The Acts of the Apostles

1:1Theophilus, the first account I made covered virtually everything that Jesus did and taught,1:2right up to the day he was taken up. He was instructing the Ambassadors he had chosen through the Holy Spirit.1:3These are the ones to whom he presented himself alive after his suffering, with much indisputable evidence. They saw him at various times over a period of forty days, during which he told them things about the kingdom of God.

1:4Having brought them together he told them, “Do not leave Jerusalem; wait for what you heard me tell you that the Father promised.1:5Though John immersed people in water, before long you will be immersed in the Holy Spirit.”

1:6Those that got together with him asked, “Master, is now the time for you to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

1:7But he replied, “It is not for you to know the times or exact conditions the Father has set up by his own jurisdiction.11:8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. Then you will be my witnesses, not only in Jerusalem but also throughout Judea and Samaria— to the very ends of the earth.”

1:9Having said this, he was lifted up before their eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.1:10As they stared intently at the sky, suddenly two men in white clothing appeared beside them.1:11And they said, “You Galileans there! Why are you just standing here gazing into the sky? This very same Jesus who was lifted up from you into heaven will return the very same way you watched him go.”

1:12Then they returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, which is about a mile away.21:13When they arrived they went into the upper room3 where these people were meeting: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James son of Alpheus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James.1:14They were all persisting in unified prayer, along with the women, Mary the mother of Jesus, and Jesus’ siblings.

1:15It was in those days that Peter stood up among the sisters and brothers (including a crowd that brought the total number to about a hundred and twenty)1:16and addressed them: “All of you, brothers and sisters: The scripture must be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke via David about Judas. He was the one who led those who arrested Jesus,1:17though he was counted as one of us and happened to be part of our assignment.”

1:18(He paid the price for a field with the wages he earned from his treachery. He fell head-first there, splitting open his body and splattering his guts.1:19Everyone in Jerusalem heard about it, so the place became known in the vernacular as “Acheldamach,” meaning “Field of Blood.”)4

1:20“For it is written in the book of Psalms, ‘Let his living quarters be deserted; let no one live there!’, and, ‘Let his responsibility pass to someone else!’1:21So we must select his replacement from among the men who were with us the whole time Master Jesus walked among us,1:22starting from the immersion of John till the day Jesus was taken from us. One of them is to become a witness along with us of his resurrection.”

1:23So they nominated two: Joseph (also known as Barsabbas and Justus) and Matthias.1:24They prayed, “You, Master, the one who knows everyone’s heart, show us which of these two you have chosen,1:25to take this place of service and commission Judas violated to go where he belongs.”1:26They flipped a coin5 and the choice went to Matthias, so he was considered a member with the eleven Ambassadors.

  1. 1Jesus was not saying that the study of prophecy is unimportant, but that this was not the time for the fulfillment of that particular prophecy.
  2. 2Lit. “a Sabbath’s journey” or maximum distance a Jew was allowed to travel on the Sabbath. This was about 2,000 yards or 1800 meters.
  3. 3Since “upper room” is preceded by the def. article, it is a particular room, possibly the one where Jesus had his last meal with his disciples. It also could just mean “the room where these people were staying.”
  4. 4The accounts of Judas’ death as described here and in Mt. 27:5 are not in conflict. The two together paint a picture of the priests buying the field after Judas apparently did a poor job of hanging himself. It was the priests who called it “blood money” and then used it to buy the land as a place to bury strangers.
  5. 5The phrase “flipped a coin” is a more common term than “cast lots” and carries the same meaning. Preceded by prayer, this was the accepted method of determining the answer. It was never used again after the arrival of the Holy Spirit.