Matthias Chosen To Replace Judas
12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath days walk from the city.13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James.14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
15 In those days Peter stood up among the believers 16 and said, Brothers and sisters, the Scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus.17 He was one of our number and shared in our ministry.
18 he received for his wickedness, Judas bought a field there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out.19 Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)
20 For, said Peter, it is written in the Book of Psalms:
May his place be deserted let there be no one to dwell in it,
May another take his place of leadership.
21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us,22 beginning from Johns baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.
Saul *preaches In Damascus : 20
v20Immediately, Saul went to the *synagogues. And he began to *preach that Jesuswas Gods Son. v21 All the people who heard him were very surprised.They asked, Is this really the man who caused trouble in *Jerusalem? Is itreally the man who *persecuted people? Did this man not *persecute people whocall on this Jesus name? Did he not comehere to arrest them? And did he not want to take them as prisoners to the chiefpriests? v22 But Sauls words grew more powerful all the time. Heproved that Jesus was the *Messiah. He convinced people very well by what hesaid. So, he completely confused the *Jews who were living in Damascus. And the*Jews could not answer him. v23 After many days, the *Jews plotted tokill him. v24 But Saul heard about their plan. They watched the citygates carefully, every day and every night. This was so that they could killhim. v25 But one night, Saul hid in a basket. Then his *disciples letthe basket down over the walls of the city.
Verses 20-21 How Saul had changed! He wastelling the *Jews that Jesus was the *Messiah. Saul had hated *Christiansbecause they believed this. So, it should not surprise us that people wereconfused. But Saul had met Jesus himself. Now he was certain that Jesus was the*Messiah.
In verse 23, we read after many days. We knowthat Saul went to Arabia for three years . But we do not knowexactly when he went. Perhaps it was at this time. The north-west part ofArabia was very near to Damascus.
They Make The Ship Less Heavy 2: 27
v27 It was the14th night since the storm began. The storm was still blowing our ship all overthe Mediterranean Sea. At about midnight, the sailors realised that we wereapproaching land. v28 They measured the waters depth. The water wasabout 40 metres deep. A short time later, they measured again. Theydiscovered that the water was about 30 metres deep. v29 Thesailors were afraid that we might hit some rocks. So, they dropped four*anchors from the back of the ship and they prayed for daylight.
v30 Thesailors tried to escape from the ship. They lowered a *lifeboat into the sea.They pretended that they were lowering *anchors from the front of the ship. v31Paul spoke to Captain Julius and the soldiers. If these men do not stay withthe ship, our lives will not be safe, he said. v32 So, the soldiers cutthe *ropes that held the *lifeboat. They let it fall into the sea.
v33 Justbefore dawn, Paul urged everyone to eat something.
You have worried all the time for 14 days!During that time, you have not eaten anything. v34 Now I urge you to eatsome food. You need it to stay alive. If you do that, nobody will suffer.
v35 After Paulhad said that, he took some bread. He thanked God. In front of everyone, hebroke up the bread. He began to eat. v36 They felt more cheerful andthey all ate something. v37 There were 276 people on the ship. v38After everyone had eaten enough, they threw the grain into the sea. So, theship became less heavy.
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Jesus Returns To Heaven : 9
v9 After hesaid this, he returned to heaven. They watched as he went there. A cloud hidhim, so then they could not see him. v10 While he went, they werestaring up at the sky. Immediately, two men in white clothes stood next tothem. v11 They said, Men from *Galilee, you should not stand here andyou should not look at the sky. This Jesus has left you and he has gone up toheaven. But he will come again. He will come in the same way as you have seenhim go.
Verse 9 Luke also described this event in his*Gospel . Jesus had showed his *disciples that he was alive. Hehad done this during a period of 40 days. At the end of that period, this eventhappened. The cloud contained Gods *glory. The last time when the *disciplessaw Jesus on earth, Gods *glory surrounded him.
Verse 10 They were staring up at the sky. Somestudents say that Jesus did not actually rise up to heaven. But Luke uses wordslike watched, see, staring, look and seen. With their own eyes, the*disciples saw everything that happened!
The two men in white clothes were *angels witha message. Two men also appeared in front of the women in Luke 24:4. These menin Acts were like them. Luke wants us to consider them as witnesses. There hadto be two witnesses that saw an event. Only then,people would believe that the event had happened .
Peter In Prison Again 1: 1
v1 At thattime, King Herod arrested some members of the *church. He made them suffer verybadly. v2 He ordered soldiers to kill James, Johns brother, with asword. v3 The *Jews were pleased about that. Herod saw that they werepleased. So, he arrested Peter also. v4 After Herod had arrested Peter, he put Peter inprison. Four groups of soldiers guarded Peter. And each group had four soldiersin it. Herod wanted to bring Peter out after the *Passover because he wantedPeter to have a public *trial then.
v5 So, Herodkept Peter in prison. But the Christians prayed to God about Peter. They didnot stop praying.
Verse 1 Herod was the name that people calledall the *Jewish rulers. It was the name of the rulers family. This Herod wasHerod Agrippa the First . He wasHerod the Greats grandson. Herod the Great was ruling when Jesus was born. Herod Agrippa the First was a friend of the *Roman rulers,Caligula and Claudius. When Claudius became the *Emperor in *AD 41, he gave*Judea to Herod Agrippa. Before, a *Roman had ruled over it.
Herod Agrippa the First wanted to stay popularwith the *Jews. Many *Jewish leaders now opposed the *church. So, Herod opposedthe *church too. He used his authority to *persecute *believers. He arrestedthe leaders of the *church. He wanted to destroy the *church.
Verse 2 James was an important *disciple. He wasJohns brother. In the *Gospels, the writers mention James and John many times
Gods Day Has Come : 14
v14 Then Peterstood up with the other 11 *apostles. He began to speak loudly to the crowd.Listen to me, men from *Judea. Listen, all you who are staying in *Jerusalem.Let me tell you what this means. v15 These people have not drunk toomuch wine, as you think. It is only 9 oclock in the morning. v16Instead, this is what the *prophet Joel spoke about.
Verse 14-16 Here Peter was full of the *HolySpirit and he showed his authority. He denied that the *believers had drunkwine. It was too early in the day. He explained that the *prophet Joel had spokenabout these events.
v17 God says,In the last period I will send out my Spirit onto everyone. Your sons anddaughters will speak Gods message. Your young men will see pictures that Igive to them. Your old men will have dreams. v18 Yes, I will send out mySpirit onto my servants, onto both men and women. And they will *prophesy. v19I will show *miracles in the sky above. And I will show wonderful things on theearth below. There will be blood, fire and thick smoke. v20 Before thegreat and wonderful Day of the *Lord comes, the sun will become dark. The moonwill become red like blood. v21 Then, the *Lord will *save whoever callsto him for help.
Verses 19-20 A few weeks earlier, people in*Jerusalem had seen that the sun became dark. This had happened in theafternoon when Jesus died on the *cross. Maybe the moon had also appeared to bered in the dark sky. Or perhaps these events may still happen in the future.
The *gentiles Receive The *holy Spirit : 44
v44 Peter wasstill speaking when the *Holy Spirit came down. The Spirit came down ontoeveryone who was listening. v45 Some *Jewish *believers had come fromJoppa with Peter. The *Jewish *believers were surprised. This was because Godwas giving the *Holy Spirit to the *Gentiles. v46 Now they heard the*Gentiles when they were speaking in different languages. Andthe *Gentiles were *praising God. Peter said, v47 God has given the*Holy Spirit to these *Gentiles. It is the same as when we received the Spirit.So, I am sure that we can *baptise them with water. I am sure that nobodyshould stop us. v48 So, he ordered that they received *baptism in Jesus*Christs name. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.
Verses 44-45 The *Holy Spirit interrupted Peter.Nobody had put their hands on the *Gentiles and nobody had prayed aloud forthem. Peter did not even pray aloud that the *Holy Spirit would come. TheSpirit came because the *Gentiles were willing to believe Gods message. Peterhad told them about *salvation by means of Jesus. In other words, God forgivespeople who believe Jesus. God forgives people who trust him. There can be nodoubt that the *Gentiles believed immediately. So, the *Holy Spirit came downonto them. Anyone can receive the *Holy Spirit if he or she has real *faith inJesus.
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Title Unity Of Luke Acts Authorship And Date
The title “Acts of the Apostles” was first used by Irenaeus in the late 2nd century. It is not known whether this was an existing title or one invented by Irenaeus it does seem clear that it was not given by the author, as the word práxeis only appears once in the text and there it does not refer to the apostles but refers to deeds confessed by followers to the apostles.
The earliest possible date for Luke-Acts is around 62 AD, the time of Paul’s imprisonment in Rome, but most scholars date the work to 8090 AD on the grounds that it uses Mark as a source, looks back on the destruction of Jerusalem, and does not show any awareness of the letters of Paul if it does show awareness of the Pauline epistles, and also of the work of the Jewish historian Josephus, as some believe, then a date in the early 2nd century is possible.
A Letter To *gentile *believers 1: 22
v22 The*apostles and leaders, together with the whole *church, made a decision. Theychose some people from among their own men. They wanted to send them to Antiochwith Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas, who was also called Barsabbas. Andthey chose Silas. The *believers respected these two men very much. v23They sent a letter with the men. It contained this message.
We are writing to the *Gentile *believers inAntioch, Syria and Cilicia. We, the *apostles and leaders, are your brothers.We send you greetings.
v24 We haveheard that some men from here have upset you very much. But we did not sendthem. v25 So, we have met together. And we all agreed to choose somemen. We have sent them to you, with Barnabas and Paul. Barnabas and Paul areour good friends. v26 They have risked their lives to serve our *LordJesus *Christ. v27 So, we send to you Judas and Silas. What we write istrue. And they will say this. v28 This seemed right to the *Holy Spiritand to us. It seemed right that we should not cause extra difficulties for you.That is, nothing more than these rules. v29 You must not eat food thatpeople have offered to *idols. You must not eat meat with blood in it. You mustnot eat animals that people have *strangled. You must not do wicked things thathave a connection with sex. If you do not do these things, you will do well.
The *apostles and leaders called themselvesbrothers of the *Gentile *believers because *believers are like one bigfamily.
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A Prison Officer Becomes A *christian 1: 23
v23 Peoplewhipped Paul and Silas very hard. Afterwards, they threw Paul and Silas intoprison. They ordered the officer of the prison to guard Paul and Silascarefully. v24 When he received this order, the officer put Paul andSilas into the inner room. He put chains on their feet. And he tied their feetto heavy pieces of wood. v25 At about midnight, Paul and Silas werepraying. And they were singing to *praise God. The other prisoners werelistening to them. v26 Then a powerful *earthquake shook the strong baseof the prison. Immediately, all the doors opened and the chains fell off theprisoners. v27 The prison officer woke up. He saw that the doors wereopen. So, he thought that the prisoners had escaped. He took out his sword tokill himself. v28 But Paul shouted, Do not hurt yourself! We are allhere!
Verses 23-24 Luke now describes how a thirdperson from Philippi became a *Christian. This man was neither rich nor poor.He was from the middle class. He did his job well as an officer of the prison.He did not want Paul and Silas to escape. He wanted to prevent their escape.So, he did everything that he could do for that purpose. He did not seem to bea kind man. But then he changed. He changed because he believed in Jesus as his*Saviour and *Lord. Paul and Silas felt much pain because people had whippedthem. But the officer tied their feet to heavy pieces of wood. This would causeeven more pain.
Peter Meets Cornelius : 17
v17Corneliuss men arrived and they stood by the gate. Peter was thinking aboutwhat the *vision meant. v18 They called out. They asked, Is Simon, whois called Peter, staying here? v19 While Peter was still thinking aboutthe *vision, the *Holy Spirit spoke to him. The Spirit said, Simon, three menare here and they are looking for you. v20 So, get up and go downstairs.I have sent them. So, do not hesitate and do not worry. Go with them. v21Peter went downstairs. He said to the men, You are looking for me. Why haveyou come? v22 Captain Cornelius sent us, they replied. He is a goodman and he *worships God. All the *Jewish people respect him very much. Gods*angel told Cornelius to invite you to his house. Then Cornelius can listen toyour message. v23 Peter invited the men to stay as guests for thenight.
v30 Corneliusanswered, 4 days ago, I was praying at home. It was about this time. It wasabout three oclock in the afternoon. Suddenly, a man stood in front of me. Hisclothes shone. v31 He said, Cornelius! God has heard your prayers. Heknows about your gifts to poor people. v32 Now send someone to Joppa tofetch Simon. He is the Simon who is also called Peter. He is staying with theSimon who makes things from leather. He is staying in this Simons home. ThisSimon lives near the sea.
v33 I sentsomeone to you immediately. You were kind and you came. Now we are all herewith God. We can listen to everything that the *Lord has told you to say.
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Paul Tells How He Met The *lord Jesus 2: 12
Verses 12-14 This is the third time that Lukerecords this story. In Acts 22:4-16, thepeople in Pauls audience were almost all *Jews. So there, Paul showed that hewas a good *Jew. He emphasised parts of the story that were important to *Jews.But here, the people in his audience were almost all *Gentiles. So, Paulemphasised different parts of the story. He did not say that he became blind.He did not mention Ananias. Instead, he emphasised what Jesus said to him. Andhe gave extra information.
When Paul *persecuted *Christians, he*persecuted Jesus. Jesus told Paul that he was also hurting himself!Jesus said a popular proverb . Paul was like a*stubborn cow. When the farmer first tied the cow to the plough, the cow hatedthis. It tried to escape and it kicked. The farmer had a stick with a sharppoint. The farmer held this stick close to the cows legs. When the cow kicked,it hurt its legs on the stick! So, the cow learned to obey the farmer.Otherwise, it hurt itself. Paul, too, was *stubborn and he was learning thehard way!
Verses 15-16 Jesus answered Pauls question.Then he told him to stand up. This was so that he would be ready. Jesus hadchosen Paul to serve him in a special way. Paul must tell people about what hehad seen. Paul had seen Jesus! Jesus had gone up to heaven. And he was in*glory with his Father, God. But he had appeared in front of Paul. Jesus alsosaid that he would show more to Paul later. This refers to Pauls other*visions of Jesus.
Paul Encourages Everyone 2: 21
v21 Nobody hadeaten anything for a long time. So, Paul stood up in front of them. He said,Men, you should have listened to my advice. I told you to stay in Crete.There, we would have avoided this damage and loss. v22 But now, I urgeyou to be brave! Not one of you will die. We will lose only the ship. v23I belong to God and I *worship him. Last night, he sent an *angel to me. v24The *angel stood next to me and he said, Do not be afraid, Paul. You will haveyour *trial in front of the *Emperor. God will not allow anyone to die on thisship. It is because of you that God shows *grace to them. v25 So,continue to be brave, men! I trust God. I believe what he has told me. It willhappen as he said. v26 But first the ship will crash on an island.
Verses 21-26 Everyone was weak and tired. Theythought that they would all die soon. But Paul knew that this would not happen.He already knew that he would reach Rome. God had promised that .Also, God had sent an *angel to him on the ship. The *angel had repeated whatGod had promised. The *angel had also promised that God would protect everyoneelse on the ship.
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