Points to Ponder          



Acts 1.15-17,21-26  Reference is https://www.rootsontheweb.com/lectionary/2018/95-may-june-2018-b/easter-7/open-the-word (membership required)

What do you think?

In this dramatic presentation, the narrator is constantly interrupted by a second person who seeks to understand what is being read.

Narrator: A reading from the Acts of the Apostles, chapter one. In those days…

Interrupter: Stop right there! ‘In those days…’ In which days? In the days long, long ago?No. It means in the days right after Jesus had been taken up into heaven, doesn’t it? OK – carry on.

Narrator: In those days, Peter stood up among the believers (together the crowd numbered about 120 persons)…

Interrupter: Stop! Stop right there. 120 persons. That’s interesting.

Narrator: Is it?

Interrupter: Yes, it is.

Narrator: Well, I suppose it’s a fair number of people…

Interrupter: It’s a very specific number of people. According to Jewish law, 120 is the number of people you need to form a proper synagogue. So, having 120 believers means you’re a proper faith community. All legal and letter of the law. Peter’s showing he’s a proper leader, and Luke is telling us that this church is the real deal. OK – carry on.

Narrator: Peter said, ‘Friends, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus – for he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry. So one of the men who have accompanied us throughout all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us – one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection.’ So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias.

Interrupter: Stop! Stop right there. They’re very keen on getting the numbers right in this story, aren’t they? Why not carry on with 11 apostles? Or if they’ve got two good people going spare, why not have them both? Why not 13 apostles?

Narrator: That’s easy. Jesus chose 12. They’re sticking with that.

Interrupter: Yes, but why did Jesus choose 12? Because 12 is a special number to the Jews. Israel had 12 tribes so Jesus had 12 apostles. It was a signal that none of God’s people were going to be left out of Jesus’ love.

Narrator: Then they prayed and said, ‘Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.’ And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.

Interrupter: (walks off, muttering to him/herself) Wow, election by chance – I wonder if the Russians tried to influence the result. And what is this new guy going to be like?