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James and John Seek Honor BY ANTON VAN DYCK, THE FLEMISH MASTER, DIED 1641.
“Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children, with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him."-Matthew, 20, 20,
HRIST entered now upon the final period of His
earthly life. The time for the Great Sacrifice was
at hand. The feast of the passover was again approaching. Jesus told His disciples, “We go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.” But they understood Him not. It is a sad commentary on our vain human natures that, as the disciples journeyed toward Jerusalem, they were again engaged in disputation as to which of them should outrank the others in the Master's kingdom. The mother of James and John even approached Jesus with a request, which the sons themselves seconded, that the two of them should sit at His two sides when He came to His throne. Saddened that even His best should thus covet distinction, Jesus answered truly, “You know not what you ask. Can you drink of the chalice that I drink of?” They answered resolutely, that they could. But Jesus responded that even so He could not promise arght, for His kingdom was not one of earthly ranks. Then He summoned all the apostles to listen while He told them, “Whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his
life a ransom for many."
This Book is a continuation of the Gospel of Luke, addressed to the same “Theophilus” and composed by the same author as the earlier work. Apparently Luke wrote it in Rome about the period of its abrupt close, when the author was engaged side by side with Paul in missionary work at the great capital. The Book is by no means a complete account of all the apostles. The theme of the first twelve chapters is the inspiration of the Church by the Holy Ghost, with the effect of this in building up the Faith in Judea under Peter's leadership. The remaining chapters then give an account of Paul, chief of the leaders who spread the faith abroad. Of the missionary work of the other apostles and their many earnest assistants, there is only occasional mention. No detailed record of those important matters has come down to us.
1 Christ, preparing his apostles to the beholding of his ascension, gathereth them together into the mount Olivet, commandeth them to expect in Jerusalem the sending down of the Holy Ghost, promiseth after few days to send it: by virtue whereof they should be witnesses unto him, even to the utmost parts of the earth. 9 After his ascension they are warned by two angels to depart, and to set their minds upon his second coming. 12 They accordingly return, and, giving themselves to prayer, choose Matthias apostle in the place of Judas.
HE former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen;
3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen
of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him,
ACTS 1—THE ANGELIC MESSAGE
saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom of Israel?
7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven ? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey.
13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alpheus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.
14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
15 | And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of the names together were about an hundred and twenty,)
16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.
17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.
18 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.
19 And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.
20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take. 3
21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
The word power in this and the following verse are translated from different Greek words. In verse 7 the sense is that God has set the time in His own sovereign way; by the authority which belongs to Him. A "sabbath day journey” was under the rabbinical law somewhat less chan a mile. Psalm 69, 25, and 109, &