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The Replacement for Judas Iscariot
Bible Passage Acts 1:12-24
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2022 & books 1 Corinthians, Acts, John, Matthew.

The Replacement for Judas Iscariot

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached June 6, 2022

12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away.

13 When they came into the city, these men went to the upstairs room where they had been staying: Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James.

14 With one mind, all of them kept devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women (including Mary the mother of Jesus) and his brothers.

15 At that time, Peter got up among the brothers (there were about 120 people present) and said,

16 “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the voice of David about Judas, who was the guide for those who arrested Jesus,

17 because he was one of our number and was appointed to share in this ministry.”

18 (Now this man bought a field with the money he got for his crime. Falling on his face, he burst open in the middle, and all his intestines gushed out.

19 This became known to all the residents of Jerusalem, so that this field is called in their language Hakeldama, that is, “The Field of Blood”.)

20 “For in the Book of Psalms it is written, ‘Let his estate be desolate, and let no one live on it,’ and, ‘Let someone else take over his office,’

21 who was one of the men associated with us all the time the Lord Jesus came and went among us,

22 beginning when he was baptized by John until the day he was taken up from us. Therefore, someone like this must become a witness with us to his resurrection.”

23 So they nominated two men—Joseph called Barsabbas, who also was called Justus, and Matthias.

24 Then they prayed, “Lord, you know the hearts of all people. Show us which one of these two men you have chosen.

After the ascension of Jesus, the apostles returned from the Mt. of Olives to Jerusalem. ‘The Mount of Olives’ was a hill where olives grew.

The journey from the Mt. of Olives to Jerusalem was a Sabbath day’s walk. ‘A Sabbath day’s walk’ was the distance that Jews could walk on the Sabbath day. The Sabbath is the day when Jews rest. On that day, they must not walk further than 2000 cubits. (This is about a kilometer or two-thirds of a mile.)

The apostles met and prayed with various people, among them Jesus’ mother and brothers in Jerusalem. During Jesus’ ministry, He was not accepted even by the brothers as the Son God, but they now have true faith in Him, probably as a result of Jesus’ resurrection (verse 12-14; cf. John 7:5; 1 Cor 15:7 ).

For the first time, Jesus’ brothers were together with the disciples. Jesus’ brother James later became a leader in the church in Jerusalem (Acts 12:17; 15:13-21; 21:18 ).

Soon after, the apostles met with about 120 other Christians in Jerusalem to choose an apostle to replace Judas. A fellowship that begins humbly with only a few people will surely grow up.

Luke adds a note outlining how Judas had died. When Judas returned the betrayal money to the priests, the priests felt they could not put the money into the temple treasury, so used it to buy a field in Judas’ name. This field was the place where Judas killed himself, and later it became a cemetery for Gentiles (verse 15-20; see Matt 27:3-10).

The one to replace Judas had to be an eyewitness of the events of Jesus’ public ministry, and particularly of His resurrection. Two were found, equally qualified and apparently equally suitable. The apostles, therefore, laid the matter before God in complete faith, believing that if they drew lots to decide between the two, the result would indicate God’s choice.

🔷 Elections and appointments must be done with God’s guidance. We must always pray for God to choose for us.

🔷 Even if you are the only true believer in your family or community, God will increase and expand it

🔷 People must have an experience with Jesus and faith in Him in order to be made a leader of the people of God

🔷 The women are not inferior to men or expected to be relegated to Christian fellowship

💥 Thank God for a new week
💥 Pray that God should always use you to elect the people He has chosen Himself

We must always ask God, and allow Him to lead us to choose our leaders. The Christian leader is a servant. Brawls and wranglings should not characterize the elections of Christian leaders. We only allow God to speak through us to get people to work for Him.

In series Bright Morning Reflections