Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Acts 1:14, 15
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Acts 1:14
v14: Jesus told His disciples to “wait for what the Father had promised…” (v4), and He also revealed to them their future assignment, but for now they were not to go anywhere. Not yet. Something had to happen first. Now they were to go back into the city and wait. Thankfully, in this verse, Luke gives us a brief, but carefully worded description of what took place during those ten days. He says, “All of these were continually giving their attention to prayer with one mind…” (literal). There are at least four elements to observe here: 1) First is the statement “all of these.” It tells us they waited as a community. They didn’t scatter and find a lonely rock somewhere and sit. They gathered daily, men and women, not just the Eleven. Luke names some of these, he says, “…with women and Mary the mother of Jesus and with His brothers.”

Monday: Acts 1:14
v14 (continued): The reference to “women” undoubtedly included Salome (Mary’s sister), Mary the wife Clopas (Joseph’s brother? See: Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, E. R. Herrick and Co., 1853-1890, Vol 2, pp 602-603), Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and John (Mt 22:55, 56; Jn 19:25), John Mark’s mother, who was also named Mary (Ac 12:12), and very possibly Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod Antipas’ steward, and Susanna, and “many others” (Lk 8:1-3). We often overlook the fact that there were women disciples who traveled with Jesus and the Twelve.

Tuesday: Acts 1:14
v14 (continued): Luke specifically mentions Jesus’ mother and His brothers. Though His brothers had been antagonistic toward His ministry, they obviously had a change of heart when they saw their eldest brother resurrected (Mt 12:46, 47; 13:55, 56; Jn 7:1-10; 1Co 15:7). The word which is translated here as “women” can also mean wife, and since we know that some, and maybe all, the disciples were married (Mt 8:14; 1Co 9:5), there may have been some other wives present as well. 2) The second element to observe in this sentence is the statement, “continually giving their attention to.” It means they set aside other things and focused on God. The word Luke uses literally means they “were strong towards.” It implies consistent attention and expenditure of energy. In other words, they weren’t passive. They actively called on God to do all that He promised. Their goal during this time of waiting was to “prepare the way of the Lord” (Is 40:3, 4). Undoubtedly, each one gave attention to his, or her, own spiritual condition. They would have addressed any unconfessed sin, hidden resentments or wrong attitudes toward God.

Wednesday: Acts 1:14
v14 (continued): 3) The third element to observe in this sentence is the statement “with one mind.” The word Luke uses literally means, “the same mind.” It’s used ten times in the Book of Acts (1:14; 2:46; 4:24; 5:12; 7:57; 8:6; 12:20; 15:25; 18:12; 19:29). Paul used it in Romans 15:6. It means to genuinely agree as to their purpose, and to work together as one. These disciples refused to withhold themselves from the Body of Christ. They loved each other and gathered harmoniously, joyfully pursuing the Lord as a team, not as isolated individuals. 4) The fourth element to observe in this sentence is the statement “in prayer.” The ten days of waiting were largely spent in corporate worship and prayer. In his gospel Luke tells us they went to the temple each day to worship (Lk 24:53). He says they were “blessing God.”

Thursday: Acts 1:14
v14 (continued): At this point we need to ask an obvious question: How does a group of people pray for ten days? What do they say? One can say all the appropriate things that need to be said in ten minutes, then what? To pray meaningfully for that length of time requires listening to the Spirit, reading the Word (or listening to it being read or recited), and praying specific things as the Spirit leads. When numerous people listen together in unity, and pray out as God guides, a theme emerges and is prayed for in remarkably insightful ways. Then other themes emerge and are prayed for as different people sense God give them something specific to pray. Rather than being chaotic or dull, such Spirit-led prayer becomes very inspiring and time passes unnoticed.

Friday: Acts 1:14
v14 (continued): Undoubtedly, God led them to pray for their city, their families and their nation. Undoubtedly, they declared by faith the great things God would do, that doors would be opened, souls would be saved, the oppressed would be delivered and the sick would be healed. After all, they had watched Jesus minister, and had at times already been sent out to minister in His name, so what they would be doing in the future wasn’t a mystery. They knew they would soon be saying the same thing He had said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord” (Lk 4:18, 19). Jesus had already said, “…as the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (Jn 20:21), so much faith-filled thanking of God must have been declared in that upper room and Portico of Solomon. And when over a hundred disciples are doing this together, people take notice. By the time God’s appointed day arrived, the Spirit was already mightily at work.

Saturday: Acts 1:15
v15: At some point during these days of waiting, Peter “stood up in the midst of the brothers…” to address a gathering of about 120 disciples. Apparently, the Eleven put him forward as their spokesman, so he was already being recognized as a leader. However, when we use the term “leader” we must remember that Jesus profoundly changed their understanding of the purpose of spiritual leadership (Mt 20:20-28; Jn 13:12-17). So Peter should not be thought of as taking control, but rather as someone whom the others considered suitable to serve the need of the moment. Judging from the sensitive, internal nature of their topic, this event almost certainly occurred in the upper room, not in the more public setting of the temple. Replacing Judas Iscariot was not a matter to be discussed in front of unbelievers.

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