12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. 13 And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. 14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together withthe women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.15 In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said,16 “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” 18 (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. 19 And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 “For it is written in the Book of Psalms,
“‘May his camp become desolate,
and let there be no one to dwell in it’;
“‘Let another take his office.’
21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” 23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also calledJustus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
Points of Interest
- v14. The disciples gathered together after returning to Jesus, back to their meeting place and devoted themselves to prayer. I wonder what they were praying for and praying about? Were they asking God to fulfill his kingdom? Were they asking for instruction on what to do next? Were they just praying the scriptures? The Bible doesn’t specify what they specifically were praying about, but we see that in times of uncertainty, the disciples prayed. And they committed to prayer. Do you commit to prayer as a primary focus in your life?
- v.16 Even before the Holy Spirit comes at Pentecost, we see Peter’s character beginning to change. He begins to have a deeper understanding of the Scriptures, a clearer voice of wisdom, and the same boldness to speak, but now it’s balanced with understanding.
- v.20 the passages quoted are from Ps 69:25 and Ps 109:8. By quoting those, Peter acknowledges that Jesus is greater than David, and the crime against Jesus was worse than the conspirators against David.
- v.24 In their prayer, the disciples are praying to Jesus – clearly marking him out as God. They understand that they are representatives and ambassadors of Christ’s authority.
- v.26 This is the last recorded instance of anyone in the Bible ever casting lots. After the Holy Spirit comes, they don’t need to seek God through superstitious rituals or customs. The Holy Spirit enlightens them through the Scriptures and understanding.
Praying in Faith
Peter and the disciples acknowledge the Lordship of Christ. Take some time to praise Jesus – and tell him about the authority, power and honour that he deserves. Jesus, you are Lord of all, the one who knows me inside and out. Search my heart and know my weakness and take your rightful place in my life.
For Your Five
Set a time for yourself to pray daily for the specific people that you are committed to pray for. Then ask God for wisdom on how to pray for them and for what he is asking you to do.
For Our Church
Pray that our church becomes a house of prayer – where the decisions we make start with submitting to His Lordship.