The first book which I wrote, Theophilus, was concerned with all that Jesus set out to do and teach,
until the day came when he was taken up into heaven. He then laid a charge, by the power of the Holy Spirit, on the apostles whom he had chosen.
He had shewn them by many proofs that he was still alive, after his passion; throughout the course of forty days he had been appearing to them, and telling them about the kingdom of God;
and now he gave them orders, as he shared a meal with them, not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the fulfilment of the Father’s promise. You have heard it, he said, from my own lips;
John’s baptism, I told you, was with water, but there is a baptism with the Holy Spirit which you are to receive, not many days from this.
And his companions asked him, Lord, dost thou mean to restore the dominion to Israel here and now?
But he told them, It is not for you to know the times and seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority.
Enough for you, that the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and you will receive strength from him; you are to be my witnesses in Jerusalem and throughout Judaea, in Samaria, yes, and to the ends of the earth.
When he had said this, they saw him lifted up, and a cloud caught him away from their sight.
And as they strained their eyes towards heaven, to watch his journey, all at once two men in white garments were standing at their side.
Men of Galilee, they said, why do you stand here looking heavenwards? He who has been taken from you into heaven, this same Jesus, will come back in the same fashion, just as you have watched him going into heaven.
Then, from the mountain which is called Olivet, they went back to Jerusalem; the distance from Jerusalem is not great, a sabbath day’s journey.
Coming in, they went up into the upper room where they dwelt, Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the brother of James.
All these, with one mind, gave themselves up to prayer, together with Mary the mother of Jesus, and the rest of the women and his brethren.
At this time, Peter stood up and spoke before all the brethren; a company of about a hundred and twenty were gathered there.
Brethren, he said, there is a prophecy in scripture that must needs be fulfilled; that which the Holy Spirit made, by the lips of David, about Judas, who shewed the way to the men that arrested Jesus.
Judas was counted among our number, and had been given a share in this ministry of ours.
(With the price of his treachery, this man came into possession of a field; and afterwards, when he fell from a height, and his belly burst open, so that he was disembowelled,
all Jerusalem heard of it, and the field came to be called, in their language, Haceldama, that is, the Field of Blood.)
Well, in the book of Psalms the words are written, Let their camping-place be deserted, and let no man be found to dwell in it. And again, Let another take over his office.
There are men who have walked in our company all through the time when the Lord Jesus came and went among us,
from the time when John used to baptize to the day when he, Jesus, was taken from us. One of these ought to be added to our number as a witness of his resurrection.
So they named two of them, Joseph called Barsabas, who had been given the fresh name of Justus, and Matthias.
And they offered this prayer, Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, shew us which of these two thou hast chosen
to take his place in this work of apostleship, from which Judas has fallen away, and gone to the place which belonged to him.
They gave them lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he took rank with the eleven apostles.