence of unity the church will experienceby the power of God (Acts 2:42-47).

1:15 And in these days, Peter, standing upin (the) midst of the brothers (the crowd of names together was about 120) andsaid,

“In these days” refers to the interval oftime between the ascension of Jesus into heaven and the coming of the Spirit onPentecost; it is a period of ten days.The specific day is not indicated, but the reader must assume that thiscrowd of “about 120” was “continuing with one mind inprayer.” They have one another, andthey have the memory of Jesus to keep them together, but human leadership mustfill the void created by the departure of Christ. Peter fills this void by “standingup” in the middle of everyone to speak.This should be expected of Peter because he is always presented as aleader, and because Jesus honored Peter’s statement of faith with authority (Matthew16:15-19). Jesusalso told Peter: “Strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:31-32) and “Feed mysheep” (John 21:15-17).

1:16 “Men, brothers, it was necessary (for) the Scripture to befulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David about Judas,the (one), himself becoming a guide to those arresting Jesus,

Peter begins by addressing “men” as”brothers;” the women are not mentioned, perhaps because the positionof women was under the protection, care and authority of men in the Jewishculture. “Brothers” is thesame word used to describe the literal brothers of Jesus (Acts 1:14). The word typically is used to describemembers of the same family, but Jesus used the word to identify His disciples(Matthew 23:8), and His spiritual family (Matthew 12:46-49). Peter follows the example of Christ byaddressing his spiritual family as “brothers.” Peter calls attention to a problem created byJudas, as predicted in “the Scripture” specifically (Psalm 41:9), andidentified by Jesus personally (John 13:18). David wrote the psalm “about Judas”who led others (Jewish authorities) to arrest Jesus.

1:17 because he was being counted with us, andreceived the portion of this ministry.”

Peter understood Judas as a man “counted withus” because Jesus called him to be an apostle with the other eleven men(Luke 5:12-16).Therefore, Judas received the same “portion” (part) in theministry of Jesus as these men. The partfor Judas was the same apostolic office given to the others; his place wouldhave to be filled (Acts 1:25).

1:18 Now,this one acquired a field, from (the) wage of unrighteousness, and fallingheadlong, he burst open in the middle, and all his bowels were poured out.

The death of Judas is described in gory detail,perhaps to magnify the crime. The”wage” (reward) Judas received for his “unrighteousness”(unjust) was just “30 pieces of silver” (compare Zechariah 11:12 and Matthew 26:14-16). This money may correspond to the 30 shekelsin Exodus 21:32 (the value of a slave), and the 30 shekels inZechariah 11:12 (payment to a shepherd). In either case, it is a paltry sum of money,defiled by death andused to purchase the “Potter’s Field” (compareZechariah 11:12-13 and Matthew 27:3-10) as a graveyard. The grim death of Judas may be described toillustrate the consequence of unrighteousness.According to Matthew 27:5, Judas hung himself; “Fallingheadlong” and “bursting open in the middle” could have resultedif a rope or limb broke sending the body crashing to earth. Literally, Judas’ life was poured out on theground, defiling it.

1:19 And itbecame known to all those inhabiting Jerusalem for that field to be called, intheir own dialect, “Hakeldama,” that is,”Field of Blood.”

The Potter’s Field was given a new name, “Hakeldama,” a word transliterated from their own dialect: Aramaic.The meaning of the word, “Field of Blood,” is probablyprovided to reinforce the significance of this awful place. Hakeldama becamenotorious to “all those inhabiting Jerusalem;” the reputation ofJudas would be remembered forever.

1:20 For it has been written in the book ofPsalms, “Let his estate become deserted, and let no (one) be dwelling init, and let another take his office.”

Psalm 69:25 is quoted to describe the desolation of”Hakeldama” for all generations, and Psalm109:8 to authorize the filling of his vacant apostolic office. The fate of Judas was recorded in theScriptures hundreds of years before the event.God’s foreknowledge of Judas does not imply His foreordination that hemust become a traitor; this man never belonged to Christ. Judas filled an apostolic office, but had nopersonal relationship with Jesus; he never yielded to the salvation andlordship of Christ. Judas remained the”son of perdition” (John 17:12) because he was neversaved. His highest title for Jesus was, “Rabbi,”(Matthew 26:25), but never, “Lord.”

Application:To consistently meet with other brothers and sisters in Christ,devoting ourselves to pray together “with one mind.”

Acts 1:21-26


Key Words:

it is necessary (1) 1163 dei – animpersonal verb: needs, is necessary, is inevitable.

accompanying (1) 4905 sunerchomai -from sun – together with, and erchomai – tocome. To come or gowith someone, to meet together, to accompany.

time (1) 5550 chronos -time. Quantitative time measured inhours, days, etc.

Lord (2) 2962 kurios – from kuros – might, power.Lord or master (i.e. Jehovah – O.T.).

went in (1) 1525 eiserchomai -from eis -in, and erchomai– come. To come or goin.

went out (1) 1831 exerchomai – fromek – out,and erchomai– come. To come or goout.

beginning (1) 756 archomai – to begin, to be firstin rank, to rule, to govern.

baptism (1) 908 baptisma – to dip, immerse. The spiritual meaning of baptism is thecomplete identification with a person with reference to their name and/or purpose.

witness (1) 3144 martus – awitness, one with information or knowledge of something.

resurrection (1) 386 anastasis – from ana – up, and histemi – tostand. To stand orrise up.

stood (1) 2476 histemi – tostand, place, set.

called (1) 1941 epikaleo – from epi – upon, and kaleo – tocall. To call upon.

praying (1) 4336 proseuchomai -from pros – to, and euchomai -pray. To pray to God.

who knows the hearts (1) 2589 kardiognostes -from kardia– heart, and ginosko– know. One who knowsthe heart; a searcher of hearts.

show plainly (1) 322 anadeiknumi – from ana – emphatic,and deiknuo– show. To showplainly or openly. To mark out,appoint by an outward sign.

chose (1) 1586 eklego – from ek – out, and lego – to select,choose. To choose for oneself, notimplying the rejection of what is not chosen, but giving favor to what ischosen.

place (2) 5117 topos – place, asoccupied or filled by any person or thing.

ministry (1) 1248 diakonia – from diakonos -deacon, servant. Service,ministry.

apostleship (1) 651 apostole – from apostello -send. Sending forth orthat which is sent.

transgressed (1) 3845 paabaino – from para – beside,contrary, and baino– go. To go contrary,against. In the NT, it always hasa moral sense of transgression or violation.

depart (1) 4198 poreuomai – apassing or passage; to go from one place to another place.

gave (1) 1325 didomai – togive, bestow upon. To give of one’s ownaccord in good will.

lots (2) 2819 kleros – a lot, the stone or mark itself which was castinto an urn or a lap.


fell (1) 4098 pipto – to fall,particularly from a higher place to a lower place.

numbered (1) 4785 sugkatapsephizo -from sun – together, kata – with, and psephizo to count or compute. To be reckoned or numberedwith; to be received into the number.

apostles (1) 652 apostolos – from apo – from, and stello – tosend. To send forth.

Overview:It is necessary for a man to be chosen to fill the place ofministry and apostleship vacated by Judas.The man must be one who accompanied the apostles from the baptism ofJohn to the ascension of Jesus, a man who would become a witness of theresurrection with the other apostles.Joseph and Matthias are selected, and after prayer, the apostles castlots to determine the Lord’s will. Thelot falls to Matthias, and he is numbered with the eleven apostles.


1:21 “Therefore, it is necessary that of the men accompanying usall the time that the Lord Jesus went in and went out among us,

While the apostles, and the others, were”waiting” (Acts 1:13), and “continuing withone mind in prayer” (Acts 1:14); they were also searchingthe Scriptures (Acts 1:16) to know the will ofGod. The Apostles read Psalm 109:8 andwere directed to “let another take his (Judas’) office.” The nation of Israel was twelve tribes,descended from the sons of Jacob (renamed “Israel” – Genesis32:28). This number represents thecomplete nation of Israel, the people of God. Jesus chose twelve to be His apostles; theywould be the core of His church, and be His witnesses to the world (Acts1:8). The twelve apostles correspond tothe twelve tribes, even as Israel must be whole, the churchmust be whole; therefore, the eleven remaining apostles must respond to God’sdirective in Psalm 109:8. The person tofill the vacancy left by Judas must be fully qualified as one who was”accompanying us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and went outamong us,” a man who was with the apostles whenever Jesus was with them.

1:22 beginning from the baptism of John untilthe day that He was taken up from us; one of these to become a witness with usof His resurrection.”

The qualification of Acts 1:21 isspecified with reference to the length of time with Jesus. The candidate must have been with the Lord,and the other apostles, “from the baptism of John” (Mark 1:1-8, John 1:28-34), which initiated thepublic ministry of Christ, “until the day that He was taken up fromus” (Acts 1:2), which ended the public ministry of Christ. This qualification validates the fact thatothers were present, besides the eleven apostles, on the Mount of Olives when Jesus ascended intoheaven. “One of these,” whofulfills the qualifications, will “become a witness with us (elevenapostles) of His resurrection.” Themission of the apostles, stated by Jesus in Acts 1:8, was understood andaccepted.

1:23 And they stood two, Joseph, the (one)being called Barsabbas, who was called, Justus, andMatthias.

Apparently, only two men met the basic requirementsfor the apostolic office. Almost nothingis known about these men. There is areference to “Judas, called Barsabbas,” inActs 15:22, but this is uncertain, and the name, “Judas,” does notmatch the other names (Joseph, Justus) for this man. “Bar” before a Hebrew name means,”the son of;” the word that follows is generally the name of thefather. The giving or taking of a newname often followed a crucial turning point in a person’s life. The reference to “Jesus, who is calledJustus” (Colossians 4:11) may refer to the sameperson, but the name, “Jesus,” further complicates identification ofthis individual. Matthias is onlymentioned here in the Scripture, there is no other information about him.

1:24 Andpraying, they said, “You, Lord, who knows the hearts of everyone, showplainly which one out of these two You chose,

The eleven apostles have objectively considered thebasic qualification for the twelfth apostle, but now they must choose betweentwo. Instead of choosing by vote, theygo to God in prayer. These men arefollowing the example of Jesus who spent a whole night in prayer beforechoosing His twelve apostles (Luke 6:12-13). They address God as “Lord;” thesame title they used to address Jesus on many occasions, and only recently(Acts 1:6). The apostles acknowledge theLord as one who “knows the hearts” (kardiognostes)of everyone. The literalmeaning of this word is “heart-knower,” it is found only here, and inActs 15:8. The apostles believe that Godtruly knows the hearts of all men (they are thinking with reference to Justusand Matthias), and they are trusting God to make the right choice. The truth of 1 Samuel 16:7 is evident tothese men, and they are depending on God to “show plainly” (obviously)His decision.

1:25 to take the place of this ministry and apostleship, from whichJudas transgressed, to depart to his own place.”

The eleven apostles trust the Lord to fill “theplace of this ministry and apostleship” as He has already revealed inPsalm 109:8. Their obedience to wait,pray and seek the will of God is impressive.The tragedy of Judas, described in Acts 1:17-20, is mentionedagain. Judas “transgressed”(to go against, to commit a moral violation) when he betrayed Jesus, and”departed to his own place.”This “place” must refer, ultimately, to hell because of wordsspoken by Jesus of Judas in Matthew 26:24-25 and John 6:70-71, 13:26-27, 17:12.

1:26 And they gave lots for them, and thelot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

The choice between the two was committed to God inprayer, “who knows the hearts of everyone.” The giving of lots had an OT precedent(Leviticus 16:8, Proverbs 16:33), but it occurs nowhereelse in the NT. Lots (individualmarkers) were cast, and Matthias was chosen; we might call it, “the luckof the draw,” but this was their means of discerning the will of God. The spiritual gift of discernment came afterPentecost with other gifts.

Application:To seek God’swill by waiting upon Him, considering all the information available to me, andthen discerning His final decision through prayer.

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