Acts 1: Initial Reading Notes And Questions

I am beginning the Acts course now, and for our first week, we need to study Acts chapter 1.  First thing I like to do is read through it and take notes and ask questions along the way.  If you have any thoughts or additional ideas, please leave a comment.

1:1-2

  • Luke is making clear that this is the 2nd volume of his works, the first being his gospel.
  • Use of “about all that Jesus began to do and teach” may point to the fact that it doesn’t contain specifically everything that was done, but it is mainly about what he did and taught.
  • What is the significance of “by the Holy Spirit” when Jesus gave orders to the apostles?  Could we understand this text differently without that addition?

1:3

  • Adds a focal point to the suffering of Jesus.
  • Why did Luke not give any detail on these “convincing proofs”?
  • Sums up Jesus teaching as “concerning the kingdom of God”.

1:4

  • Why was it important to not leave Jerusalem?
  • Is “which you heard from me” referring to his promise of the Holy Spirit?

1:5

  • Why 2 baptisms?  Holy Spirit baptism without water in addition to water baptism?  Is this baptism by the Holy Spirit referenced anywhere else in the NT?  I don’t hear this practice or concept in church.  Was this a one-time-only thing?

1:6

  • They had a high anticipation  for a fully restored kingdom on Earth, so it is a good question, as evidenced by Luke’s inclusion of it here.  And, being placed right at the beginning of Acts, this may be setting up the main point of the rest of the book.

1:7

  • Jesus seems to not answer the question.
  • There has been a “fixing” of a specific time.  God’s sovereignty is shown here.
  • Jesus doesn’t say “yes” or “no” to the question, important for understanding the answer.

1:8

  • Focuses instead on Holy Spirit and bearing witness globally.
  • Starts in Jerusalem, works outwards.

1:9

  • 1:8 was final departing words.  Sometimes parting words can have special significance.
  • Must have been quite a sight.  What were they thinking?

1:10

  • Gazing intently – Who wouldn’t be!
  • Why “men” and not angels or something?
  • White clothing evidence of being an angel?

1:11

  • They “also” said.  Did they say other things as well that Luke did not record?
  • They ask a very obvious question.  Are they surprised?
  • How can we know their promise is authoritative?
  • Do they literally mean he will descend from a cloud?

1:12

  • Weren’t they already in Jerusalem?  Jesus told them not to leave.

1:13

  • Clarifying who was in the group.

1:14

  • Why “one mind”?  What does that really mean?
  • How much is “continually”?  What sorts of things did they pray?
  • Significance of brothers being there?  Didn’t they not believe?

1:15

  • 120 in the upper room?  Who were all the others?
  • Peter, the natural leader of the group?
  • “At this time” is kind of vague?  When was it?

1:16

  • “Had to be” – no other option.
  • Holy Spirit had a role well before Jesus.
  • Judas was the guide.  Look up to what David said.

1:17

  • What does “received his share of the ministry” mean?
  • “for” – reason for 1:16?  Seems odd.

1:18

  • When did this happen?
  • Though fulfilling scripture, which “had” to be done, he was considered wicked.
  • Why the gory detail?  What does “fall headlong” mean?

1:19

  • News spread fast and wide.  To “all” in Jerusalem.  Did all know that it was he that turned Jesus in?  What did they think about that  if they connected the dots?
  • Did people fear that land?

1:20

  • Look up references.

1:21

  • “necessary”, “all the time” – Importance of a full eye witness of all of it.
  • Shows that beyond the 12 disciples, others followed all or most of the time.

1:22

  • Clarifies time of requirement.
  • Focal point on witness is the resurrection.

1:23

  • Did only 2 qualify?  Or if more, how were the 2 chosen?
  • Who is “they”?  The apostles or the other people?

1:24

  • Shows importance on the heart, and God’s knowledge of it.
  • Reliance on God to chose the right man.
  • “have”chosen.  Choice was already made.

1:25

  • Distinction between ministry and apostleship.
  • Interesting description of Judas – “his own place”.

1:26

  • Lots – a common practice.
  • Importance of filling the role.  12 needed.
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