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Theophilus, I first wrote to you[a] about all that Jesus did and taught from the very first until he was taken up to heaven. But before he was taken up, he gave orders to the apostles he had chosen with the help of the Holy Spirit.

For forty days after Jesus had suffered and died, he proved in many ways that he had been raised from death. He appeared to his apostles and spoke to them about God’s kingdom. While he was still with them, he said:

Don’t leave Jerusalem yet. Wait here for the Father to give you the Holy Spirit, just as I told you he has promised to do. John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.

Jesus Is Taken to Heaven

While the apostles were still with Jesus, they asked him, “Lord, are you now going to give Israel its own king again?”[b]

Jesus said to them, “You don’t need to know the time of those events that only the Father controls. But the Holy Spirit will come upon you and give you power. Then you will tell everyone about me in Jerusalem, in all Judea, in Samaria, and everywhere in the world.” After Jesus had said this and while they were watching, he was taken up into a cloud. They could not see him, 10 but as he went up, they kept looking up into the sky.

Suddenly two men dressed in white clothes were standing there beside them. 11 They said, “Why are you men from Galilee standing here and looking up into the sky? Jesus has been taken to heaven. But he will come back in the same way that you have seen him go.”

Someone To Take the Place of Judas

12-13 The Mount of Olives was about half a mile from Jerusalem. The apostles who had gone there were Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon, known as the Eager One,[c] and Judas the son of James.

After the apostles returned to the city, they went upstairs to the room where they had been staying.

14 The apostles often met together and prayed with a single purpose in mind.[d] The women and Mary the mother of Jesus would meet with them, and so would his brothers. 15 One day there were about one hundred twenty of the Lord’s followers meeting together, and Peter stood up to speak to them. 16-17 He said:

My friends, long ago by the power of the Holy Spirit, David said something about Judas, and what he said has now happened. Judas was one of us and had worked with us, but he brought the mob to arrest Jesus. 18 Then Judas bought some land with the money he was given for doing that evil thing. He fell headfirst into the field. His body burst open, and all his insides came out. 19 When the people of Jerusalem found out about this, they called the place Akeldama, which in the local language means “Field of Blood.”

20 In the book of Psalms it says,

“Leave his house empty,
and don’t let anyone
    live there.”

It also says,

“Let someone else
    have his job.”

21-22 So we need someone else to help us tell others that Jesus has been raised from death. He must also be one of the men who was with us from the very beginning. He must have been with us from the time the Lord Jesus was baptized by John until the day he was taken to heaven.

23 Two men were suggested: One of them was Joseph Barsabbas, known as Justus, and the other was Matthias. 24 Then they all prayed, “Lord, you know what everyone is like! Show us the one you have chosen 25 to be an apostle and to serve in place of Judas, who got what he deserved.” 26 They drew names, and Matthias was chosen to join the group of the eleven apostles.

The Coming of the Holy Spirit

On the day of Pentecost[e] all the Lord’s followers were together in one place. Suddenly there was a noise from heaven like the sound of a mighty wind! It filled the house where they were meeting. Then they saw what looked like fiery tongues moving in all directions, and a tongue came and settled on each person there. The Holy Spirit took control of everyone, and they began speaking whatever languages the Spirit let them speak.

Many religious Jews from every country in the world were living in Jerusalem. And when they heard this noise, a crowd gathered. But they were surprised, because they were hearing everything in their own languages. They were excited and amazed, and said:

Don’t all these who are speaking come from Galilee? Then why do we hear them speaking our very own languages? Some of us are from Parthia, Media, and Elam. Others are from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, 10 Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, parts of Libya near Cyrene, Rome, 11 Crete, and Arabia. Some of us were born Jews, and others of us have chosen to be Jews. Yet we all hear them using our own languages to tell the wonderful things God has done.

12 Everyone was excited and confused. Some of them even kept asking each other, “What does all this mean?”

13 Others made fun of the Lord’s followers and said, “They are drunk.”

Peter Speaks to the Crowd

14 Peter stood with the eleven apostles and spoke in a loud and clear voice to the crowd:

Friends and everyone else living in Jerusalem, listen carefully to what I have to say! 15 You are wrong to think that these people are drunk. After all, it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16 But this is what God had the prophet Joel say,

17 “When the last days come,
I will give my Spirit
    to everyone.
Your sons and daughters
    will prophesy.
Your young men
    will see visions,
and your old men
    will have dreams.
18 In those days I will give
    my Spirit to my servants,
both men and women,
    and they will prophesy.

19 I will work miracles
    in the sky above
and wonders
    on the earth below.
There will be blood and fire
    and clouds of smoke.
20 The sun will turn dark,
and the moon
    will be as red as blood
before the great
    and wonderful day
    of the Lord appears.
21 Then the Lord
    will save everyone
    who asks for his help.”

22 Now, listen to what I have to say about Jesus from Nazareth. God proved that he sent Jesus to you by having him work miracles, wonders, and signs. All of you know this. 23 God had already planned and decided that Jesus would be handed over to you. So you took him and had evil men put him to death on a cross. 24 But God set him free from death and raised him to life. Death could not hold him in its power. 25 What David said are really the words of Jesus,

“I always see the Lord
    near me,
and I will not be afraid
    with him at my right side.
26 Because of this,
    my heart will be glad,
my words will be joyful,
    and I will live in hope.
27 The Lord won’t leave me
    in the grave.
I am his holy one,
and he won’t let
    my body decay.
28 He has shown me
    the path to life,
and he makes me glad
    by being near me.”

29 My friends, it is right for me to speak to you about our ancestor David. He died and was buried, and his tomb is still here. 30 But David was a prophet, and he knew that God had made a promise he would not break. He had told David that someone from his own family would someday be king.

31 David knew this would happen, and so he told us that Christ would be raised to life. He said that God would not leave him in the grave or let his body decay. 32 All of us can tell you that God has raised Jesus to life!

33 Jesus was taken up to sit at the right side[f] of God, and he was given the Holy Spirit, just as the Father had promised. Jesus is also the one who has given the Spirit to us, and that is what you are now seeing and hearing.

34 David didn’t go up to heaven. So he wasn’t talking about himself when he said, “The Lord told my Lord to sit at his right side, 35 until he made my Lord’s enemies into a footstool for him.” 36 Everyone in Israel should then know for certain that God has made Jesus both Lord and Christ, even though you put him to death on a cross.

37 When the people heard this, they were very upset. They asked Peter and the other apostles, “Friends, what shall we do?”

38 Peter said, “Turn back to God! Be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins will be forgiven. Then you will be given the Holy Spirit. 39 This promise is for you and your children. It is for everyone our Lord God will choose, no matter where they live.”

40 Peter told them many other things as well. Then he said, “I beg you to save yourselves from what will happen to all these evil people.” 41 On that day about three thousand believed his message and were baptized. 42 They spent their time learning from the apostles, and they were like family to each other. They also broke bread[g] and prayed together.

Life among the Lord’s Followers

43 Everyone was amazed by the many miracles and wonders that the apostles worked. 44 All the Lord’s followers often met together, and they shared everything they had. 45 They would sell their property and possessions and give the money to whoever needed it. 46 Day after day they met together in the temple. They broke bread[h] together in different homes and shared their food happily and freely, 47 while praising God. Everyone liked them, and each day the Lord added to their group others who were being saved.

Peter and John Heal a Lame Man

The time of prayer was about three o’clock in the afternoon, and Peter and John were going into the temple.[i] A man who had been born lame was being carried to the temple door. Each day he was placed beside this door, known as the Beautiful Gate. He sat there and begged from the people who were going in.

The man saw Peter and John entering the temple, and he asked them for money. But they looked straight at him and said, “Look up at us!”

The man stared at them and thought he was going to get something. But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold! But I will give you what I do have. In the name of Jesus Christ from Nazareth, get up and start walking.” Peter then took him by the right hand and helped him up.

At once the man’s feet and ankles became strong, and he jumped up and started walking. He went with Peter and John into the temple, walking and jumping and praising God. Everyone saw him walking around and praising God. 10 They knew that he was the beggar who had been lying beside the Beautiful Gate, and they were completely surprised. They could not imagine what had happened to the man.

Peter Speaks in the Temple

11 While the man kept holding on to Peter and John, the whole crowd ran to them in amazement at the place known as Solomon’s Porch.[j] 12 Peter saw that a crowd had gathered, and he said:

Friends, why are you surprised at what has happened? Why are you staring at us? Do you think we have some power of our own? Do you think we were able to make this man walk because we are so religious? 13 The God that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and our other ancestors worshiped has brought honor to his Servant[k] Jesus. He is the one you betrayed. You turned against him when he was being tried by Pilate, even though Pilate wanted to set him free.

14 You rejected Jesus, who was holy and good. You asked for a murderer to be set free, 15 and you killed the one who leads people to life. But God raised him from death, and all of us can tell you what he has done. 16 You see this man, and you know him. He put his faith in the name of Jesus and was made strong. Faith in Jesus made this man completely well while everyone was watching.

17 My friends, I am sure that you and your leaders didn’t know what you were doing. 18 But God had his prophets tell that his Messiah would suffer, and now he has kept that promise. 19 So turn to God! Give up your sins, and you will be forgiven. 20 Then that time will come when the Lord will give you fresh strength. He will send you Jesus, his chosen Messiah. 21 But Jesus must stay in heaven until God makes all things new, just as his holy prophets promised long ago.

22 Moses said, “The Lord your God will choose one of your own people to be a prophet, just as he chose me. Listen to everything he tells you. 23 No one who disobeys that prophet will be one of God’s people any longer.”

24 Samuel and all the other prophets who came later also spoke about what is now happening. 25 You are really the ones God told his prophets to speak to. And you were given the promise that God made to your ancestors. He said to Abraham, “All nations on earth will be blessed because of someone from your family.” 26 God sent his chosen Son[l] to you first, because God wanted to bless you and make each one of you turn away from your sins.

Footnotes

  1. 1.1 I first wrote to you: The Gospel of Luke.
  2. 1.6 are you now going to give Israel its own king again: Or “Are you now going to rule Israel as its king?”
  3. 1.12,13 Eager One: The Greek text has”Zealot,” a name later given to the members of the Jewish group that resisted and fought against the Romans.
  4. 1.14 met together and prayed with a single purpose in mind: Or “met together in a special place for prayer.”
  5. 2.1 Pentecost: A Jewish festival that came fifty days after Passover and celebrated the wheat harvest. Jews later celebrated Pentecost as the time when they were given the Law of Moses.
  6. 2.33 right side: The place of honor and power.
  7. 2.42,46 broke bread: They ate together and celebrated the Lord’s Supper.
  8. 2.42,46 broke bread: They ate together and celebrated the Lord’s Supper.
  9. 3.1 The time of prayer: Many of the Jewish people prayed in their homes at regular times each day (see Daniel 6.11), and on special occasions they prayed in the temple.
  10. 3.11 Solomon’s Porch: A public place with tall columns along the east side of the temple.
  11. 3.13 Servant: Or “Son.”
  12. 3.26 Son: Or “Servant.”

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