Acts 1 Study

10 February 2005

On Tuesday, we just started a new series in Home group, looking at the Book of Acts (based on John Stott’s Seeing the Spirit at work Bible study guide). As it was Shrove Tuesday we started off with pancakes (and wraps) before moving on to studying Acts 1. It was a really good study and through my preparation for the study and the study itself I came across some really interesting bits that I hadn’t thought about before:

“why do you stand here looking into the sky?” (v10 - 11)

The interesting question about this passage was why the words of the men in white convinced the disciples to go back to Jerusalem, as what they say doesn’t appear to explain why they shouldn’t keep watching! The main thought we had on this was that it was the surprise element that made them move on, as Jesus had just been taken up without them expecting it - so they couldn’t expect him to return while they were expecting him to re-appear. Also on this the questioning as to why they were looking up sort of implies that there is something wrong with what they are doing, so would make them think.

Selecting a replacement for Judas (v21-26)

As we’re coming up to electing a new PCC, the process used here to appoint a replacement was quite interesting to look at, firstly they specify the qualifications required for the replacement:

who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. > >

Then they nominated 2 possible men who fitted the qualifications, and then prayed that God would reveal his will in the decision acknowledging that God knows everyones hearts, and that He would choose the replacement. They then cast lots in order to discern God’s will - which was interesting to note from the commentary that this is the last place that the casting of lots is used in the Bible, and that after the Spirit came at Pentecost it is no longer necessary, as the Spirit reveals God’s will to us.