The Message

Acts 1

To the Ends of the World

11-5 Dear Theophilus, in the first volume of this book I wrote on everything that Jesus began to do and teach until the day he said good-bye to the apostles, the ones he had chosen through the Holy Spirit, and was taken up to heaven. After 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. As 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. John baptized in water; you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit. And soon.”

When they were together for the last time they asked, “Master, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now? Is this the time?”

7-8 He told them, “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business. What 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.”

9-11 These were his last words. As they watched, he was taken up and disappeared in a cloud. They stood there, staring into the empty sky. Suddenly two men appeared—in white robes! They 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

12-13 So they left the mountain called Olives and returned to Jerusalem. It was a little over half a mile. They 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.

14 They agreed they were in this for good, completely together in prayer, the women included. Also Jesus’ mother, Mary, and his brothers.

Replacing Judas

15-17 During this time, Peter stood up in the company—there were about 120 of them in the room at the time—and 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. Judas was one of us and had his assigned place in this ministry.

18-20 “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. Everybody in Jerusalem knows this by now; they call the place Murder Meadow. It’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.

21-22 “Judas must now be replaced. The replacement must come from the company of men who stayed together with us from the time Jesus was baptized by John up to the day of his ascension, designated along with us as a witness to his resurrection.”

23-26 They nominated two: Joseph Barsabbas, nicknamed Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed, “You, O God, know every one of us inside and out. Make plain which of these two men you choose to take the place in this ministry and leadership that Judas threw away in order to go his own way.” They then drew straws. Matthias won and was counted in with the eleven apostles.

New International Reader's Version

Acts 1

Jesus Is Taken Up Into Heaven

1Theophilus, I wrote about Jesus in my earlier book. I wrote about all he did and taught until the day he was taken up to heaven. Before Jesus left, he gave orders to the apostles he had chosen. He did this through the Holy Spirit. After his suffering and death, he appeared to them. In many ways he proved that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of 40 days. During that time he spoke about God’s kingdom. One day Jesus was eating with them. He gave them a command. “Do not leave Jerusalem,” he said. “Wait for the gift my Father promised. You have heard me talk about it. John baptized with water. But in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

Then the apostles gathered around Jesus and asked him a question. “Lord,” they said, “are you going to give the kingdom back to Israel now?”

He said to them, “You should not be concerned about times or dates. The Father has set them by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you. Then you will tell people about me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria. And you will even tell other people about me from one end of the earth to the other.”

After Jesus said this, he was taken up to heaven. The apostles watched until a cloud hid him from their sight.

10 While he was going up, they kept on looking at the sky. Suddenly two men dressed in white clothing stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking at the sky? Jesus has been taken away from you into heaven. But he will come back in the same way you saw him go.”

Matthias Is Chosen to Take the Place of Judas Iscariot

12 The apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives. It is just over half a mile from the city. 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Here is a list of those who were there.

Peter, John, James and Andrew,

Philip and Thomas,

Bartholomew and Matthew,

James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas son of James

14 They all came together regularly to pray. The women joined them too. So did Jesus’ mother Mary and his brothers.

15 In those days Peter stood up among the believers. About 120 of them were there. 16 Peter said, “Brothers and sisters, a long time ago the Holy Spirit spoke through David. He spoke about Judas Iscariot. What the Scripture said would happen had to come true. Judas was the guide for the men who arrested Jesus. 17 But Judas was one of us. He shared with us in our work for God.”

18 Judas bought a field with the payment he received for the evil thing he had done. He fell down headfirst in the field. His body burst open. All his insides spilled out. 19 Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this. So they called that field Akeldama. In their language, Akeldama means the Field of Blood.

20 Peter said, “Here is what is written in the Book of Psalms. It says,

“ ‘May his home be deserted.
    May no one live in it.’ (Psalm 69:25)

The Psalms also say,

“ ‘Let someone else take his place as leader.’ (Psalm 109:8)

21 So we need to choose someone to take his place. It will have to be a man who was with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us. 22 That time began when John was baptizing. It ended when Jesus was taken up from us. The one we choose must join us in telling people that Jesus rose from the dead.”

23 So they suggested the names of two men. One was Joseph, who was called Barsabbas. He was also called Justus. The other man was Matthias. 24 Then the believers prayed. They said, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen. 25 Show us who should take the place of Judas as an apostle. He gave up being an apostle to go where he belongs.” 26 Then they cast lots. Matthias was chosen. So he was added to the 11 apostles.