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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: The Acts of the Apostles

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Frameworks: Acts 1


(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for verse-by-verse study or meditation. )


Why Read Acts: The Acts of the Apostles is the account of the start of the Christian Church and a simplistic division of the book might be:

  •  chapters 1 to 12 – Mostly Peter's Ministry
  •  chapters 13 to 28 – Mostly Paul's Ministry


We say ‘mostly because the truth is that in the first part there is also included

•  chapter 7 – Stephen's speech and subsequent martyrs death
•  chapter 8 – Philip's ministry exploits
•  chapter 9 – Saul's conversion.

The second part also includes

•  chapter 15 – the Jerusalem council.
•  However, apart from that significant meeting, the rest of that part is all Paul.

Perhaps a secondary title for this book might be, “The Acts of the Holy Spirit” for it most definitely is an account of the ongoing work of Jesus Christ through his Spirit as He inspires and empowers His apostles. We should also note that with very few exceptions it is made up of accounts of the apostles as they plough the course of the early church, not of ordinary members of the church.


In what follows we will vary the style of this set of readings so that our notes only appear at the end of each paragraph or section to recap and highlight and explain further what has just been read.



FRAMEWORKS: Acts chapter 1

v.1-8 Jesus teaches the disciples in Galilee

v.9-11 Jesus Taken Up into Heaven

v.12-14 The disciples return to Jerusalem and pray

v.15-26 Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas



v.1-8 Jesus teaches the disciples in Galilee


v.1,2  In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.

v.3  After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

v.4  On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.

v.5   For John baptized with [or ‘in'] water, but in a few days you will be baptized with [or ‘in'] the Holy Spirit.”

v.6   Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

v.7   He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.

v.8   But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”


[Passage Synopsis: Luke picks up the thread from the end of his Gospel when Jesus had sent the disciples up to Galilee after his resurrection [see also Jn 21], for little over a month, teaching them more about what to expect in respect of the kingdom of God (v.3). Further, he instructs them to go back and remain in Jerusalem (v.4) until they have been baptized in the Holy Spirit (v.5) when they will receive power (v.8) to enable them to be his witnesses into the rest of the world.]



v.9-11 Jesus Taken Up into Heaven


v.9  After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

v.10  They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.

v.11  “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”


[Passage Synopsis: Having returned to Jerusalem [see below] they go out with Jesus to near Bethany (Lk 24:50) and they witness Jesus' literal ascension, and are told by two angels that he will return the same way [see also 1Thess 4:15,16, Rev 19:11-16]



v.12-14 The disciples return to Jerusalem and pray


v.12  Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day's walk [ That is, about 5/8 mile or about 1 kilometre ] from the city.

v.13  When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James.

v.14  They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.


[Passage Synopsis: The disciples obviously make their way back to Jerusalem via the Mount of Olives to the room they have there [suggesting they had returned there before the Ascension] and settle in to pray and await the coming of the Spirit as Jesus had said [v.4].



v.15-26 Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas


v.15  In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty)

v.16  and said, “Brothers and sisters, [Greek indicates ‘part of God's family'] the Scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus.

v.17  He was one of our number and shared in our ministry.”

v.18 (With the payment he received for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out.

v.19  Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)

v.20  “For,” said Peter, “it is written in the Book of Psalms: “‘May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it,' [Psa 69:25] and, “‘May another take his place of leadership.' [Psa 109:8]

v.21,22  Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, beginning from John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”

v.23  So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias.

v.24,25  Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone's heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.”

v.26  Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.


[Passage Synopsis: Peter takes the initiative and suggests, in accordance with prophetic scriptures, they ought to replace Judas [who had committed suicide -Mt 27:5] among the twelve, one who can be a witness to the resurrection, a disciple [obviously not of the twelve] who had been with then throughout Jesus' ministry. They draw lots and Matthias is chosen.]



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