God's Choice - January 2024 = Chapter 1, Verse 24
A couple years ago I did a series on this blog called: "Today's Date in the Bible" (click HERE to view "Today's Date in the Bible" from two years ago). Well, I really enjoyed writing that series and felt led to revamp and continue the series. It's kind of like letting God totally guide us in where we should study - which Bible verse or which area of Scripture.
This is how it will work - we will have the month represent the Chapter in the Bible and the year will represent the verse. Today is January 2024, so we will focus on verse 24 of the first Chapter. In the previous series, I chose ten different Bible verses that fell into that specification (verse 24 of the first Chapter of any Book in the Bible). This year I felt led to focus on just one verse that falls into that specification and not only will we study that chosen verse in detail, but we will also study the verses or maybe the entire chapter to show the context and meaning behind the featured verse.
Today's featured verse is:
Putting it into context:
This passage is so important and is rarely studied in detail.
The book of Acts was written by Luke (one of the 12 apostles)(a disciple is a follower/believer in Christ and an apostle is a disciple who was chosen to be a witness/messenger spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ). I will highlight some of the vital verses of this chapter but it is so worth reading in it's entirety on your own!
This Book begins just before Jesus ascends to heaven and He gives His final instructions to His apostles before they receive the Holy Spirit.
"Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen.”
Jesus gives His apostles this final explanation and final instruction - they are to spread the Good News "to the end of the earth":
"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Then, (as if their experience wasn't amazing enough seeing Jesus ascend into heaven) 2 angels appeared with this message:
Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”.”
It took them a days journey to get back to Jerusalem and when they returned they were tasked with finding a replacement for Judas Iscariot (the traitor who gave up Jesus to the authorities). Here are the remaining 11 apostles:
James the son of Alphaeus
Simon the Zealot (a "Zealot" was a political group who wanted the overthrow of the occupying Roman government)
Judas the son of James
This next passage is often overlooked and it is so important - the fact that there were women who were vital members of the team praying to find the replacement for Judas:
"These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”
Look what happened to Judas the traitor!!! - God's punishment - he burst open and his entrails gushed out!!! (see below):
"And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty), and said,“Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus; for he was numbered with us and obtained a part in this ministry.”
(Now this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out. And it became known to all those dwelling in Jerusalem; so that field is called in their own language, Akel Dama, that is, Field of Blood.)
“For it is written in the Book of Psalms:
‘Let his dwelling place be desolate,
And let no one live in it’;
‘Let another take his office.’
Finally, there were two names put forward as Judas' replacement:
They used "lots" to decide but because they had prayed first, they totally trusted that God was in total control of the method that they used to pick between the two.
"And they proposed two: Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed and said, “You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.” And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles.”
It was God's choice!! Our Lord guided the apostles in finding a replacement for Judas. We need to trust God for every decision in our own lives!
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