In this passage of scripture, Peter initiates a process to fill the vacated spot created when Judas took his own life. After giving Jesus into the hands of Jewish religious authorities and Jesus' execution, Judas was overwhelmed by regret and hung himself. His body later fell, and Luke offers the description that his intestines spilled out. The story of Judas is notably sad and serves as a warning that unless one's heart is devoted to Jesus, the claim to be a follower is fal
Peter spoke to 120 people, which included the other disciples, the women who followed Jesus, and others. Appealing to scripture, Peter led a process to fill Judas' vacancy among the twelve original disciples of Jesus. Peter based his appeal on two passages from Psalms: Ps 69:25 and Ps 109:8. Peter proclaimed that these scriptures prophesied 1) the desolation of Judas for his betrayal of Jesus and 2) that someone else would take his place of leadership.
How did Peter know how to connect verses from Psalms to the need to replace Judas? After all, Peter was a fisherman, not a scripture scholar! In Luke 24:7, 45 and Acts 1:3, we read that after his resurrection, Jesus opened the disciples' minds to 1) how he fulfilled all the prophesies scripture and 2) matters about the kingdom of God. Therefore, Peter taught what Jesus taught him.
Peter initiated a process of discernment based on some requirements and prayer. Two candidates were identified. Both men were with Jesus from his baptism to the time he ascended into heaven. These men also witnessed the truth of Jesus' resurrection. Those who had gathered prayed. Their prayer was simple: "Lord, you know everyone's heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen…" This prayer teaches us what matters most to God. God desires hearts that are devoted to him. Is your heart devoted to God?
Our takeaway is this: Our readiness to follow the high calling of our Lord's leadership reveals our heart's devotion to God. It matters how we make decisions about direction in life and ministry. This applies to each of us and to our church. Devotion to God’s Word is important. Devotion to God in prayer is important. Discernment with others whose hearts are devoted to God is also important. To learn more about the applications of this passage to our lives and to our church, listen to Pastor Paul's sermon.