CHAPTER 1 | Verses 13-26

Verse 13: “When they entered (Jerusalem) they went up into the upper room where they abided. Peter, James, John, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot also Judas the brother of James.”

They abided: They stayed in this place, waiting with expectancy that the Promises of God were going to be fulfilled. When we walk in obedience, and respond to the Word of God, we can abide/live with expectation, believing and expecting things to happen. These individuals, who were in the upper room, are in the same location where they had observed the Passover with Yeshua. This ties together what happened at Passover to what was going to happen on Pentecost/Shavuot.

Verse 14: “All of these were diligently, in one mind at the same time, praying and supplicating with the women, the mother of Yeshua, and with the brothers.”

In one mind (in agreement): They did not doubt that what Yeshua had promised was going to happen (Those who doubt should not think that they will receive anything from the L-rd – James 1v6).

We need to be people who live with a passionate expectation that the promises of God are going to be fulfilled in our lives.

With the brothers: This can also include sisters. In many languages the male plural can refer to individuals of both genders. Yeshua’ s brethren or family.

Verse 15: “In those days, Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (there was a crowd that numbered at that time 120).”

In those days: This term possibly speaks about a uniqueness about those days that they were living in. What was rare about those days, compared to most days, was this diligence/unity that they had with each other.

120: 12X10. Ten is the number of completion, that which is in its entirety, wholeness. From a relatively small group of individuals we are going to see the world transformed.

Verse 16: “He said, ‘Men, brethren, it was necessary that this word be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand through the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who seized Yeshua.”

He said: Peter said.

It was necessary: This means that there was no other way. It was absolutely a must and could not have been anything other than this.
This word be fulfilled: This verse has a prophetic context to it.

The Holy Spirit spoke: One of the major roles of the Holy Spirit is to bring order into this world, into the body of believers, into our lives.

Through the mouth of David: This tells us that it was spoken prophetically through a Psalm (Psalm 41v9).

Judas: Judas Iscariot, the betrayer.

Verse 17: “He was numbered with us, and he received his portion in this ministry.”

He was numbered with us: Judas had a portion of ministry, serving as an invited and chosen disciple. Nevertheless, he rebelled. One from within betrayed Messiah. All that Judas did was done in fulfilment of Scripture. Just like Judas was a part of Messiah’s ministry, work, calling and service, Matthew 24v5 warns us that in the last days much of the false teachings are going to be done from within us.

Note: The Scripture foretold/prophesied what Judas was going to do. God knew what Judas was going to do, not because He caused it but because He has the ability to look forward in history and He saw it happening. A word of prophecy alerts us to the omniscience of God, He is all knowing.

Verse 18: “He purchased a field with the wages of this unrighteous act and, having hung himself, he fell down and the middle part of him burst forth and all of his intestines (or bowels) gushed out.”

He purchased a field: Judas realized what he had done and took the thirty pieces of silver, blood money, that he had received to betray Yeshua, and he cast it back into the Temple Treasury.

This unrighteous act: Judas did that which is unrighteous. God, who is Sovereign, and not the cause of unrighteousness, can, nevertheless, turn it into something good.

This does not mean that the one who did that unrighteousness is participating with God, or that he should be thought of as doing something good because God ended up using it.

Hung himself: He committed suicide.

He fell down and the middle part of him burst forth: All of this shows Judas’ shame.

Verse 19: “It became known to all who dwell in Jerusalem. This field is called by their own dialect. 

Akeldama: ‘The field of blood’.”

Their own dialect: In their language. i.e. Aramaic

Akeldama: This means ‘the field of blood’. It is translated for us in the text.

Verse 20: “For it has been written in the Scripture: ‘Let his dwelling place become a desolation, also let no one dwell in it’; and ‘Let his charge be given to another.’”

Let his (Judas’) dwelling place become a desolation (barren), also let no one dwell in it: Taken from Psalm 69v25.

And his charge (or his position) let it be given to another: Taken from Psalm 109v8. As a fulfilment of prophecy, Judas’ position was going to be given to someone else.

Verse 21: “Therefore it was necessary those men that had gathered with us from the beginning of all the time from our L-rd Yeshua, coming in and going out.”

Coming in and going out: Although the text is written in Greek this is a Hebrew idiom for leadership. Many times, the kings of Israel are spoken of as ‘leading them out and bringing

them back in’. It speaks about choosing someone who had a history with Yeshua, who was part of all that went on, and who submitted to His leadership.

Verse 22: “Beginning from the baptism of John unto the days of Him being taken up from us, let him be a witness of His resurrection, with us one of these.”

Note: Peter is laying a foundation for the requirements of the man who is to take the place of Judas among the apostles. He had to be someone who had been with them, as a witness, from the time of John’s baptism until the time of the Ascension.

A witness of His resurrection: This is a primary prerequisite for being a servant or a disciple. Anyone who serves Messiah Yeshua is a witness, testifying, first and foremost, of His resurrection. If we do not believe in a bodily resurrection, or do not understand the implication of His resurrection, then we are not truly saved.

One of these: Meaning that the man who met these criteria would become one of the 12 Apostles.

Verse 23: “And they stood two; they were Joseph who is called Barsabbas (also called Justus) and Matthias.”

They stood two: Two men were appointed and stood in the midst of them, one of them was to be chosen for this role.

Joseph who is called Barsabbas (also called Justus): The commentaries from the ancient Church Fathers reveal that Joseph was known. The Scripture spoke more about him, meaning that people were more familiar with him. There was an assumption that he would be the one chosen.

Matthias: The only thing told to us about Matthias is his name.

Verse 24: “They prayed, and they said, ‘You O L-rd are a knower of the heart. Manifest from these two which one of the two you have chosen (elected),” You O L-rd are a knower of the heart: The L-rd knows all things, and He knows the thoughts of individuals. When many individuals want to speak about the Biblical concept of election, they do so by saying that God, simply because He could, elected some people and did not elect others. However, when we look at passages that speak about election a word that oftentimes
appears there is the word ‘foreknowledge’.

Manifest from these two: God is going to choose someone, and the apostles are asking Him to show them which man He has chosen to fill the space that Judas left. The idea of the casting of the lots is for God’s decisions to be made known, and not mans. Election does not happen in a vacuum. God’s election of Matthias was based upon the fact that God fully and completely knows the hearts of everyone.

Verse 25: “to receive the portion of this service (ministry) and Apostleship, from which Judas transgressed and went to his own place.”
transgressed (deviated): This means to step aside (When we step aside from God’s call, from service to Him, from His truth, we transgress.) Judas was not made to transgress or deviate. He chose to do it.

Went to his own place: Judas went to the place that he belonged to, based upon his choice, his transgression. As a lover of money, he succumbed to temptation and acted in disobedience.


Verse 26: “And they gave (cast) their lots and it fell upon Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven Apostles.”

He was numbered with the eleven Apostles: Matthias joined together with the other eleven, so there were, once again, twelve Apostles.

Apostles: This means to be ‘sent forth’. These 12 were getting ready to be sent out, but before this happened they needed to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Without the anointing, indwelling, or the baptism of the Holy Spirit we cannot go forth. The Holy Spirit gives us power to submit to truth, power to walk in righteousness and power to be individuals that are equipped/anointed to carry out the services/functions of the Kingdom.


HOW can WE help you?