Jesus Ascends to Heaven
Acts 1:1-11 (AD 30)
(1) In my first book (the Gospel of Luke), Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and teach (2) until the day he was taken up into heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the chosen apostles.
(3) After Jesus’ suffering (his death on the cross and resurrection), he appeared to them and gave them many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of 40 days (between Jesus’ resurrection and ascension; see 1 Corinthians 15:5-8) and spoke to them about the kingdom of God.
(4) Once while he was gathered with them, he said: “Do not leave Jerusalem until you receive the gift my Father promised (the coming of the Holy Spirit), which you have heard me speak about. (5) For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit (Pentecost; see Acts 2:1-8).”
(6) So when they gathered together around Jesus they asked him, “Lord, are you now going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” (7) Jesus said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has determined by his own authority. (8) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
(9) After Jesus said this, they saw him taken up to heaven (from Bethany, on the Mount of Olives; see Luke 24:50), and a cloud (probably God’s presence) hid him from their sight.
(10) While they stared into the sky as Jesus ascended into heaven, suddenly two men dressed in white clothing stood beside them. (11) They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you staring into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up into heaven, will come again in the way you saw him go into heaven.”
Jesus’ Apostles Return to Jerusalem
(12) Then the apostles left Bethany on the Mount of Olives, and walked a legal Sabbath day’s walk (about a half mile) back to Jerusalem. (13) When they arrived in Jerusalem, they went to an upstairs guest room where they were staying. (The location of Jesus’ last Passover meal with his apostles—the Last Supper—was an upper guest room in a private home in Jerusalem. It became known as the “Upper Room.” Probably this is the same room that the apostles used as a temporary residence or regular gathering place. According to church tradition, the Upper Room was located in the southern part of the old city of Jerusalem, on Mount Zion.)
Those present were Peter, Andrew, John, James, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon called the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. (14) They all gathered together regularly for prayer, along with the women, Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers (James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon; see Mark 6:3).
The Choosing of a New Apostle
(15) In those days (between Jesus’ ascension and Pentecost), Peter stood up among the 120 or so believers (16) and said, “My fellow believers, God’s word (the Old Testament) had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through David concerning Judas, the one who led those who arrested Jesus. (17) For he was one of Jesus’ Twelve Apostles and shared in our ministry.”
(18) With the money Judas received for his wicked betrayal of Jesus, he bought a field of land and there he hung himself from a tree. His body swelled and fell to the ground and burst open, spilling out his intestines. (19) Everyone living in Jerusalem heard about what had happened to Judas, so they called the field the “Field of Blood,” which in the Aramaic language is “Akeldama.”
(20) Peter said, “For it is written in Psalm 69:25, ‘May his place be deserted; let no one dwell in it,’ and in Psalm 109:8, ‘May another take his leadership responsibility (as an overseer).’ (21) Therefore it is necessary that we choose another man to replace Judas, one who has been with us during the entire time that the Lord Jesus lived among us—(22) beginning from John’s baptism to the day Jesus ascended into heaven. For one of these men must become an eyewitness with us of Jesus’ resurrection.”
(23) So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. (24) Then they prayed, “Lord, you know our hearts. Reveal to us which one of these two men you have chosen (25) to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas abandoned to go where he belongs.” (26) Then they threw stone dice (lots), and the dice fell to Matthias; so he was added to the 11 apostles.