Acts Lesson 1 Day 5

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Prayer Meeting in the Upper Room


Acts 1:12-26

11. About 120 of Jesus’ followers attended.

  • The eleven remaining disciples – Peter, James, John, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Simon the zealot, and the other Judas.
  • The women from Galilee who had been companions of Jesus from the beginning (See Luke 23:49, 55)
  • Mary the mother of Jesus
  • Jesus’ four brothers – James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas (Matthew 13:55)

About 105 Women?

Only fifteen of the listed attendees were men. Fifteen!

So that means–including Mary–there were about 105 women at the prayer meeting. I’ve never heard anyone point that out before, and I’ve always pictured more men than women.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I listened to part of a sermon someone shared with me via email. The speaker said the group in the upper room began with more than 120, and as the days passed, people got tired of waiting, lost their passion and left to attend to personal, business and family matters.

I made a mental note to look into that when I got to this lesson.

This passage doesn’t leave much room for that supposition. The count of about 120 refers to immediately after the ascension. It also says, “All these [the eleven disciples] were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women…” (ESV) I think it’s safe to say Matthias and perhaps others joined them in the upper room after he was chosen to replace Judas. (I’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments below or on the Facebook page.

12. Matthias Chosen

Peter stood up and took a leadership role. He quotes David’s Messianic prophesies in Psalm 69:25, “May their camp be a desolation; let no one dwell in their tents” (ESV) and says David’s words refer to Judas.

He continues with a quote from Psalm 109:8, “may another take his office!” (ESV)

Qualifications for Judas’ replacement
  • He must be someone who was actively involved with them from the baptism of John until Jesus ascended–A follower of Jesus and active in his ministry.
  • An eyewitness to Jesus’ resurrection.
  • After they proposed two men, they prayed asking the Lord to show them which on He has chosen.

13. And they drew lots [between the two], and the lot fell on Matthias (Acts 1:26 AMPC)

  • The disciples followed God’s word recorded in scripture when they replaced Judas.
  • They were together, in unity, praying persistently and earnestly in the upper room in obedience to Jesus’ command.
  • The idea to replace Judas originated from their knowledge and application of scriptural prophecy. They all shared the desire to know the will of God in this matter.
  • Peter suggests two qualifications which appear to come from what Guzik calls “sanctified common sense.
  • They cast lots (a method sometimes used to discern God’s will) because the Holy Spirit had not yet come. After the Holy Spirit came, casting lots isn’t mentioned again.

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Resources Page

Answers to BSF Bible Study questions Acts and Letters of the Apostles Lesson 1 Day 5