Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Acts: 1:16-20
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Acts 1:16, 17
vs16-17: Peter says Judas fulfilled a particular prophecy when he betrayed Jesus. Though he doesn’t specifically identify this passage, he says it was one that had been spoken by David and it must have been so familiar to those in the room that he assumed they would recognize it as soon as he mentioned his subject. Apparently, the purpose of that particular meeting was to choose someone to receive Judas’ financial allotment as one of the Twelve. That’s why Peter says, “For he was numbered among us and was allotted a portion of this ministry” (literal). If we take this statement very literally, it’s possible to conclude that Jesus had customarily shared with each of the Twelve a portion of the financial support given to His ministry (Lk 8:3; Jn 12:4-6, 1Co 9:14). In this way He was providing resources to care for their families since they themselves had stopped working in order to travel with Him.

Monday: Acts 1:16, 17
vs16-17 (continued): Ironically, Judas had been the treasurer for the group, and it had, in part, been his frustration over their finances that had made him bitter and finally vulnerable to demonic possession (Lk 22:3-6; Jn 12:4-6). Having been prayerfully invited to leave his family and livelihood to follow Christ (Lk 6:12-16), Judas, along with the other eleven, had a “right” to one-twelfth of the revenue designated for family support. Apparently, the disciples intended to continue this policy of supporting the Twelve. Judas had forfeited this “right” and there was an open share available that could be used to support someone else, so they too could go into full-time ministry as an apostle. The Lord had designated twelve positions, and one was now left unused.

Tuesday: Acts 1:16, 17
vs16-17 (continued): The passage to which Peter is referring is Psalm 41:6-9. Jesus quoted from that passage and applied it to His betrayer, just before serving the Last Supper in that very room where they were now gathered. Having warned His disciples, “Not all of you are clean” (Jn 13:11), He went on to say, “…I know the ones I have chosen, but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, he who eats my bread has lifted up his heel against Me” (Jn 13:18; Ps 41:9; Ps 55:12-14; Mt 26:23-25; Lk 22:21, 23). He quoted this verse while Judas was still in the room.

Wednesday: Acts 1:16, 17
vs16-17 (continued): In Psalm 41:6-9 David laments that he was betrayed by a friend who “ate my bread.” Because kings had so much food available to them, they often invited more than their own immediate family to join them. In some cases, certain people were given the “right” to regularly sit at their table (2Sa 9:7, 10, 13; 19:28), and apparently it was one of these who had devised a plot to kill or overthrow David. But Jesus wanted His disciples to understand that David was not merely describing his own betrayal when he spoke these words, he was prophetically describing how the Messiah, the Son of David, would be betrayed as well. Indeed, it could be said that Judas regularly ate at Jesus’ table because he received his portion as one of the Twelve and his “portion” is the matter being attended to in this meeting.

Thursday: Acts 1:18, 19
vs18-19: Luke inserts these two verses in order to explain to Theophilus what happened to Judas after he betrayed the Lord. Basically, he ignores the fact that Judas committed suicide (Mt 27:3-10) and tells Theophilus only two things: First, that the money which Judas received for betraying Christ, and then returned, was used by the priests to buy a small parcel of ground which came to be considered cursed by the people of the city. They named it the “Field of Blood” since it had been paid for with the money that brought the death of an innocent man (Ge 4:10). And second, judging from the fact that Luke tells us the grotesque details about Judas’ death, it was called the “Field of Blood” because Judas’ body may have been dumped on the lot and left there to decompose in the heat of the sun. Luke literally says, “…and having become swollen up he burst asunder and all his bowels poured out.” This is the picture of a body rotting in the sun, left unburied in disgrace. The point is that both Judas’ body and his field became desolate.

Friday: Acts 1:20
v20: Here Luke returns to Peter’s speech. Having pointed out that Judas “was allotted a portion in this ministry” (v17), Peter now goes on to quote from two more psalms. His first quote seems intended to prove that any claim Judas’ family might have on his portion of the financial allotment had been completely forfeited by his actions. Scripture clearly commands that his “camp” become “desolate” (abandoned). In Psalm 69 David laments that he was suffering religious persecution because of his faith in God, and he calls on God to punish those who hated him without cause. One of his requests is, “Let their camp be abandoned and no one dwell in their tents” (Ps 69:25; Septuagint). In other words, no family members can be allowed to move into that person’s empty tent. Not only is the wicked person to be removed, but their family’s right to dwell there is removed as well (Job 18:5, 6, 14-21).

Saturday: Acts 1:20
v20 (continued): To this sobering judgment Peter adds one more quote from the Psalms. He quotes from Psalm 109 in which David again calls on God to judge his false accusers. One of his requests is, “Let another take his office (his position of authority)” (v8). Peter points to this as an expression of righteous judgment on someone who lies about, hates and fights against God’s appointed leader. And Judas had done to Jesus what some of David’s enemies had done to him, so not just his portion (financial allotment), but his position as one of the Twelve, must be given to another. The Lord’s original desire to have twelve apostles must be honored (Mt 19:28; Lk 22:30).

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