Acts 1

Jesus speaks to his apostles and he goes up to heaven

1 Jesus began to do many things when he was living on earth. He also began to teach people many things. I told you about all these things in the first book that I wrote for you, Theophilus. 2 Those are the things that Jesus did before God took him up into heaven. Jesus had chosen some men to be his apostles. With the power of the Holy Spirit he told them what they must do. 3 Jesus died and then he became alive again. During the 40 days after that, he showed himself many times to his apostles. He showed himself in different ways. Then they could be sure that he was really alive again. During this time Jesus spoke to his apostles about the kingdom of God.

1:1That first book is called ‘Luke’.
1:3We can read about this in Luke 24 and John 20-21.

4 One time when Jesus and his apostles were together, he said to them, ‘Do not leave Jerusalem yet. You must wait there to receive my Father's gift. My Father promised to give it to you. I have already told you about it. 5 John baptized people with water, but after a few days God will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’

6 While Jesus' apostles were together with him, they asked him, ‘Lord, at this time will you now give the kingdom back to us, the people of Israel?’

7 Jesus replied, ‘My Father decides when things will happen in the world. You do not need to know what day or time that this will happen. 8 But the Holy Spirit will come to you, and he will give you power. The Holy Spirit will make your spirit strong. Then you will tell other people everywhere in the world about me. You will do that in Jerusalem, in Judea, in Samaria and in places far away.’

9 When Jesus had finished speaking to his apostles, God took him up to heaven. The apostles watched Jesus while he went up. Then a cloud hid him and they could not see him any more.

10 The apostles were still looking carefully up into the sky when suddenly two men appeared. They were wearing white clothes and they stood near the apostles.

1:10We think that these men were angels.

11 The men said to the apostles, ‘You men from Galilee, you should not still be standing here and looking up into the sky. God has taken Jesus into heaven. You saw the way that Jesus went up to heaven. One day, he himself will return in the same way.’

1:11All this happened on the east side of the hill called the Mount of Olives. This hill is between Jerusalem and the town called Bethany. Olive trees grow there.

The apostles choose Matthias

12 Then the apostles left the hill called the Mount of Olives. They returned to Jerusalem. This was a walk of about one kilometre. 13 When the apostles arrived back in Jerusalem, they went to their room. The room where they were staying was upstairs. Those apostles were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; also James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas, the son of James.

1:13A Zealot or Patriot was someone who fought for his government or against the Roman government.

14 All the apostles often met together to pray. Jesus' mother, Mary, other women, and Jesus' brothers also met with them. 15 One day, about 120 people who believed in Jesus were meeting together. Peter stood up and he said to them, 16 ‘My friends, long ago, the Holy Spirit gave King David a message to speak from God. He spoke about the things that Judas would do. Judas was the one who showed the soldiers how to catch Jesus. These things had to happen in the way that David wrote in the Bible long ago. 17 Judas belonged to our group of disciples. Jesus chose him to work together with us.’

1:16We can read more about what Judas did in Luke 22.

18 Judas received some money for the bad thing that he did. He bought a field with that money. But he fell down in that field and he died. His body broke open and the inside parts of his body poured out. 19 All the people who lived in Jerusalem heard about his death. So they called that field ‘Akeldama’ in their own language. ‘Akeldama’ means ‘The Field of Blood’.

1:19We can read about Judas and the money in Matthew 27:3-7.

20 Peter went on to say, ‘This is what King David wrote in the book of Psalms:

“The house that he lived in must now become empty.

There will be nobody to live in it.”

1:20See Psalm 69:25.

David also wrote:

“Another person must now do the work which he did.” ’

1:20See Psalm 109:8.

21 Peter then said, ‘Because of this, we must choose another man instead of Judas. That man must have been one of our group all the time that the Lord Jesus was with us. 22 That is, from the time when John was baptizing people until the time when Jesus went up to heaven. He must be someone who saw Jesus become alive again after he died, as we did.’

23 So the apostles agreed the names of two men. One of them was Joseph. People also called him Barsabbas and sometimes people called him Justus. The other man was called Matthias. 24 Then the whole group prayed, ‘Lord, you know what everybody is really like. Please show us which man you have chosen. 25 Which of these two men do you want to be an apostle instead of Judas? Judas left his work as an apostle. He has now gone to the place where he belongs.’

26 Then the group picked out the name of one man. It happened that they chose Matthias. So Matthias now became the 12th apostle, together with the other 11 men.

1:26They chose Matthias in this way. They wrote the names of Joseph and Matthias on two pieces of stone. Then they put the pieces of stone into a jar. They then poured one stone out of the jar. The stone had Matthias's name on it. This showed that Matthias was the right man to be an apostle. In those days, sometimes people did this when they had to choose someone.