December 21, 2020 – Monday
Acts 1:15-17 NIV
15 In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty)
16 and said, “Brothers and sisters, the Scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus.
17 He was one of our number and shared in our ministry.”
Today we move into the book of Acts which has approximately 60 occurrences of believe or belief. However, today our example is of believers, people who already believe, who are secure in their belief. Many versions, instead of believers, have brothers or brothers and sisters or disciples, but clearly they were all believers. Who were these 120 disciples/brothers and sisters/believers? From Ellicott’s Commentary we find The number probably included the Seventy of Luke 10:1, perhaps also Joseph of Arimathæa and Nicodemus, and some of the “five hundred” who had seen their risen Lord in Galilee or elsewhere (1 Corinthians 15:6).
There is much debate about the Scripture referenced in verse 16, but most likely is Psalm 41:9, Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me. This is also quoted by Jesus in John 13:18, I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared My bread has turned against Me’ which makes it even more likely to be the Scripture Peter was referring to. One more point here, this shows Judas did not spoil God’s plan, but saw it fulfilled.
Peter ends here with a warning in verse 17, He was one of our number and shared in our ministry, speaking of Judas. For as Peter Pett puts it, [Judas] had been a man who had been greatly privileged, and he had fallen heavily. He was ever a lesson to us all that even the most favoured can fail (as Peter also had cause to know). This was not a warning only for the 120 present, but all believers who would follow than any of us can fall.
The question not asked or answered herein is, “How do we ensure we do not fall?” The answer here is to always seek the will of God in our lives, not seeking our own will as Judas did. We are never clearly told what Judas motivation was in betraying Jesus. However, most commentaries believe Judas though his betrayal would force Jesus to reveal Himself as the conquering Messiah. In doing so he ignored Jesus own prophecies about His future arrest, torture, crucifixion, and resurrection. Lesson for us? Look for God’s will in our own individual lives without seeking our own ideas contrary to His will.
Prayer: Heavenly Father – Help us continually seek your will in our lives and not our own. We know Jesus once asked that the cup of His future crucifixion be removed, but no matter His desires that the will of His Father be followed. Help us to find the ability to follow your will always. – In Jesus name we pray. Amen.