Articles and Notes

Acts 1:12-26 - Waiting for the Promise



1. After Jesus ascended to heaven, His disciples returned to Jerusalem...

a. As instructed by Jesus - Ac 1:4

b. To wait for the promise of the Spirit - Ac 1:4-5

2. Today, we are waiting for a promise...

a. Not the promise of the Spirit

b. But the promise of the Son - cf. Ac 1:11

[How the disciples of Jesus waited for the promise of the Spirit provides some insight as to how we should wait for the promise of the Son. So let's first consider what is said about how they waited for...]



1. The disciples returned to Jerusalem from Mount Olivet - Ac 1:12

a. From which Jesus ascended to heaven

b. A distance described as "a Sabbath day's journey" (2000 cubits, or 0.6 miles)

2. The apostles assembled in an upper room - Ac 1:13-14

a. With "the women" (likely those who had accompanied Jesus from Galilee and witnessed the crucifixion and empty tomb) - cf. Lk 8:2-3; 23:49,55-56; 24:2-11

b. With Mary the mother of Jesus (the last time she is mentioned in the NT)

c. With Jesus' brothers (who had not believed prior to His resurrection) - Mk 6:3; Jn 7:5


1. They continued with one accord in prayer and supplication - Ac 1:14

2. "It is likely that they were praying constantly that the promised Spirit would descend" - ESV Study Bible


1. Peter outlines the need to replace Judas Iscariot - Ac 1:15-20

a. Who had died a gruesome death

b. Whose death and replacement was foretold by the Spirit - cf. Ps 69:25; 109:8

2. The apostolic requirements are given - Ac 1:21-22

a. Someone who had accompanied the apostles

b. From the baptism of John to the day Jesus ascended

c. Who could then serve as a witness of the resurrection

3. The replacement selected - Ac 1:23-26

a. Two men put forward: Joseph (Barsabas) Justus, and Matthias

c. Matthias is selected and numbered with the eleven apostles

[In this manner the disciples of Jesus waited for the promise of the Spirit. In a similar way, so should disciples today wait for the promise of the Lord's return...]



1. A practice we are not to forsake - He 10:24-25; 1Th 5:1-11

a. Important to remaining encouraged and motivated

b. Especially since Christ's return can happen at any moment

2. Especially on the Lord's day - cf. Ac 20:7; 1Co 11:26

a. When we assemble on the first day of the week to break bread

b. In which we proclaim the Lord's death "till He come"

3. If we truly long for our Savior's return...

a. We will not forsake the practice of assembling

b. We will encourage one another with our presence


1. Jesus taught His disciples the need to pray - Lk 18:1-8; 21:34-36

a. Lest they lose heart and faith

b. Lest the Day come upon them unexpectedly

2. Thus we are to pray - Col 4:2; 1Co 16:22; Re 22:20; 2Pe 3:11-13

a. Earnestly, with vigilance

b. Anxious for His coming

c. Looking for and hastening that Day

3. If we truly long for our Savior's return...

a. We will be fervent in our prayers

b. Expressing hope and anticipation concerning His return


1. Jesus taught His disciples the need to be prepared - Mt 24:45-51; 25:1-30

a. Like a wise and faithful servant

b. Like wise virgins waiting for the bridegroom

c. Like faithful servants putting their talents to work

2. Thus we are to be prepared and productive - 2Pe 3:11-14; 1Co 15:58

a. With holy conduct and godliness, found in peace, without spot and blameless

b. Steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord

3. If we truly long for our Savior's return...

a. We will not only watch, but work!

b. Growing in grace, knowledge, and service!


1. The apostles received the promise of the Spirit...

a. In ten days, on the Day of Pentecost - Ac 2:1-4

b. Equipping them for service as witnesses for Christ - cf. Ac 1:8

2. One day we will receive the promise of the Son...

a. Even though it has almost been two thousand years - cf. 2Pe 3:3-9

b. Rewarding us with the promise of wonderful blessings! - 2Pe 3:14; Re 21:1-7

Until then, let us wait for the promise of the Son by assembling, praying, and preparing...!

Acts 1:12-26

The upper room prayer meeting

12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey away. 13 When they had entered [the city,] they went up to the upper room where they were staying; that is, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James [the son] of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas [the] [son] of James. 14 These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with [the] women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

Matthias chosen

15 At this time Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren (a gathering of about one hundred and twenty persons was there together), and said, 16 "Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 "For he was counted among us and received his share in this ministry." 18 (Now this man acquired a field with the price of his wickedness, and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out. 19 And it became known to all who were living in Jerusalem; so that in their own language that field was called Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 "For it is written in the book of Psalms, 'LET HIS HOMESTEAD BE MADE DESOLATE, AND LET NO ONE DWELL IN IT'; and, 'LET ANOTHER MAN TAKE HIS OFFICE.' 21 "Therefore it is necessary that of the men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us-- 22 beginning with the baptism of John until the day that He was taken up from us--one of these [must] become a witness with us of His resurrection." 23 So they put forward two men, Joseph called Barsabbas (who was also called Justus), and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, "You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which one of these two You have chosen 25 to occupy this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place." 26 And they drew lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.

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