Luke begins this book by stating that Jesus presented the Apostles with many proofs, and taught them about the Kingdom in the forty days after raising Himself. He also repeated the fact that Jesus had ordered the Apostles to remain in Jerusalem to await the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Verse 6 shows that they were still expecting an earthly Kingdom – for the Messiah to restore Israel to a place of power. Not so much correcting as informing them, He tells them that they will be given power by the Holy Spirit, and will be His witnesses. Jesus will very much still be at work through these Apostles in building His church. After His ascension, they returned from Olivet to Jerusalem. A Sabbath days’ journey in verse 12 refers to the maximum distance a Jew was supposed to travel on the Sabbath under Rabbinical tradition (not commandment of God) – equal to about 6/10 mile.
Back in Jerusalem, they devoted themselves to prayer along with the women and Jesus’ earthly brothers. It appears that at this point, all of Mary’s sons had come around to belief (his family had even thought Him mad, and sought to seize Him in Mark 3:21). In verses 15-20, Peter speaks to all who were in their company at the time (about 120), and spoke of the words of David through the Holy Spirit being fulfilled throughout all of the events they had witnessed since John the Baptist, and even in Judas’ betrayal. Now it was time to select a replacement for Judas. The scripture he quotes in this regard is from Psalm 69:25 and Psalm 109:8. Matthias was chosen as the new Apostle.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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