PLUS Resource: 6 Prayers for When You Are Fighting Anxiety

Acts 1

SUMMARY.--The Preface. The Promise of the Father. The Command to Witness in Jerusalem, and in All Judea, and Unto the Uttermost Parts of the Earth. The Ascension. The Charge of the Angels. The Week of Prayer. The Fate of Judas. The Choice of an Apostle.

      13. Went into an upper room. A guest chamber on the second floor. Where abode. All the apostles are named except Judas Iscariot, who had fallen away and was now dead.

      14. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication. The latter clause is omitted in the Revision. They were waiting for the "promise of the Father," and the time was spent in worship. There were ten days of prayer, the best preparation for the Pentecostal blessing; an example to all churches which seek an ingathering of souls. With the women. Especially those women who had followed and ministered to the Lord, lingered at his cross, and at his tomb. Mary. This is the last time she is named in the sacred history. Tradition reports that she lived until the near the time of the overthrow of Jerusalem. His brethren. The sons of Joseph and Mary. One of them, James, was afterwards the James of Jerusalem and the author of the Epistle of James. See Acts 15 ; also Matt. 13:55 . They were unbelievers six months before ( John 7:5 ), but now believed. James had seen the risen Lord ( 1 Cor. 15:7 ).

      15. And in those days. The interval of ten days. Were about a hundred and twenty. This was the number of disciples at Jerusalem, but not all who were then disciples. See 1 Cor. 15:6 .

      16. This scripture must needs have been fulfilled. Psa. 69:26 .

      18. This man purchased a field. He returned the bribe money to the priests, who used it to purchase the potter's field. Peter here intends to say that his money bought the field. The Greek verb rendered "purchased," has the form that means "caused to be purchased." Falling headlong. Matt. 27:5 says he hanged himself. Peter tells some additional particulars, which Matthew omitted. He probably hanged himself on a tree projecting over the precipices of the Valley of Hinnom, and afterwards, on account of the rope or limb breaking, fell headlong with such force as to burst his body open on the jagged rocks. This is the traditional account of his death.

      19. That field is called. The field bought with the bribe money of Judas. He came to such a bloody end that this, and the origin of the purchase money, gave the field its name.

      20. His bishoprick let another take. Psa. 109:8 . His office. This is, rather, an application of the spirit of the Psalm, than its exact words. It sets forth the desert of persecutors.

      21, 22. Must one be ordained to be a witness with us. These verses set forth the necessary qualifications of an apostle. In order to be a witness, he must have been a disciple of John, left him in order to follow Jesus, attended his ministry, and seen him after his resurrection. He must be able to testify of all these as an eye witness.

      23. They appointed two. Not the apostles, but the brethren, men who met these conditions, then cast lots between them in order that the Lord might make the choice. The two men named are not mentioned elsewhere.

      24. They prayed. That the Lord might choose between them. A choice of men for any responsible church work ought to be made with earnest prayer. It is likely that one of the apostles offered the prayer, all joining in the petition.

      26. The lot fell on Matthias. Some have held that the choice of Matthias was unauthorized and that he was never accepted as an apostle. The reasons for this view are that he is not named again, and Paul was finally chosen as an apostle. To this it may be replied: (1) Neither are more than half the other names in the apostolic band again mentioned, Thomas, Thaddeus and Bartholomew, for example. (2) Paul was not an apostle to the Jews, but to the Gentiles, and hence, not one of the Twelve. (3) There is no hint anywhere in Acts, or elsewhere, that the selection of Matthias was not recognized. (4) In Acts 6:2 , "the twelve" are spoken of, and he must have been one of "the twelve," for Paul was not yet converted. These facts show that such speculations as those referred to above are without foundation.

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