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Actsnote for Scribd

Actsnote for Scribd

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Published by: Peggy Bracken Stagno on Jul 17, 2013
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07/13/2014

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Acts 1:1-14
Study Notes and Questions
Key Theme
Jesus prepares his Apostles for world-wide witness by:Proving he is alive - Resurrection vindicated his claim to be MessiahTeaching themGiving them the vision and strategy to accomplish his purpose for them
Outline
1:1-5Prologue: Instructions to Apostles1:6-8Power for witness1:9-11Ascension1:12-14Corporate prayer
Verses 1-5
Let's start with the obvious…What does Luke mean by "the first book?" What's the first book?
The Gospel of Luke.
What does this first book tell us?
It tells us about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day he wataken up into heaven. That is, the Gospel of Luke tells us about the earthly ministry of Jesus.The NRSV translates the Greek in v. 1 as "All that Jesus did and taught from the beginning." think this translation obscures a key nuance of the Greek text. The RSV translates the samGreek clause as "All that Jesu
began 
to do and teach." These translations highlight the nuance expressed by the Greek text.
If Luke's first volume describes "All that Jesus
began
to do and teach until the day he was taken upinto heaven, what is implied about Luke's second volume? What will that be about?
It will be about what Jesus continue to do and teach from heaven 
How is Jesus going to continue to act and teach?
He will continue to act and teach through his Spirit-empowered disciples (vv. 4-5).
So what's the purpose of the first section of Acts? What is Luke trying to tell us? What is Jesus doing?How does he spend those 40 days between his resurrection and ascension? With whom does hespend them? Is this the best use of his time? Why doesn't he make a lot of public appearances; whynot appear on the Today Show or Letterman?
Jesus focuses on preparing his disciples. They/we are his strategy for saving the world. What do you think about that? Does it seem like a sound strategy to youWhat determines the soundness or effectiveness of this strategy? 
Luke tells us in v. 3 that Jesus gave "many convincing proofs" that he was alive. Why does Jesus dothis? Why does he think it necessary to give
many
proofs?
People then were no more willing than people today to believe that dead people could rise from the dead.
What kind of proofs do you think Jesus gave?
 
Written by Lou Soiles for the Graduate School Christian Fellowship © IVCF/GFM Harvard University, 2001
2
He let them see him, touch him, talk to him. V. 4 in the NRSV says, "While 'staying' with them is "took salt together," an idiom for eating together. This act was the ultimate sign of physicality (in many Jewish traditions, angels could not eat human food) and intimacy.
What did the resurrection prove?
That God had vindicated Jesus' claims to be the Messiah. He was not "cursed" by God but rather vindicated and anointed by him (see Peter's sermon in Acts 2)
What did Jesus command his disciples to do?
Remain in Jerusalem and wait 
What do you think the disciples might have been thinking when Jesus says, "do not leave Jerusalem?"If you were one of the disciples would you have wanted to wait there?What were they supposed to wait there for?
The promise of the Father 
What might they have known about this promise?
A lot! There were a lot of OT passages that spoke of the promise of the Father to pour out his Spirit (e.g. Isa. 32:15; 44:3; Ezek. 36:25-28; 37:14; 39:29; Joel 2:28-31). But Jesus goes further. Hdoesn't just say, "Wait for the promise of the Father which you know about from your reading of the OT." Where did they hear about this from Jesus? The fullest recorded statement concerning the Holy Spirit comes in John 14-16. There Jesus says among other things, that the Spirit will be with them forever (Jn. 14:16), will teach them everything and remind them of everything jesus said to them (Jn. 14:26), will testify on Jesus' behalf (15:26), will be sent by Jesus (Jn. 16:7), will prove the world wrong (or convict the world) about sin anrighteousness and judgement (Jn. 16:8), will guide them into all truth (Jn. 16:13).Luke records in his first folume Jesus' words, "When they bring you before the synagogues, the rulers and the authorities, do not worry about how you are to defend yourselves or what you are to say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what you ought to say" (Lk.12:11-12).So the disciples had heard a lot about the Holy Spirit but they hadn't yeexperienced a lot of the Spirit. For this they had to remain in Jerusalem and wait.
Verses 6-8
What is the disciples' question in v. 6? Why did they ask this question? Where did it come from? Whatwere the key things Jesus talked about in the previous section (vv. 105)?
The Kingdom of God and the promise of the Holy Spirit. In the OT the referenceto the KOG and the outpouring of the Spirit were all in the context of Israel'restoration.
What do the disciples assume, take for granted, in their question?
That the Kingdom would be restored to Israel.
Why?
Because Scripture predicted it. For example, Joel 2:28-32 (which Peter wilquoted in his Pentecost sermon) talks about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Joel continues in 3:1-21 by talking of the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord,when God would "restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem." visit the Gentile nations with judgement, break their oppression of Israel, and restore Jerusalem as the center of his diving presence.
 
Written by Lou Soiles for the Graduate School Christian Fellowship © IVCF/GFM Harvard University, 2001
3
The disciples must be thinking, "So many prophecies concerning the Messiahave been and are being fulfilled. When will the prophecies concerning the restoration of Israel be fulfilled?Look again at their question. It's not, "Are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel "Are you 
at this time 
going to restore the kingdom to Israel?
Why are the disciples so concerned about the restoration of Israel?
It may be that they are primarily concerned about the plight of their people who have been oppressed for so many years by foreign powers. It may also be, however,that they remember Jesus' promise to them, "You are those who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer on you, just as my father has conferred on me, a kingdom , sthat you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones  judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Lk. 22:28-30).So it is possible the disciples are thinking, "Is this when we get our reward? We've experienced suffering, ridicule, hardship, frustration. Is this when we finallexperience some of the perks of following Jesus?
How does Jesus answer their question? (v. 7)
Jesus answers the precise question they asked. He doesn't deny that he's going to restore the Kingdom to Israel; he simply tells them that they can't be told the exacdt timing of it, since the father had reserved all such matters of times and dates to himself.
What does Jesus say next (v. 8)?
Instead of focusing on things they can't know about or do anything about, theare to focus on being witnesses. There may be a mild rebuke here in that Jesus seemto want to expand their vision beyond Israel.The disciples (like us) often tended to toward parochialism, but the OT was very clear that God was concerned for the whole world (cf. Gen. 12:3, "In you [Abraham,] all the families of the earth shall be blessed") In Isa.49:6, as Messianic passage, the Lord says, "It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the survivors of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach 
tthe end of the earth 
(cf. Acts 1:8)
How will the Messiah's salvation reach to the ends of the earth?
Through the Spirit-empowered witness of his disciples.
What did it mean for the disciples to be "witnesses?" To what were they supposed to witness?How had Jesus prepared them for this task? How has he prepared us? What prevents us from beingeffective witnesses? Do we, like the disciples, have concerns or perspectives or priorities that restrictus or distract us from effectively fulfilling our roles as witnesses?
Verses 9-12
Why does Luke include this section? What is its purpose? What does it tell us that we need to know?Why does Jesus ascend? Where is he going? To do what? What does the ascension prove? Why do thetwo "men" tell the disciples that Jesus is coming back? Why would that be important to the disciples?

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