828 King's Highway, Suffolk VA 23432

757 255-4168 stjohns1755@verizon.net Worship Service: Sundays at 10:30am
Welcome to St. John's community. We are honored to serve Christ, and to open our doors to all. Please feel free to join us for worship. St. John's can trace its history to the founding of Jamestown. The parish is over 350 years old, and the church building itself has stood for 2 and a half centuries. St. John's saw the American Revolution and served as a camp ground for troops during the Civil War. Through it all, St. John's has been a place of worship and a home for those seeking communion with Christ. St. John's has a rich and abiding history. Today, it is as it was... a place to find and be found by Christ.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Christian Formation for Sunday May 20 - Acts 1:15-26 Matthias Replaces Judas

May 20, 2012, 7th Sunday of Easter
Acts 1:15-17, 21-26
Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas
Background: The Acts of the Apostles continues the story of Jesus’ life portrayed in the Gospel of Luke. This book emphasizes the sovereignty of God and the divinity of Jesus; heavy emphasis is placed on tying all Jesus did to the Old Testament prophets. It has been said that Luke’s intent was to show the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus were both real and preordained by God.

Theme: The Apostles attempt to regroup following Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Their first mission is to fill out the band of the apostles to replace Judas who betrayed Jesus and ultimate met an untimely death. This passage helps define what it means to be an Apostle and what the principle mission of the Apostles should be.

Questions to Ponder

* Please read the omitted portion of the passage, verses 18-20.

* Why do you think Peter claimed “…scripture had to be fulfilled…”?

* What passages do you think Peter was claiming as David’s prediction that Judas would be the one who betrayed Jesus? Do you think the writer of those passages was speaking about Judas or some other person in history? Do you think the identity of the person being described is important for the message of the passage(s)?

* What does it mean to be an Apostle (ἀπόστολος {apóstolos}), at least in Luke’s definition of an Apostle?

* Why do you think it was important to replace Judas as an Apostle? Why wouldn’t the other Apostles have been specifically replaced after their martyrdom or death (or abandonment of the faith)?

* What, in this passage, was essential for a person to be identified as an Apostle? Do you think the selection of Matthias as successor to Judas filled this requirement?

* What do you find interesting, if anything, about there being [at least] 120 people who had been identified as being with Jesus “from his baptism by John until he was taken up into heaven”? Does that seem consistent with other stories in the gospel and Acts? Why or why not?

* What does Peter state as the principle mission of an Apostle? How, if at all, is this mission different than the mission of Jesus’ Disciples?

* For what reason would the Apostles have “cast lots for them [Matthias and Barsabbas]” to determine which was chosen to replace Judas?

* Do you think it was chance that selected Matthias as successor to Judas? Why or why not?

* Why do you think the Apostles were limited to 12, especially considering that there were as many as 120 who had been with Jesus since his baptism until his resurrection?

* What are the purposes of the Apostles and the Disciples? How do those purposes translate into our society?

* How do we know whether we are called to be Apostles or Disciples of Christ today?

* What is the application of this passage for us today?

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