Today’s reading: Act 1
Today we begin the book “The Acts of the Apostles”. The book is written by the same author as the Gospel of Luke, which is the “first book” referred to in the first sentence.
Immediately, we see the Apostles moving to replace Judas. Notice that they say that, “his office” must be taken by another. Thus, we can see that from the outset the church has “offices”, structure and succession.
It is also said that someone must fill Judas’ “ministry and apostleship”. This implies that there are two (2) aspects to the office. The ministry will be passed onto the bishops but their Apostleship will remain with them. It is like saying, “George Washington is a President and a Founding Father.” There will be many presidents overtime but the title “Founding Father” is limited to the first generation that served a special role. This is why today there does not need to be a special group of 12 bishops that are called Apostles.
Finally, notice that the Apostles draw lots to make the final decision about who the replacement will be. This was the procedure used by the priests in the Temple to determine who would do what job. It was believed that God would call the man forth for a specific task. Thus, by using lots the Apostles are showing that they already self-identify as priests.
Acts 2: 1-21