Welcome to Episode #80 of the Sunday Scripture Podcast!
Today we start a new series for the summer that will walk through the book of Acts. The book is sequel to the stories of the four gospels. We’ll read stories of the earliest faith communities..their failures, their achievements, and their questions for one another.
Our scripture today is…
Selected Verses from Acts 1
9 After Jesus said these things, as they were watching, he was lifted up and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 While he was going away and as they were staring toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood next to them. 11 They said, “Galileans, why are you standing here, looking toward heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you saw him go into heaven.”
15 During this time, the family of believers was a company of about one hundred twenty persons. Peter stood among them and said, 16 “Brothers and sisters, the scripture that the Holy Spirit announced beforehand through David had to be fulfilled. This was the scripture concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus. 17 This happened even though he was one of us and received a share of this ministry.”
21 “Therefore, we must select one of those who have accompanied us during the whole time the Lord Jesus lived among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when Jesus was taken from us. This person must become along with us a witness to his resurrection.” 23 So they nominated two: Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias.
24 They prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s deepest thoughts and desires. Show us clearly which one you have chosen from among these two 25 to take the place of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas turned away to go to his own place.” 26 When they cast lots, the lot fell on Matthias. He was added to the eleven apostles.
Three Points of Discussion
Quote #1 - Symbols are important to biblical stories because they provide markers for their readers. There is hardly a more important numerical symbol in Scripture than twelve. Simply put, the number twelve stands for Israel as God’s people. The significance of the twelve apostles is elevated in Acts because Luke’s Jesus had placed the prospect of Israel’s restoration in the hands of his successors. The New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary, Volume Ten, page 48
Quote #2 - Peter’s job description (for the new disciple) contrasts with the prior failure of Judas: The successful candidate must be a “witness with us,” unlike Judas; and this candidate must have “accompanied us us all the time-until the day he was taken from us”, unlike Judas, whose death occurred prior to Jesus’ death and resurrection. The New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary, Volume Ten, page 50
Quote #3 - Various models for selecting leaders are found in Scripture. In this case, Matthias’s selection follows a protocol of discernment by which a game of chance is used to complement corporate prayer in discerning God’s will…Different situations require different processes for selecting a congregation’s leaders. The New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary, Volume Ten, page 50
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