Luke Writes Another Book
1 Dear Theophilus,
The first book I wrote was about everything Jesus did and taught from the beginning 2 until the day he was carried up into heaven. Before he went, he talked to the apostles he had chosen. With the help of the Holy Spirit, he told them what they should do. 3 This was after his death, but he showed them that he was alive, proving it to them in many ways. The apostles saw Jesus many times during the 40 days after he was raised from death. He spoke to them about God’s kingdom. 4 One time when Jesus was eating with them, he told them not to leave Jerusalem. He said, “Wait here until you receive what the Father promised to send. Remember, I told you about it before. 5 John baptized people with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus Is Carried Up Into Heaven
6 The apostles were all together. They asked Jesus, “Lord, is this the time for you to give the people of Israel their kingdom again?”
7 Jesus said to them, “The Father is the only one who has the authority to decide dates and times. They are not for you to know. 8 But the Holy Spirit will come on you and give you power. You will be my witnesses. You will tell people everywhere about me—in Jerusalem, in the rest of Judea, in Samaria, and in every part of the world.”
9 After Jesus said this, he was lifted up into the sky. While they were watching, he went into a cloud, and they could not see him. 10 They were staring into the sky where he had gone. Suddenly two men wearing white clothes were standing beside them. 11 They said, “Men from Galilee, why are you standing here looking into the sky? You saw Jesus carried away from you into heaven. He will come back in the same way you saw him go.”
A New Apostle Is Chosen
12 Then the apostles went back to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. This mountain is about a half mile* half a mile Literally, “a Sabbath day’s journey.” from Jerusalem. 13 When they entered the city, they went to the upstairs room where they were staying. These are the ones who were there: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James (the son of Alphaeus), Simon, the Zealot, and Judas (the son of James).
14 The apostles were all together. They were constantly praying with the same purpose. Some women, Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers were there with the apostles.
15 After a few days there was a meeting of the believers. There were about 120 of them. Peter stood up and said, 16-17 “Brothers and sisters, in the Scriptures the Holy Spirit said through David that something must happen. He was talking about Judas, one of our own group. Judas served together with us. The Spirit said that Judas would lead men to arrest Jesus.”
18 (Judas was paid money for doing this. His money was used to buy him a field. But he fell on his head, his body broke open, and all his intestines poured out. 19 And all the people of Jerusalem learned about this. That is why they named that field Akeldama, which in their language means “field of blood.”)
20 Peter said, “In the book of Psalms, this is written about Judas:
‘People should not go near his land;
no one should live there.’ Psalm 69:25
And it is also written:
‘Let another man have his work.’ Psalm 109:8
21-22 “So now another man must join us and be a witness of Jesus’ resurrection. He must be one of those men who were part of our group during all the time the Lord Jesus was with us. He must have been with us from the time John was baptizing people until the day when Jesus was carried up from us into heaven.”
23 They put two men before the group. One was Joseph Barsabbas. He was also called Justus. The other man was Matthias. 24-25 They prayed, “Lord, you know the minds of all people. Show us which one of these two men you choose to do this work. Judas turned away from it and went where he belongs. Lord, show us which man should take his place as an apostle!” 26 Then they used lots to choose one of the two men. The lots showed that Matthias was the one the Lord wanted. So he became an apostle with the other eleven.
*1:12 half a mile Literally, “a Sabbath day’s journey.”