We continue in our series in Acts this morning. In the passage before us, the disciples-- while they wait for the promised Spirit-- take the step of replacing Judas who took his own life.
As we begin, I’d like you to step out of your comfort zone and spend a minute or two with those around you discussing the two questions on the screen.
Turn and discuss
1. Why do you think there were 12 disciples initially?
2. Why do you think it was important to replace Judas?
Now last week we looked at the first eight verses of Acts chapter 1. I’d like to review a little of what we saw there. In those verses Luke tells us that Jesus repeatedly appeared to the apostles over a 40 day period after his resurrection. His agenda seemed to be twofold according to Luke—first, Jesus wanted to show his apostles that He was really resurrected from the dead and second, He spoke to them about the kingdom of God (verse 3).
We made the comment that the kingdom of God as a topic seems to frame the book of Acts. It’s mentioned in the first few verses of chapter 1 and it’s the topic of the last two verses of the book of Acts. Listen to Acts 28: 30-31--30 He lived there two whole years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him,31 proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance. The idea shows up five more times in the book of Acts--Acts 8:12; 14:22, 19:8; 20:25 and 28:23. So clearly one of the key themes in the book of Acts is the kingdom of God or the kingdom of God in its present format.
In verses 4 and 5 of chapter 1, Jesus commanded the apostles to wait in Jerusalem for the promised Holy Spirit who would come “not many days from now.”
We pick up in verse 6,
6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. Now some think that Jesus would have been very disappointed at the disciples’ question in verse 61 that there is still some misunderstanding of the concept of the kingdom of God. But the question was a natural one for Jews who had embraced the messianic hope.2 In fact look at Jesus’ answer to the disciples in verse 7.3 There isn’t any indication in his reply that anything they asked was wrong except that they seem to be excessively concerned about when it would all take place. Jesus says, “It’s not for you to know the timing when the kingdom will be restored to Israel…rather, verse 8, focus all of your attention on being witnesses for Jesus to the end of the world” We said that Acts 1:8 could be considered the key verse in the book of Acts. Let’s look at it on the screen…
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” We didn’t talk about this last week but thinking about the fact that the apostles were all “local yokels” from Galilee, don’t you think they were a little stunned at the scope of the mission? Do you imagine that their jaws dropped when Jesus said what He said. To the end of the earth?“Fishermen from Galilee…taking the gospel to the end of the earth?”
But there’s another point here. And I have to admit that I’ve always considered this verse in Acts, this commission of the apostles in Acts, as if it was disconnected from the Old Testament story line. Is it completely disconnected from the Old Testament story line? Some think not and the connections they point out are intriguing.4
Let’s look at Isaiah 49:6 on the screen…
Isaiah 49:6 (ESV)
6 he (the LORD) says: “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” Now in the book of Isaiah, there are at least 4, what are called, ‘servant songs’5 passages that talk about a special servant. Sometimes it’s clear that “the servant” in these songs is the nation Israel. Other times it’s clear “the servant” refers to an individual who fulfills in himself all that Israel was meant to be. Most scholars see that this individual is the Messiah, Jesus who came to atone for sins. We’re all familiar with one of the servant songs that includes this verse: “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him and by His wounds we are healed. That’s Isaiah 53:5. Well that’s a verse from one of the well known ‘servant songs’.
Well Isaiah 49:1-6 is one of those four servant songs. Look at verse 6 on the screen.
6 he (the LORD) says: “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel (it is too small as task to redeem only the tribes of Jacob); I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” Yahweh will make the servant (Jesus) a light for the nations, that (his) salvation may reach the end of the earth.
So as Jesus commissions his apostles to be his witnesses to the end of the earth, in our text here in Acts 1:8, God’s plan is being fulfilled. The resurrected and ascended Jesus will be a light for the nations through the witnesses He sends out.6
And what does Luke mean by the ‘end of the earth’? The book of Acts ends with Paul in Rome. Is that the end of the earth? Schnabel notes that the ‘ends of the earth’ in ancient literature designated the farthest regions of the earth. The western ‘end’ of the known world was Gaul or Germania or further south, Spain. (Paul wanted to go to Spain didn’t he?) The northern ‘end’ of the earth was the Arctic, and in terms of inhabited regions, Scythia. The southern ‘end’ of the world was Ethiopia (modern day Sudan). (Philip led the Ethiopian Eunuch to Christ) The eastern ‘end’ of the world was thought to be India. (Tradition holds that Thomas preached the gospel in India) So Rome, where the book of Acts ends, wasn’t the end of the earth; it was a starting point from which the gospel could go further.7 Continuing in verse 9… (and in verses 9-11 Luke uses 3 different words for ‘seeing’ to highlight how special the ascension was…I’ll highlight them as I read them)8 9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on (there’s the first) , he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.10 And while they were gazinginto heaven (there’s the second, this is a favorite word for Luke9) as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes,11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw ( there’s the third) him go into heaven.”
Now if the “map of the route of their mission”10 in verse 8 didn’t blow their minds, Jesus’ ascension must have. Get this… the picture is painted, in verse 9, of a cloud enveloping Jesus from underneath and taking him away.11
Clouds show up in a host of biblical scenes.12 They seem to serve as a sign of God’s heavenly glory (Ex. 16:10; Ps. 104:3; Luke 9:34-35; Rev. 11:12) or His divine presence(you remember in the wilderness wanderings in Exodus God’s presence was characterized by a cloud by day and a fire by night.13 )
But one writer says it this way, “the cloud was not merely an apocalyptic stage prop, nor the ‘vehicle’ that transported Jesus into heaven, nor a literary device about the presence of God’14…it should be interpreted as a signal that this is the final good-bye—because clouds symbolize the boundary between earth and heaven, the disciples get a clear signal that Jesus has gone once and for all into heaven.15 And just as the Old Testament character Elijah was spirited away in 2 Kings 2, and the mission given over to Elisha, so it was time for Jesus to be spirited away so the mission could be given to the apostles. Jesus had to be removed from the scene before the Spirit could be poured out on his ‘successors’ and they could function as his witnesses.16 As we said, Jesus’ disappearance in the clouds was so awesome that the disciples just couldn’t take their eyes off of Him until two men in white robes spoke to them. “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Why two men in white robes? A charge is established by two or three witnesses (Deut. 19:15)?17
The two men in white make an important point. Just as Jesus ascended bodily, He will come again bodily. But his coming again won’t be as private as the ascension.
●Other scriptures tell us He will come ‘in a cloud with power and great glory.’ (Luke 21:27).
●And when he returns ‘every eye will see him’ (Rev. 1:7) and he will not be alone (Luke 9:26; 1 Thess. 4:14-17; 2 Thess. 1:7).
●And as the lightning lights up the sky from one end to the other (Luke 17:25) so his second coming will somehow be obvious to people everywhere.”18 This scene here describing Jesus’ ascension, is one, then, that reassures the apostles (and us) that God will complete the plan—this same Jesus taken up to the side of God, will return again.19
Now the picture of the apostles gazing up into the sky when they had been commissioned to go to the ends of the earth has caused some scholars to wax eloquent. Listen to John Stott’s words:
“It was the earth not the sky which was to be their preoccupation. Their calling was to be witnesses not stargazers. The vision they were to cultivate was not upwards in nostalgia to the heaven which received Jesus, but outwards in compassion to a lost world which needed him. It is the same for us. Curiosity about heaven and its occupants, speculation about prophecy and its fulfillment, an obsession with ‘times and seasons’ – these are aberrations which distract us from our God-given mission. Christ will come personally, visibly, gloriously. Of that we have been assured. Other details can wait. Meanwhile, we have work to do in the power of the Spirit.”20
__________ 12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away.
The Mount of Olives is just east of Jerusalem. Luke notes that the disciples returned to Jerusalem, and it was a Sabbath day’s journey away.
As you know it was unlawful to work on the Sabbath. And the rabbis had calculated how much one could walk without working. Well that distance was about 2000 cubits or 6/10 of a mile. And so, though it looks like Luke is saying the ascension took place on the Sabbath, really he’s just saying that the disciples took about a 15 minute walk back into Jerusalem.21 13 And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying,Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. Now is this the same upper room where they had the last supper?We really can’t be sure.22 Eleven disciples are listed. Of course Judas is missing, having taken his own life. More on that in a moment.
14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers. Verse 14 has some great ‘stuff’ in it….let me make4 observations….
The words ‘one accord’ translate a unique Greek word used 10 times in Acts and only 2 times in other New Testament books. The word23 is a compound of two words meaning to “rush along” and “in unison”. Strong’s concordance says this about this unique word…“the image is almost musical; a number of notes are sounded which, while different, harmonize in pitch and tone. As the instruments of a great concert under the direction of a concert master, so the Holy Spirit blends together the lives of members of Christ’s church.” 24
And these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer. (that’s the second observation). The idea here is perseverance in prayer. A.T. Robertson says it means, “They stuck to praying”25
Persistent, persevering prayer does seem to bless our God. And these first believers were all about it. Prayer is mentioned 31 times in the book of Acts and in 20 of its 28 chapters.26 A third observation is that there were women in the group--the women and Mary the mother of Jesus. There were always loyal women who followed Jesus and funded his ministry from their means.27 Names like Mary called Magdalene, Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna…names like Mary of Clopas, Mary of Bethany and Martha and many others. Even Mary, Jesus’ mother.
But even Jesus’ brothers were in the room too. We know that Jesus’ brothers were slow to believe. We also know that Jesus made a special post –resurrection appearance to his brother James.28 In the end His brothers put their faith in Him.
Follow with me as I read verses 15-22…
15 In those days (we should probably take that phrase to mean between the ascension and Pentecost)29 Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said,16 “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus.
There is a little word Greek word (dei) in verse 16 (and at the very beginning of verse 21) underneath the English words ‘had to be fulfilled” in verse 16 that is often present in the books of Luke and Acts. Luke uses it 40 times in those two books. The word means ‘it is necessary’ or ‘it was necessary’ and it hammers home the theme of God’s design. “Like a church bell’s ring each hour, Luke continually chimes the note of God’s design. God is directing what occurs”30 Judas’ betrayal was a fulfillment of scripture. That Judas would need to be replaced was a fulfillment of scripture.
17 For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.”18 (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out.19 And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)20 “For it is written in the Book of Psalms, “ ‘May his camp become desolate, and let there be no one to dwell in it’; and “ ‘Let another take his office.’21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” In verse 15 Peter stood up among the brothers (and there were about 120 people in the room) and he began to share his conviction that Judas’ defection was a fulfillment of scripture, verse 16…
16 “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. “the Scripture had to be fulfilled”… Peter said. What scripture had to be fulfilled? Well it’s going to be a couple of different psalms and we’ll talk about that more in a moment.
At the beginning of the sermon I asked you to discuss, “Why do you think it was important to replace Judas?” Well we’re finding some answers to that question. It’s pretty clear from Peter’s speech to the 120 that he was convinced from his study of passages in the Old Testament that it was God’s will to replace Judas; the Old Testament scriptures authorized or sanctioned replacing Judas. The Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas…
What happened with Judas wasn’t off God’s radar screen—the scripture had to be fulfilled. Let’s pause and say it very plainly…Our bible is different from any other book on the planet. The words in this book are God-breathed. All scripture, 2 Timothy 3:16 says, is breathed out by God….Peter says, “The Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas…” 17 For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” In other words Judas had a specific place, a specific assignment on the team.
As we come to verses 18-19, many of the versions actually put parentheses around these verses to communicate that they are an ‘aside’—an aside about the fate of Judas. Let me read them again and you’ll see that that is indeed true.
(Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. 19 And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) The fact that Luke explains the Aramaic word A-kel´-dama to his Greek audience is even more reason to see this as an ‘aside’. Here’s what I mean. Peter, as he speaks to the 120, is speaking Aramaic to Aramaic listeners. And so Luke translates the Aramaic word Akeldama for his Greek readers—Akeldama, an Aramaic word that is ‘Field of Blood’. Now thinking about verse 18-19, if you’re familiar with your bible, you may be scratching your head and thinking, “Wait a minute, didn’t Judas give the 30 pieces of silver back to the chief priests? And didn’t he hang himself?” Let me put up Matthew’s account of Judas’ death.
Matthew 27:3-7 (ESV)
3 Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he … brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, 4 saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” … 5 And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. 6 But the chief priests… said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is blood money.” 7 So they took counsel and bought with them the potter’s field as a burial place for strangers. Now when we compare Acts 1:18-19 with these verses in Matthew behind me, both accounts say that Judas died a miserable death, both say that a field was bought with the money paid him, and both say the field was called the ‘Field of Blood’31 The apparent discrepancies between the two passages concern how he died, who purchased the field, and why it was called the ‘Field of Blood’
Let’s walk through each of the apparent discrepancies.
First is the manner of Judas’ death. Luke, in our passage in Acts, writes “and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out.” Matthew writes that Judas hanged himself. Couldn’t these be complimentary readings? Couldn’t Judas have hung himself, and his body remained hanging, decomposing and decaying, until the rope broke and his body fell… and I’ll let you take it from there.
Second, how about the issue of who bought the field? Luke, in our passage in Acts seems to say that Judas acquired the field as a reward for his wickedness. Matthew says that Judas tried to return the blood money to no avail and that he threw it into the temple and it was the chief priests and elders who purchased the field. “So did the priests purchase the field or did Judas? It’s reasonable to answer that both did, the priests entering into the transaction, but with the money that belonged to Judas?”32
Finally, why did the field come to be known as the “Field of Blood?” Matthew seems to hint that it got the name because it was purchased with ‘blood money’. Luke, here in Acts, seems to imply that it got the name because of Judas’ blood. Couldn’t it have been that different traditions developed so that different people called it ‘field of blood’ for different reasons?
So I think it’s easy to see how these accounts are complimentary rather than contradictory. Well where in Old Testament scriptures did Peter find support for replacing Judas?
Look at verse 20…
20 “For it is written in the Book of Psalms, “ ‘May his camp become desolate, and let there be no one to dwell in it’; and “ ‘Let another take his office.’ The first quote is found in Psalm 69:25. Psalm 69 is a lament psalm and the righteous sufferer in the psalm is crying out for God’s salvation. Around verse 22 of the psalm, three verses before this verse quoted by Peter, the righteous sufferer pleads with God that his enemies may suffer the punishment they deserve and so in verse 25 he says ‘May his camp become desolate, and let there be no one to dwell in it’ highlighting the “need of a traitor like Judas to experience judgment,”33 The second quote is from Psalm 109:8b. Again Psalm 109 is a lament psalm and again the psalm contains a large section, verses 6-20 in fact, where the psalmist prays that his enemy would receive his just deserts. In fact the entire verse, Psalm 109:8, is May his days be few; may another take his office. _______________
Let’s step back from the passage a moment. What are we seeing? What are we saying? We’re saying that Peter--the apostle who denied Jesus three times--is leading this fledgling band of believers and he’s leading them with the Word. It’s the way believers should be led. Why do we give attention to God’s word every time we get together? The people of God grow by the Word. The people of God are to be led by the Word.
You see Peter’s study of God’s word had led him to be convinced that Judas needed to be replaced. And so he led the group to accomplish that in the interim period between the ascension and Pentecost.
Now one of the questions that you discussed at the start of the sermon was, “Why do you think there were 12 disciples initially?” And let me be quick to say up front that the bible doesn’t ever answer that question directly.
But there are theories and ideas. One writer suggests that Jesus chose 12 disciples initially as a symbolic way of saying that “he was leading a reorganization of Israel.”34 In other words, just as there were twelve sons of Jacob that became the twelve tribes of Israel, there would be twelve apostles… There are a couple of verses that do connect the twelve apostles with the twelve tribes of Israel. Let me put one of them35 up on the screen…
Matthew 19:28 (ESV)
28 Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. So why were there twelve disciples originally? Again the bible never tells us but perhaps Jesus was symbolically leading a reorganization of Israel. And why was it important that Judas be replaced? Because in the new world, twelve apostles, not eleven, will sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Well let’s continue in verse 21…
21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.”
The replacement for Judas had to be one who had been with them from the start of Jesus’ ministry (beginning from the baptism of John) until the day when he ascended into heaven (the day when he was taken up). Now you and I might ask out loud: “Were there really men who met that qualification?” Yes there were. You remember that 70 were once sent out on a short term mission trip. Jesus appeared after his resurrection to 500 at one time. There were others outside the band of twelve disciples who accompanied Jesus and the disciples.
23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. Now it’s assumed that these candidates were equal in character and spirituality. Barsabbas means ‘son of the Sabbath’ or ‘son of Saba.’36 Matthias (pronounced Matias) means ‘gift of God’.
24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all—you are the heart knower, the ‘cardiognostes’---show which one of these two you have chosen25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” Now who are they praying to? Luke says the Lord. Would that be Jesus or God the Father? We often think that prayer should be offered to God the Father. Didn’t Jesus teach his disciples as much? When you pray, Jesus said, Luke 11:2, say“Father, hallowed be your name” But as we said last week, throughout Acts, it’s really clear that the ascended Jesus is building his church. And in this particular case it was Jesus who chose the first apostles, so it kind of makes sense that the apostles are praying to the Lord Jesus here:37“Show us your choice Lord!”
26 And they cast lots38 forthem, (it’s thought that they may have put a name on each of two different stones and placed the stones in some kind of container and drawn out one stone)39and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
Now we pick leaders fairly often around here. Why don’t we cast lots to find out who God wants for leadership at Kilgore Bible? Proverbs 16:33 does say, “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.” First of all let’s remind ourselves that the process of leadership selection in this passage isn’t just about casting lots. First, there was the general leading of scripture that Judas needed to be replaced. Second, the apostles reasoned out some suitable qualifications. Then, they prayed. And finally, after all of that, they cast lots.
But more importantly, it just so happens that this is the last time in the New Testament that lots will be cast to discern God’s will. Deacons will be chosen in Acts 6 and missionaries will be chosen in Acts 13 and there is no mention of casting lots in either of those passages to discern God’s will. Why? I think it’s because the Spirit is poured out in Acts 2. With the indwelling Spirit, the Word of God, and godly counsel from other believers, who needs to cast lots?
Well let’s step back and talk about some of the things we’ve encountered in the message this morning.
We’ve been given reasons to be more certain in our faith. You remember that we said last week that Luke wrote both the gospel of Luke and the book of Acts to give believers certainty about the things they had been taught. Well you and I have been given reasons to be more certain in our faith.
We relived the ascension and watched as Jesus ascended into heaven to take his place at God’s right hand.
We listened in on testimony from two angels that Jesus’ return is as certain as his ascension those many years ago.
We’ve been reminded through the powerful preaching of Peter that Judas’ defection was always in the plan of God and that the events surrounding Jesus’ death were a fulfillment of scripture.
We’ve seen a beautiful snapshot of those early believers in one accord…devoting themselves to prayer. Isn’t that the church at its best? Oh Lord, let it be us at our best! Make us one. Unify us. And lead us to persevere in prayer! We’ve seen Peter leading with the Word of God. Lord continue to give us leaders who lead by and through the Word of God!
1 Stott sees the question as full of errors. In Stott’s view, they should not have asked about restoration, since that implied a political kingdom; nor should they have asked about Israel, since that anticipated a national kingdom; nor should they have asked about ‘at this time’ since that implied the kingdom’s immediate establishment.
2 Bock, page 61
3 Schnabel suggests that Jesus’ answer to the disciples’ question has been interpreted four different ways: 1) Verse 8 implies that here Luke has renounced all expectation of an imminent end. However the disciple’s question in vs. 6 concerns not the delay of Jesus’ return, but Israel’s fortunes; 2) ‘the kingdom is given to the church’ answer: Jesus’ answer in verses 7-8 to the disciples’ question should be read in terms of a dramatic reinterpretation of the traditional expectations regarding Israel’s fortunes. But in view of Jesus’ reply in verse 8 with its allusions to Isa. 32:15; 43:10-12; 49:6, this interpretation is implausible; 3) ‘the progressive dispensational answer’: Jesus does not answer the disciples’ question about the restoration of Israel and its timing, but points them to the fact that the kingdom awaits the missionary movement from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth. Schnabel suggests this is not the full answer; 4) Jesus answers the disciples’ question concerning the restoration of the kingdom in an ambivalent manner: the rise of the community of Jewish believers is the locus of fulfillment of the traditional hope for the restoration of Israel.
4 Bock, page 65, “Moore notes that Luke uses Isaiah extensively. He cites 18 texts with allusions to Isaiah in Luke-Acts.”
5 In the last half of Isaiah, scholars have identified four servant songs that describe the accomplishments and suffering of one called the servant of the Lord ( 42:1-7 ; 49:1-6 ; 50:4-11 ; 52:13-53:12).Possibly Isaiah 61:1-3 contains yet another servant song. Although Isaiah sometimes refers to the servant as "Israel, " New Testament quotations and allusions clearly relate the ministry of the servant to the first coming of Christ and his atoning death.At times it seems quite clear that the servant refers collectively to the nation of Israel. In 41:8-9 the servant is called "Israel" or "Jacob, " the "descendants of Abraham my friend."…Sometimes the concept of the "servant" seems to refer to those in Israel who were spiritual, the righteous remnant who remained faithful to the Lord. … Even though the servant is called "Israel" in 49:3, he is distinguished from Israel in verse 5, where the servant brings Israel back to the Lord. Starting with 54:17 and ending with 66:14 there are several references to "the servants" of the Lord, and the plural may be another term for the righteous remnant. A careful reading of the four servant songs has nonetheless led many scholars to argue that the servant refers to an individual who fulfills in himself all that Israel was meant to be. This individual was the ideal Israel, a righteous and faithful servant who suffered unjustly and died to atone for the sins of humankind.H. H. Rowley has said that by chapter 53 the personification has become a person. The one who "was led like a lamb to the slaughter" died to bear "the sins of many" (vv. 6, 12) and "was assigned a grave with the wicked" (v. 9). This description does not apply very well to a nation or even a part of the nation, but it certainly can apply to an individual. In some respects the servant can be compared with the Davidic messianic king. Both were chosen by God and characterized by righteousness and justice (cf. 9:7 ; Isaiah 42:1,Isaiah 42:6 ). The Spirit of God would empower both the king and the servant (11:1-4 ; 42:1 ), and ultimately the suffering servant would be highly exalted (cf. 52:13 ; 53:12 ) and given the status of a king. The "shoot" or "branch" from the family of Jesse (11:1) is linked with the description of the servant as "a tender shoot" ( 53:2 ).
6 Could the disciples have been confused if this included Gentiles? “A reader of Acts must be open to the possibility of… the fact that whatever Jesus or Luke meant and how an expression might have been understood are not necessarily the same thing.” Bock, page 66
7 Schnabel, page 78-80
8 Bock, page 68
9 And the word translated ‘gaze’ is used several times (Luke likes this verb. 12 of the 14 NT occurrences of this verb are in Luke-Acts with 10 of them in Acts (Acts 3:4, 12; 6:15; 7:55; 10:4; 11:6; 13:9; 14:9; 23:1) Bock, page 68
10 Schnabel, page 78
11 ‘taking up in support’ placed along side the cloud suggests that the cloud enveloped him from underneath and took him away. Bock, page 67
12 A cloud was associated with the tabernacle in the wilderness (Ex. 40:34-35)A cloud covered Jesus on the mount of transfiguration (Luke 9:31)
13 Bock, page 67
14 Schnabel, page 80
15 Schnabel, pae 80-81
16 Peterson, page 113
17 Bock, page 69
18 Peterson, page 116
19 Bock, page 70
20 Stott, page 51
21 “A Sabbath’s day’s journey was the maximum distance one could travel on the Sabbath without it constituting work. This was not explicit OT law but a later jewish tradition. The rabbis set the limit at 2,000 cubits (about .6 miles or 1 km). Jews at Qumran had a lower limit.” ESV Study Bible The 2000 cubit limit was derived from Exodus 16:29 (‘stay where he is”) with Numbers 35:5 which measured a city’s length as 2000 cubits. In other words Sabbath travel was limited to a distance equal to the diameter of one’s village. Bock points out that according to Luke’s reckoning, the ascension probably didn’t occur on a Sabbath (check it out….Day 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42 would be Sundays…the ascension would be a Friday). So ‘reckoning the distance as a Sabbath’s day walk is merely a way to give a measurement, not the timing of the event’ Bock, page 76
22 “It is not clear if the upper room is the same locale as the Last Supper, given that Luke 22:11-12 uses a different term for the latter’s locale, as does Mark 14:15 (anagaion in Luke 22:12 and Mark; katalyma in Luke 22:11). Nor is it all clear that this was the house of John Mark’s mother Mary (Acts 12:12)” (Bock, page 77); “On the other hand, all the different meetings in Acts 1:13; Acts 2:1-4; 4:23-31; 12:12-17 could all have taken place in different rooms. There is not enough evidence to be certain.” (Peterson, page 117)
24Strong, James: The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible : Showing Every Word of the Text of the Common English Version of the Canonical Books, and Every Occurrence of Each Word in Regular Order. electronic ed. Ontario : Woodside Bible Fellowship., 1996, S. G3661
25 Robertson as quoted by Hughes, page 26
26 Fernando as quoted by Bock, page 79
27 Luke 8:1-3
28 1 Corinthians 15:7
29 Peterson, page 121
30 Bock’s Luke commentary
31 Stott, page 55
32 Stott, page 56
33 Peterson, page 122
34 Bock, page 77
35 The other is Luke 22:28-30
36 Barrett, 1994 as quoted by Bock, page 88
37 So Stott, page 58; Barrett, Fitzmeyer, Bock, and Schnabel argue that it is probably ‘God the Father’
38 Lot — (Heb. , a “pebble”), a small stone used in casting lots (Num. 33:54; Jonah 1:7). The lot was always resorted to by the Hebrews with strictest reference to the interposition of God, and as a method of ascertaining the divine will (Prov. 16:33), and in serious cases of doubt (Esther 3:7). Thus the lot was used at the division of the land of Canaan among the serveral tribes (Num. 26:55; 34:13), at the detection of Achan (Josh. 7:14, 18), the election of Saul to be king (1 Sam. 10:20, 21), the distribution of the priestly offices of the temple service (1 Chr. 24:3, 5, 19; Luke 1:9), and over the two goats at the feast of Atonement (Lev. 16:8). Matthias, who was “numbered with the eleven” (Acts 1:24–26), was chosen by lot. This word also denotes a portion or an inheritance (Josh. 15:1; Ps. 125:3; Isa. 17:4), and a destiny, as assigned by God (Ps. 16:5; Dan. 12:13).