Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Acts 1:21-2:2
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Acts 1:21, 22
vs21-22: Now the process of selecting a replacement begins. Peter lists three qualifications for someone to be considered a nominee. First, the nominee must be a man. Second, he must be someone who traveled with Jesus over the entire course of His three and a half year ministry, beginning the day He arrived at the Jordan River where John was baptizing (Jn 11:29-37), until the day He ascended into heaven (Lk 24:50, 51; Ac 1:9-11). And third, he must be an eyewitness of the resurrected Jesus. He must be someone who actually saw Him alive after the crucifixion. What is surprising is that there were numerous people present who fit these criteria. Obviously there must have been many more than twelve who regularly traveled with Jesus.

Monday: Acts 1:23-25
v23: Luke doesn’t tell us how the two nominees were chosen, but it appears they were selected by the larger gathering after they evaluated those among them who met Peter’s qualifications. Joseph Barsabbas (son of the Sabbath), who also had a Roman name, Justus (just, righteous) is the first one mentioned. The other was Matthias, whom the church historian Eusebuis (AD 260-340) said was one of the 70 disciples Jesus sent out, two by two (Lk 10:1) (F.F. Bruce, Acts, Eerdmans, 1954, pp 50, 51). vs24-25: After choosing two nominees the entire gathering prayed, addressing God as the “heart-knower” (Ac 15:8) and asking Him to “lift up” the one whom He had already chosen, to take Judas’ place in this “ministry and apostleship,” because Judas had “turned aside to go into his own place.”

Tuesday: Acts 1:24, 25
vs24-25 (continued): The act of replacing one of the Twelve is a unique event, and it’s important to note that Judas is not being replaced because he died. All but one of the remaining Eleven would die a martyr’s death, but no one would be nominated to replace them. Jesus left no instructions for there to be a perpetual Twelve. Judas is being replaced because he has been disqualified, his place is empty. Yet, there must be twelve because the Lord said they would have a role to play in the future Messianic Age (Millennium) (Lk 22:30; Mt 19:28).

Wednesday: Acts 1:26
v26: After the nominees were selected, and after the Lord was asked to reveal His choice, “they gave lots for them and the lot fell on Matthias…” A common Jewish way of casting lots was to inscribe a name on a small stone or piece of wood, and these were placed into a jar, or another container of some kind, and shaken. The lot that fell out first was the one chosen (W.E.Vine, Expository Dictionary of the N.T). Much has been said about their method of selection. Some consider it an immature form of decision-making which showed that the disciples were not yet baptized in the Holy Spirit and therefore unable to discern God’s choice in a more mature way. Some have said they should not have nominated any replacement because Paul would become the true Twelfth Apostle (1Co 15:8-11).

Thursday: Acts 1:26
v26 (continued): But the process of casting lots has deep roots in Judaism. This is how the land of Israel was divided among the tribes and families (Jos 7:14-18) and this is how David scheduled the priests for service in the sanctuary (1Ch 24:3-5). And the Urim and Thummim which the High Priest used to determine the Lord’s will in certain situations was very likely a form of casting lots (Ex 28:30; Nu 27:21; 1Sa 14:3, 37:42; 23:6-12). It should also be noted that, if indeed, the person chosen was to receive Judas’ financial allotment, the process of casting lots, after the entire assembly nominated the candidates, prevented any accusation of favoritism. It was actually a very wise and righteous way of replacing that position. And based on the criteria Peter gave for being one of the Twelve, Paul didn’t qualify. He hadn’t observed Jesus during His ministry, but Paul was certainly an apostle. There were many more than twelve who were designated as apostles in the early church. Clearly, the Holy Spirit led these disciples to replace Judas before the Day of Pentecost, and to do so in a way that left no doubt that God alone made the final choice. By the way, later tradition says Matthias carried the gospel to Ethiopia (F.F. Bruce, Acts, Eerdmans, 1954, p. 51).

Friday: Acts 2:1
v1: Ten days earlier the Lord had commanded His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they revived the promised gift of the Holy Spirit. He told them that when this gift came they would be baptized into the Holy Spirit like John had baptized people into water. Over the course of these ten days they had been meeting continually to prayerfully prepare themselves and wait. Now, Luke described in beautiful detail the moment when that gift arrived. He tells us that after the seven weeks which lead up to the Feast of Pentecost (Shavust) were completed, and the 50th day had arrived, the disciples were all gathered together on that day.

Saturday: Acts 2:2
v2: They he says, “…and suddenly out of heaven there came a sound as if being carried along on a strong gust of wind, and that sound filled the whole house where they were sitting.” Luke pictured the disciples gathered in the upper room sometime during the early part of the morning (v15). This moment could not have taken place in the temple because the temple gates were not opened until nine for the morning sacrifice. Since he tells us that all were gathered on that special day, we may assume that at least, the 120 he mentioned earlier (Ac 1:15) were present. Most were sitting at the time. Usually when this verse is translated it is interpreted to mean that they suddenly heard the sound of a great windstorm, but Luke chooses his words here very carefully. He’s trying to describe for us a very remarkable spiritual experience. Here’s what seems to have taken place: As they were sitting in the upper room during a time of morning prayer and praise, all of them suddenly heard a sound that seemed to be coming from heaven, and it grew louder until it reached them and when it did they felt it’s impact like a strong gust of wind, and then this heavenly sound surrounded them, filling the whole room.

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