Acts 11 In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
4 And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”
7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” 9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
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 with the 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’; and
“‘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 called Justus, 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.
Don't you feel excessively warm and good about Acts 1. Jesus bodily appears in Acts 1. We all tend to think of the Gospels as where Jesus appears in living, eating, teaching, speaking, fellowship.
And really we find Luke is busy telling us what life was like as one of the 72 Disciples Jesus chose in the Gospels. Telling us about the joy of successfully telling for millenniums about the God of Love. Luke is consistently speaking to Theophilus. Luke is not giving up, this is important of Jesus the Lord. This is what telling of Jesus is - Love. The commitment of Love. Theophilus must have responded which is important in evangelism. Jesus never is reported as intruding where He is unwanted. Jesus is God and defines evangelism.
Jesus also tells us about the scheduling of His day - Jesus is going where God His Father assures him. Sometimes God sends Jesus places like John 5 - an invalid who did not respond directly to the healing questions - precisely. God goes in directions God wants to go. He is God. We can be assured Jesus is placed this Acts 1 day as His Father would place Him.
The good part, the crucial part, of the Ascension occurs because Jesus is again telling His Beloved where our Jesus can be found. Life is a journey and I discovered this about 3 years ago from friends Dee and Sharon.
Jesus is telling them - they will have the all important Holy Spirit, but not the oneness Jesus has with the Father. He assuredly and completely knows these mortal men will be asked if they are gods. He wants them to be informed. Jesus is a Teacher.
Compare and contrast - Jesus ascends to His Father. Jesus takes time to fully explain what Jesus is doing. Jesus is God. And Jesus takes the time. Jesus the Christ of God is reported in the midst of the 40 amazing days of Jesus Alive and Victorious of God, with Prophets alive from their tombs. This is one of the times God is doing Ezekiel 37:3 bones are alive from God's Word.
Judas ends up forever in a cemetery. A disciple has deserted for betrayal. Judas is replaced by, probably, one of the greater 72 Disciples.Confusion says Judas died by hanging (Matthew 27:5) or did he die by falling and bursting open (Acts 1:18). The Scriptures are true. Men heard one thing about Judas and were done with the details of the story of Judas. Judas - in the middle of God's glory he missed - probably hung himself from a tree and stayed hanging - no one wanted to touch that until he fell and burst open. Both accounts are true.
Jesus is the exact Son of God. His Only Son. Jesus is still involved with Teaching. With explaining. Jesus is ascending to the Glory of God. Jesus is fulfilling another Word of God to us. John 5. Telling us of Heaven.
Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”
The Disciples feel so strongly the power of the Holy Spirit the important decisions are left in the Hand and Will of God. Based upon 2,000 years of Church being created - we know that the Holy Spirit did indeed lead them to the Glory of God and our comfort in Him.
We know we believe Jesus because You have called us. 1 John 4:19 teaches us we love because You first loved us.
We will honor You as God. Because in honoring our Father God our days may be long in the land that You, our Lord our God is giving us now and in eternity.
Father, You provide for us Faith, Hope and Love. The Greatest You provide is Love.
And because of this - we can do all the things You have required of us. We can do all things through Jesus Christ who Strengthens us.
You, the Lord God Almighty will be a father to us, and we shall be sons and daughters to Our Father.
We will not lean on our own understanding entirely and Trust in You, God.
With Your Holy Spirit will not forget Your teaching, and in our heart keep Your commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace You will add to us. Steadfast love and faithfulness will not forsake our words, deeds, prayers and actions and place these in the tablet of our heart. We will find favor and good success in the sight of You, God and man.
Thank You Christ for Your Blessings. For Those we Love. For the Prayers You have answered speedily and in Your Time. For all Your answers. For the people we pray for. Churches, communities, Work places and the Nation. The communion of all Your saints in prayer, please bless us all over the World and encourage the hearts of those calling upon Jesus. Amen.
♔ Lord Jesus Saves †