To the Ends of the World 1 1Dear Theophilus, in the first volume of this book I wrote on everything that Jesus began to do and teach 2until the day he said good–bye to the apostles, the ones he had chosen through the Holy Spirit, and was taken up to heaven. 3After his death, he presented himself alive to them in many different settings over a period of forty days. In face–to–face meetings, he talked to them about things concerning the kingdom of God. 4As they met and ate meals together, he told them that they were on no account to leave Jerusalem but “must wait for what the Father promised: the promise you heard from me. 5John baptized in water; you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit. And soon.” 6When they were together for the last time they asked, “Master, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now? Is this the time?” 7He told them, “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business. 8What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world.” 9These were his last words. As they watched, he was taken up and disappeared in a cloud. 10They stood there, staring into the empty sky. Suddenly two men appeared—in white robes! 11They said, “You Galileans!—why do you just stand here looking up at an empty sky? This very Jesus who was taken up from among you to heaven will come as certainly—and mysteriously—as he left.” Returning to Jerusalem 12So they left the mountain called Olives and returned to Jerusalem. It was a little over half a mile. 13They 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, Judas, son of James. 14They agreed they were in this for good, completely together in prayer, the women included. Also Jesus’ mother, Mary, and his brothers. Replacing Judas 15During this time, Peter stood up in the company—there were about 120 of them in the room at the time—16and 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. 17Judas was one of us and had his assigned place in this ministry. 18“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. 19Everybody in Jerusalem knows this by now; they call the place Murder Meadow. 20It’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“Judas must now be replaced. The replacement must come from the company of men who stayed together with us 22from the time Jesus was baptized by John up to the day of his ascension, designated along with us as a witness to his resurrection.” 23They nominated two: Joseph Barsabbas, nicknamed Justus, and Matthias. 24Then they prayed, “You, O God, know every one of us inside and out. Make plain which of these two men you choose 25to take the place in this ministry and leadership that Judas threw away in order to go his own way.” 26They then drew straws. Matthias won and was counted in with the eleven apostles.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About