Acts1:12-26 The Quiet Road To Greatness

by | Jul 11, 2024 | Acts, New Testament

1:12 Sabbath day’s journey– the distance determined by Jewish religious leaders to be allowable for traveling on the Sabbath.
The Sabbath was a day of rest for the Jews, and so they determined what was or wasn’t an allowable distance to travel.
They returned to Jerusalem after watching Jesus ascend into Heaven.

1:13,14 Here we see the followers of Jesus obeying His words.
They didn’t forget the sermon on the way to the parking lot.
They were doers of the Word.
James 1:22 “…be doers of the Word, not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”

In this group we see the eleven remaining Disciples, Judas having betrayed Jesus, and subsequently committing suicide.
We see the group of women that accompanied Jesus and the Disciples.
These women had helped to support the ministry of Jesus.

We see the blood brothers of Jesus.
This speaks against the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary.
Jesus had ½ brothers who were born from Mary and Joseph.
His blood brothers never supported his ministry or believed in Jesus when He was alive.

Turn to John 7:1-9

Now that Jesus is raised from the dead, His brothers believe, and have faith in Him.
James, the brother of Jesus, went on to become the head of the church in Jerusalem.
APPLICATION- Some closest to us may never believe our message or appreciate us until after we are dead.
That is often the case.
May we not faint in our service to God simply b/c loved ones don’t believe in, accept, or appreciate the Gospel message while we live.

Here we see Jesus’ brothers do become saved, and they now identify themselves with Him

We see the first action of the followers of Jesus after His ascension.
Jesus had told them to wait for the Promise of the Holy Spirit.

We see them together in…

One accord- one mind, one passion. Obey Jesus.
In the Gospels, we see them fighting amongst themselves, looking for prominence.
Here we see them in one accord. What’s the difference?
The fact that Jesus was raised from the dead, and they saw him.
They all prayed. They were all moved by the truth of the resurrected Christ.
Supplication- A sense of desperation and earnestness.
They continued- this was their lifestyle and normal practice.

We see three great truths taking place here.
The foundation is being laid in there lives.
They will go onto to do great things, but first they are being faithful with the basic foundational aspects of following Jesus.
1. They have chosen to obey Jesus, not just talk about Him.
2. They are in unity. That means that they are truly loving one another, and denying themselves, and becoming servants to one another.
NOTE- Remember that these men have had great differences between them.
Matthew- tax collector and servant of the hated Romans
Simon the Zealot- One who hated Rome, and wanted war against them.
James and John- self-promoting brothers who wanted places of prominence
Peter- still the one who walked on water, but who also denied knowing Jesus.
What is the difference that overrides their differences? The reality of the risen Jesus.
3. Because of that, they are praying. Jesus is alive, and we are to pray to Him.
John 14:13,14 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in M

1:15-17 We see the Disciples praying, and waiting on the Lord.
Peter speaking to the assembly, reflecting on the death of Judas, how he had betrayed Jesus.
We see that Peter is now reflecting backwards, and viewing recent history through the light of prophetic scripture. See verse 20

NOTE- Judas’ betrayal of Jesus was a terrible thing, but Peter sees it not as defeating God’s purposes, but fulfilling God’s purposes.

  • There is nothing that comes into the Christian’s life that cannot and will not be used for good.
  • Even sin’s consequences will be used by God to bring us to the realization that His word is true.
  • We need to remember that our lives are in God’s hands, even our deaths are in His hands.
  • This is the wise, mature, spiritual response to betrayal.
  • It takes no maturity to be angry; it takes maturity to see God’s hand in every difficulty.

Peter doesn’t see Judas’ betrayal as defeating God’s plan, but fulfilling it.
Sidenote- We should not be surprised if people who are close to us, and part of what we are doing, betray us.

  • We are to be like Jesus, who loved Judas right up to the end, even when He knew Judas’ intentions.
  • But remember that even betrayals work together for good for those who love God, those who are the called ones according to His purposes.

1:18,19 Mathew 27:1-10 Speaks of Judas returning the betrayal money to the religious rulers.
He then went out and hanged himself.
Probably at his death, and later when he was cut down, his body burst when he hit the ground, and his insides burst out.
What seems to be a contradiction is easily being reconciled.
Matthew and Luke giving different aspects of the same account.

The religious rulers would not take the money, calling it blood money.
They bought a Potter’s field to bury strangers in.
The Potter’s field was where a potter would throw damaged pots, and it would become unusable for farming.
It became a burial plot for strangers.

1:20 He was able to quote it, because he had read it, and knew it.
Psalm 119:11 Your Word have I hidden ( to treasure, store up) in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
Psalm 37:31 The Law of God is in His heart, none of his steps shall slide (slip).

1:21,22 Peter and the disciples are now being moved by their understanding of Scripture.
They are not inventing an idea, but following what they know from the Word of God.
They understood what the qualifications needed to be for one to be an Apostle.
They are seeking after God’s will, according to God’s word.

NOTE- They have not yet experienced the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
But they are still being guided by the word of God.
Nothing spectacular has happened yet; they are not yet baptized in the Holy Spirit, not speaking in tongues.
And yet, they are making sanctified decisions based upon God’s word.
We don’t have to feel Holy Spirit goose bumps in order to make godly decisions.
We do need to be in unity with others, in prayer, and in the Word.

The disciples did not think as mere men, with human logic.
Ephesians 2:2 “…you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, (Satan), the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.”
1:23-26 Two qualified candidates: Barsabas Justus, and Matthias.
They cast lots to determine who would take the place of Judas.
The lot fell to Matthias.

The casting of lots was an O.T. practice to determine the will of God.
It wasn’t divination or fortune telling, but an accepted way for O.T. saints to determine God’s will.

Here we see them acknowledging the Lord, and trusting God’s sovereignty in directing them in the best way they knew.

We also see them doing what Jesus did before making a choice of an apostle: they prayed.

Some say they rushed to judgment; Matthias is never again mentioned in the N.T.
NOTE– except for Peter and John, none o the original 12 is mentioned again after Acts 1.

Some say that Paul would have been God’s choice.
Paul spoke of himself…
1 Cor. 15:8 “…as one born out of due time…”

Who can say? Yet there is an interesting scripture about the Apostles…
Rev. 21:14 14Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
Acts 6:2 2Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables.

We will go on to see the Apostles, and others, grow mightily in the Lord.
They will do miracles, preach mighty sermons, and change the world.

How did they start? What were their humble, yet essential beginnings?

1. Purposed to obey Jesus
2. Fellowship
3. Prayer
4. In the Word, the Word in them
5. They wanted God’s will
6. Sanctified common sense based upon God’s word and the obvious need
7. They did what Jesus did
8. They relied upon God as best they could