Acts 1:1-5 Luke continues his narrative in this book, which reveals the acts of the Apostles or the Holy Spirit. Jesus appeared to the Apostles after His resurrection for forty days speaking about the kingdom of God. Jesus told them to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit to come upon them.
Acts 1:6-11 The Apostles wanted to know if Jesus was going to restore the kingdom in Jerusalem now, and if He was going to sit as King. Jesus says no, but they will instead receive the Holy Spirit to help get the Kingdom (The invisible Kingdom) started and to spread the good news throughout the world. Jesus then ascended up and a cloud took Him out of their sight. Two men in white (Angels) stood by and told the Apostles that one day Jesus will return from heaven to the same place (Mt Olivet) they are now standing.
Notes: The “kingdom of God” means not an earthly political or military kingdom but the present spiritually directed reign of God, gradually transforming individual lives and entire cultures through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Notes: Elsewhere in Scripture a cloud is often associated with a manifestation of God’s presence (Luke 9:28–36). This was not an ordinary rain cloud but the cloud of glory that surrounds the very presence of God.
Notes: This visible ascension of Jesus into heaven indicates that Jesus retains a physical human body, as a man, though he is exalted to the right hand of God, i.e., given direct executive rule in God’s spiritual kingdom (Matt. 28:18). When coupled with Acts 1:11, it also indicates that he will someday return in the same physical body. The amazing miracle of the incarnation is not only that the eternal Son of God took human nature on himself and became a person who is simultaneously God and man, but also that he will remain both fully God and fully man forever.
Acts 1:12-14 The Apostles returned to Jerusalem and hid themselves away in an upper room (Where the Last Supper may have been celebrated (Mark 14:15) and where Jesus had appeared to the apostles after his resurrection) where they prayed along with the women who followed Jesus, Jesus’ mother, and Jesus’ brothers.
Notes: Jesus must have appeared to his brothers during those forty days for it is apparent from the narrative that they are now believers.
Acts 1:15-20 There were about 120 close followers that accompanied the apostles. Peter recited a prophecy from King David (1000 years earlier) concerning Judas, who betrayed Jesus and hung himself. Judas’ betrayal money was used to buy a field (Field of Blood) where Judas’ bowels gushed out all over when he fell down from where he hung himself. The prophecy said this field would be desolate and no one would dwell in it. (A cemetery)
Acts 1:21-26 Peter mentions that Judas must be replaced with one of the male disciples (of the 120) that have been with Jesus since the days of John the Baptist up until now. The found two men, Joseph (called Barsabbas, also called Justus), and Matthias. They prayed to the Lord to reveal to them which of the two would replace Judas. They cast lots and Matthias was chosen.
Notes: The selection of Matthias as the twelfth apostle was a direct fulfillment of prophecy, parallel to the heads of the 12 tribes of Israel in the OT. No Apostles that died going forward were replaced, though we know of at least three more disciples that were made Apostles. They were Paul, Barnabas, and Jesus’ brother James who became the head of the church in Jerusalem.
Notes: The lots were probably marked stones that were placed in a pot and then shaken out.