Jesus speaks to his apostles and goes up to heaven
1Jesus 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. #1:1 That first book is called ‘Luke’. 2Those 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. 3Jesus 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. #1:3 We can read about this in Luke chapter 24 and John, chapters 20 and 21.
4One 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. 5John baptised people with water, but after a few days God will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.’
6While 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?’
7Jesus 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. 8But 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.’
9When 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.
10The 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. #1:10 We think that these men were angels.
11The 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.’ #1:11 All 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
12Then the apostles left the hill called the Mount of Olives. They returned to Jerusalem. This was a walk of about one kilometre. 13When 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. #1:13 A Zealot or Patriot was someone who fought for his government or against the Roman government.
14All the apostles often met together to pray. Jesus' mother, Mary, other women, and Jesus' brothers also met with them. 15One 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. #1:16 We can read more about what Judas did in Luke chapter 22. 17Judas belonged to our group of disciples. Jesus chose him to work together with us.’
18Judas 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. 19All 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’. #1:19 We can read about Judas and the money in Matthew 27:3-7.
20Peter 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.” #1:20 We can read that in Psalm 69:25.
David also wrote:
“Another person must now do the work which he did.” ’ #1:20 We can read that in Psalm 109:8.
21Peter 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. 22That is, from the time when John was baptising 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.’
23So 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. 24Then the whole group prayed, ‘Lord, you know what everybody is really like. Please show us which man you have chosen. 25Which 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.’
26Then 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. #1:26 They 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.