Thursday, March 17, 2011

17 March - Acts 1

Today's reading in our daily plan is Acts 1. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Luke starts out by referring back to his previous book, which is where we ended yesterday. He fills us in on a few more details. He said Jesus appeared to the apostles (also called disciples previously) that he had chosen. Luke also says that he gave them “many convincing proofs that he was alive” and that he stayed with them for 40 days.
  • Then Jesus told the apostles to stay in Jerusalem until God gave them power when the Holy Spirit comes and they were to be his witnesses throughout the whole earth. Then Jesus was was taken up into heaven.
  • After Jesus rose up in heaven everyone stood there looking up, which is understandable when they just saw a guy float into the air and disappear. Then “two men dressed in white” (angels) appeared with them and asked them why they were looking into the sky? We can only imagine the apostles saying, “um duh, he just floated into the air and disappeared man!” 
  • Then the apostles meet with all the other followers of Jesus (about 120 people) and the decided to replace Judas, the one who betrayed Jesus and killed himself, with a man named Matthias. You have to feel bad for Justus to only get mentioned in the Bible as the loser of the “Replace the Traitor Contest” (see vs. 23.)
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?) 
  • It’s cool that Luke starts out the book of Acts filling in a few more details about the resurrection of Jesus. It helps us understand a bit more of what was going on and gives us more insight into the proof that the early followers of Jesus got to know that Jesus was really back from the dead. While it doesn’t give a lot of proof for us personally it helps us understand how these men could be so sure of the resurrection and deity of Jesus that they would die for spreading this good news to other people (which is sort of indirect proof for us.)
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Are you a detail oriented or factual sort of person? Does having this additional data in the book of Acts help you? How?