Summary of Acts 1:12-26:
The Eleven disciples returned to Jerusalem from Mount Olives after witnessing Jesus ascend to heaven. Along with women, Mary mother of Jesus, and Jesus’ brothers, they prayed constantly. While waiting for the Holy Spirit to descend upon them, Peter leads the believers (120 in number at this time) in choosing one to replace Judas Iscariot as the Scriptures dictate (Psalm 109:8). So they choose one who has been with them from the beginning by praying and casting lots. Matthias is chosen and becomes the new twelfth disciple.
BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 1, Day 5: Acts 1:12-26
11) Part Personal Question. My answer: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, Judas son of James, women, Mary the mother of Jesus, and Jesus’s brothers. They are coming together to support one another and mourn together.
12) They chose a replacement because of the Bible (Pslam 109:8) They prayed before casting lots. They wanted someone credible who had been with Jesus since the beginning.
13) Part personal Question. My answer: He had all of the disciples together, so no one had to bear the death of Jesus alone. We’re stronger together so the disciples could draw upon each other’s strength for the coming days. All prayed together. The replacement was chosen together. There is no strife right now.
Conclusions to BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 1, Day 5: Acts 1:12-26
I love how everyone retreated in prayer. Great lesson for when we suffer a loss. God will comfort you.
End Notes to BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 1, Day 5: Acts 1:12-26
Note the disciples obeyed Jesus here: they did return to Jerusalem and await the Holy Spirit.
Acts 1:15 tells us that there were about 120 present.
Peter as Leader of the Disciples
Peter took a natural leadership role among the disciples
- Peter’s words show wisdom we did not often see in him before. He began by noting that Judas didn’t spoil God’s plan, he fulfilled it. This is something that only wise and mature disciples can see in the aftermath of evil. Luke’s historical note calls attention to how Judas died. Matthew 27:5 says that Judas hanged himself, but apparently he failed in the attempt, fell, and was killed by the impact of falling from the tree in the Field of Blood.
Peter, quoting from two separate Psalms, showed why God wanted them to choose another disciple to officially replace Judas.
Reliance on God’s Word
This is the first time in the New Testament we read that Peter quoted Scripture.
Desire for God’s Will
Because of the principle of the quoted Scripture, they decided to replace Judas because they believe it is what Jesus wanted, not because it is what they wanted.
Doing What Jesus Would Do
When Jesus chose His disciples, He prayed (Luke 6:12-13). The disciples, following Jesus, prayed for wisdom to know who the Lord would add to their number.
The Casting of Lots
This is the last time the Bible mentions the casting of lots, which is an Old Testament method to discern God’s will. Now that we have the Holy Spirit, we don’t need lots.
The casting of lots may be an imperfect way to discern God’s will, but it is much better than the methods many Christians use today – relying on emotions, on circumstances, or feelings, or carnal desires, and so forth.
Fun Fact: Except for Peter and John, none of the original twelve are mentioned again after Acts 1.
Revelation 21:14 brings up an interesting question. It tells us that each of the twelve foundations of the New Jerusalem has the name of one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. When we get to heaven, it will be interesting to see if the twelfth apostle of the Lamb is Paul or Matthias.
STEPS FOR MAKING BIG DECISIONS IN LIFE AS SEEN IN ACTS 1
- In fellowship with others
- In the scripture
- God’s will
- Common sense with the guidance of the Holy Spirit
- Do what Jesus would do
- Rely on God