Acts chapter 1

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15And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,) 16Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. 17For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. 18Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. 19And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. 20For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take. 21Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection. 23And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. 24And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, 25That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. 26And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

What does Acts chapter 1 mean?

The book of the Acts of the Apostles is the second letter Luke wrote to his friend Theophilus (Acts 1:1). This work continues with the same purpose stated in Luke 1:1–4:

Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.
The Gospel of Luke recounts the birth, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Acts continues the story as Jesus ascends to heaven, the Holy Spirit descends onto His followers, and those followers spread the message of Jesus' saving sacrifice. Acts 1 is a kind of segue between the two accounts.

Luke starts by quickly reminding Theophilus of the contents of his previous letter. After the resurrection, Jesus spent forty days proving He was alive and giving the disciples last-minute instructions about the kingdom of God. Luke's account is by no means comprehensive; a unique story can be found in John 21, for example. As Jesus prepares to leave, He instructs His disciples to stay in Jerusalem and wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:1–5).

Luke then gives a slightly expanded version of the ascension, which he had recorded in Luke 24:50–53. Jesus leads the disciples to Bethany (Luke 24:50) where the disciples prove their continued inability to understand the purpose of the kingdom of God and ask if now Jesus will restore Israel's independence from Roman rule (Acts 1:6). Jesus tells them, again (Mark 13:32), they are not meant to know when God will fulfill that promise (Acts 1:7). Acts 1:8 is a synopsis of the entire book of Acts; after the Holy Spirit comes, Jesus-followers will spread His message of salvation to "Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Jesus then rises to heaven in a cloud. Two angels appear and tell the disciples that Jesus will return in the same manner (Acts 1:6–11).

The disciples return from Bethany to Jerusalem and meet about 110 other Jesus-followers to pray in an upper room. Included are the women who stayed with Jesus through the crucifixion and burial (Matthew 27:56; Mark 16:1; Luke 24:10), Jesus' brothers, and Mary. Peter, ever willing to be the spokesman, gives the tragic account of Judas and recites passages from Psalms to show that they need to choose a replacement. The requirements he gives are that the man must have been with them at least since Jesus' baptism, that the man must have accompanied them in their travels, and he must have seen Jesus after the resurrection. Two men meet the requirements, Joseph Barsabbas and Matthias. The group prays that God will look into the men's hearts and reveal which He has already chosen. The lot falls on Matthias, and the Twelve are twelve again (Acts 1:12–26).

The casting of the lots is the last act of a fully Jewish group. In Acts 2, the Holy Spirit comes and the church is formed. Throughout the book of Acts, the church becomes progressively less Jewish and is filled with more Gentiles. These devout Jews abandon the expectation of becoming an independent Jewish nation and obey Jesus' instruction to be His witnesses to Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and the furthest parts of the earth. In doing so, they learn the kingdom of God is bigger and wilder and more glorious than they could have imagined.
What is the Gospel?
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