Well, there’s rejoicing in heaven tonight! Because of the obedience of my beautiful wife, she led a friend of hers to a relationship with Christ today. Just knowing that she will one day be in heaven with our Lord is such a reason to celebrate. I’m so very proud of her for heeding God’s call to do this today. Speaking of heeding God’s call…take a look at today’s verses from Acts 1.
12-13 So they left the mountain called Olives and returned to Jerusalem. It was a little over half a mile. They went to the upper room they had been using as a meeting place: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James, son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas, son of James.
14 They agreed they were in this for good, completely together in prayer, the women included. Also Jesus’ mother, Mary, and his brothers.
15-17 During this time, Peter stood up in the company—there were about 120 of them in the room at the time—and said, “Friends, long ago the Holy Spirit spoke through David regarding Judas, who became the guide to those who arrested Jesus. That Scripture had to be fulfilled, and now has been. Judas was one of us and had his assigned place in this ministry.
18-20 “As you know, he took the evil bribe money and bought a small farm. There he came to a bad end, rupturing his belly and spilling his guts. Everybody in Jerusalem knows this by now; they call the place Murder Meadow. It’s exactly what we find written in the Psalms: Let his farm become haunted so no one can ever live there. “And also what was written later: Let someone else take over his post.
21-22 “Judas must now be replaced. The replacement must come from the company of men who stayed together with us from the time Jesus was baptized by John up to the day of his ascension, designated along with us as a witness to his resurrection.”
23-26 They nominated two: Joseph Barsabbas, nicknamed Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed, “You, O God, know every one of us inside and out. Make plain which of these two men you choose to take the place in this ministry and leadership that Judas threw away in order to go his own way.” They then drew straws. Matthias won and was counted in with the eleven apostles.
I’ll just point out some of the highlights. They returned to Jerusalem. This was obedience. Jesus had told them in Acts1:4 to go there and wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit, and that is exactly what they did.
It mentions a half mile’s journey from the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem, that was about the max you were allowed to travel on the Sabbath. Verse 15 says there were 120 of them in the room. Must have been a pretty big room. It included the 11 disciples, Mary, and the brothers of Jesus, James and Jude. I found something interesting in one of the commentaries…it said the brothers never seemed to be supportive of His ministry before his death and resurrection (John 7:5 and Mark 3:21). After encountering the resurrected Jesus, they were changed into true followers of Christ. Never heard that before. That his brothers didn’t really support his ministry. Peter told them that David had foretold of this day in Psalms and so they all prayed in one accord for a replacement for Judas, which given all the different personalities was a feat in itself. Two were nominated, Justus and Matthias and by casting of lots or in modern terms, drew straws and Matthias won. Notice who was not nominated? Paul. He considered himself an apostle it wasn’t time yet for him to come into his own as a leader.
Here’s something for you to chew on. Read Revelation 21:14. The wall was set on twelve foundations, the names of the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb inscribed on them. When we get to heaven it will be interesting to see if the twelfth name is Paul or Mathias.
Obedience. That’s what today’s passages are about. My wife was obedient today. I and our Lord are really glad she was. If only I can be half as obedient.
Can you think of a time when the Lord asked you to be obedient and you complied, even though you didn’t really want to?