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Luke Writes Another Book

1 1Dear Theophilus, The first book I wrote was about everything that Jesus did and taught. 2I wrote about the whole life of Jesus, from the beginning until the day he was carried up into heaven. Before this happened, Jesus talked to the apostles* he had chosen. With the help of the Holy Spirit,* Jesus told the apostles what they should do. 3This was after Jesus' death, but he showed the apostles that he was alive. Jesus proved this by doing many powerful things. The apostles saw Jesus many times during the 40 days after he was raised from death. Jesus spoke to the apostles about the kingdom of God. 4One time when Jesus was eating with them, he told them not to leave Jerusalem. Jesus said, "The Father has promised you something; I told you about it before. Wait here [in Jerusalem] to receive this promise. 5John baptized* people with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."

Jesus Is Carried Up into Heaven

6The apostles* were all together. They asked Jesus, "Lord, is this the time for you to give the Jews their kingdom again?" 7Jesus said to them, "The Father is the only One who has the authority to decide dates and times. You cannot know these things. 8But the Holy Spirit* will come to you. Then you will receive power. You will be my witnesses--[you will tell people about me]. First, you will tell people in Jerusalem. Then you will tell people in all of Judea, in Samaria, and in every part of the world." 9After Jesus told the apostles* these things, he was lifted up into the sky. While the apostles were watching, Jesus went into a cloud, and they could not see him. 10Jesus was going away, and the apostles were looking into the sky. Suddenly, two men (angels) wearing white clothes stood beside them. 11The two men said to the apostles, "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

12Then the apostles* went back to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. (This mountain is about one-half mile from Jerusalem.) 13The apostles entered the city. They went to the place where they were staying; this was in a room upstairs. The apostles were: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James (the son of Alphaeus), Simon (known as the Zealot*), and Judas (the son of James). 14The 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. 15After a few days there was a meeting of the believers. (There were about 120 of them.) Peter stood up and said, 16-17"Brothers, 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 Judas fell on his head, and his body broke open. All his intestines poured out. 19And all the people of Jerusalem learned about this. That is why they named that field Akeldama. In their language Akeldama means "field of blood.") 20[Peter said,] "In the book of Psalms, this is written [about Judas]: 'People should not go near his land (property); No one should live there!' Psalm 69:25

And it is also written: 'Let another man have his work.' Psalm 109:8 

21-22So now another man must join us and become a witness of Jesus' resurrection (rising from death). This man must be one of those men who were part of our group during all the time when the Lord Jesus was with us. This man must have been with us from the time John began to baptize* people until the day when Jesus was carried up from us into heaven." 23The apostles* put two men before the group. One was Joseph Barsabbas. He was also called Justus. The other man was Matthias. 24-25The apostles prayed, "Lord, you know the minds of all men. 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!" 26Then the apostles used lots* to choose one of the two men. The lots showed that Matthias was the one that the Lord wanted. So he became an apostle with the other eleven.

apostles The men Jesus chose to be his special helpers. Spirit, Holy Spirit Also called the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, and the Comforter. Joined with God and Christ, he does God's work among people in the world. baptize(d) A Greek word meaning to immerse, dip, or bury a person or thing briefly under water. Zealot The Zealots were a Jewish political group. Scriptures Holy Writings--the Old Testament. David King of Israel about 1000 years before Christ. lots Rocks or sticks used like dice for making a choice.

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