Saturday, 9 October 2021
These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. Acts 1:14
Note: You can listen to today’s introduction courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen)
You can also read this commentary, with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).
With the naming of those who were in the upper room of the meeting place complete, Luke continues that thought showing that more people accompanied them, but the highlight is upon those mentioned. It is they, in particular, who are noted as apostles in verse 1:2.
The word “apostle” (Greek: apostolos), signifies a messenger or one sent on a mission. It is the sender of the apostle, then, by whom the apostle is known. If an emperor sent out an apostle, he would be an apostle of the emperor. It is the men named in the previous verse that are considered the apostles of Jesus in its strictest sense. They were personally commissioned by Him.
As this is so, it is inappropriate to use the term “apostle of Jesus” today. There was no commission because the Lord did not personally send that individual. The reason for stating this now is that others may have been on the Mount of Olives with Jesus and the apostles, but it is the apostles who were highlighted upon their return to the upper room. Now, in that same thought, others are mentioned separately, indicating that they were not so commissioned by the Lord.
With this understood, Luke begins this verse with, “These all.” It is referring to the apostles just named. The highlight is on them, and it is they who are set to continue this message as designated apostles. They have a particular task to perform, and that will continue to be highlighted as the narrative progresses. It is they who “continued with one accord.”
The word used is a new one to Scripture, homothumadon. It means “with one mind,” “unanimously,” “with one accord,” and so on. It is a compound word derived from homo (same) and thumos, signifying “passion.” Thus, there is a uniting in purpose. It can be in intent, in wrath, and so on. A fuller study of this word will be included below to make a point about the early church. In the case of these apostles, their united passion was “in prayer and supplication.”
The two Greek words are similar in meaning. Some texts only say, “in prayer.” The main point is that these men were united in intent and purpose in the prayers they set forth, probably praying for wisdom, understanding, and the ability to convey this new message properly. Along with this, there must have been an almost unlimited number of prayers for eyes to be opened concerning Christ to the people.
For such a small group, without their leader physically present, it must have seemed a daunting task. But they had been given the assurance by Jesus that He would not leave them alone He would send the Holy Spirit. Their prayers must have included many words concerning this as well. Next, Luke notes that they were also “with the women.”
These are the women who had accompanied Jesus and who were most highly noted in the gospels by Luke. One of several examples is found in Luke 8 –
“Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, 2 and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, 3 and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance.” Luke 8:1-3
Only after noting them does Luke next include the words, “and Mary the mother of Jesus.” The inclusion of Jesus’ mother is to demonstrate that she was not neglected by the apostles, even if she had nothing to offer them as the other women did. Although the Gospel of John is written much later, the knowledge that Jesus had appointed His beloved apostle to care for her was already known –
“When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold your son!’ 27 Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold your mother!’ And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.” John 19:26, 27
The inclusion of Mary in this list is to show that she had been cared for accordingly. This is the last of the few times she is mentioned in Scripture. There is nothing said of note concerning her that would excuse the Roman Catholic teachings and idolatry of her. There is no allowance for prayers to or through her, there is no idolizing of her authorized, and so on. Scripture does not mention the doctrine of Immaculate Conception, and it in fact argues against it. It also does not speak of her “perpetual virginity,” but also clearly argues against it. There is no note of her assumption as well. These are heretical teachings set forth with the sole intent of diminishing the role of Jesus Christ.
Luke completes the thought with, “and with His brothers.” This is certainly included for several reasons. The first is that they came to understand that Jesus is, in fact, the sinless Son of God and the Messiah, something they were previously skeptical about. Further, being listed after the apostles, it shows that they were not considered as such. And thirdly, James (the Lord’s brother) will eventually be the leader of the church as is inferred from the words of Acts 15:13.
As such, it shows that being an apostle has its own purpose, but it does not necessarily confer authority or preeminence in all areas. As such, the idea of “apostolic authority” which is supposedly claimed by various denominations, is another incorrect and inappropriate doctrine. It abuses the intended meaning of the word “apostle,” and it claims an authority that cannot be inferred from Scripture.
As can be seen, this one verse – when considered rightly with other parts of Scripture – refutes a couple points of bad doctrine or even heresy.
Life application: As noted above, the word homothumadon will be looked at a little more closely. These are all of the uses of the word in Scripture –
“These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.” Acts 1:14
“So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,” Acts 2:46
“So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: ‘Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them,’” Acts 4:24
“And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch.” Acts 5:12
“Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord;” Acts 7:57
“And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.” Acts 8:6
“Now Herod had been very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon; but they came to him with one accord, and having made Blastus the king’s personal aide their friend, they asked for peace, because their country was supplied with food by the king’s country.”Acts 12:20
“it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,” Acts 15:25
“When Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him to the judgment seat,” Acts 18:12
“So the whole city was filled with confusion, and rushed into the theater with one accord, having seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians, Paul’s travel companions.” Acts 19:29
“that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus” Christ. Romans 15:6
A great deal can be learned from the careful placement of this word at the various points in Acts. But only a short evaluation will be made. First, the word is used eleven times total with ten being in Acts. The first seven uses are in the “Peter” chapters of Acts 1-12. One use (Acts 8:6) is among the Samaritans, a people who had their own Pentateuch and are more of an offshoot of what is going on in the religion of the Jews than anything else.
Of the two uses in the “Paul” chapters of Acts (Acts 13-28) the eighth use is in the Council of Jerusalem as led by the Jews. The ninth and final use is seen in the Gentiles coming against the believers of the church.
The eleventh and final use of the word is by Paul, writing to the Romans (and thus by extension to the entire Gentile-led church) to be of one mind in glorifying “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
With only this minimal evaluation of this word, it is plainly evident that unlike the early Jewish-led church, the gentile churches agree on very little. The reason for this is quite apparent. There is a complete breakdown in theology within the church. There is a lack of applying proper context, there is a mixing of dispensations, there is a failure to understand what is prescriptive and what is descriptive for doctrine and practice.
The early church had one body of Scripture that they were well versed in. The early Gentiles had the same body of Scripture, but they were not well versed in it. Therefore, they were easily swayed by external pressures. A perfect example of this is found in the book of Galatians. There was a failure to recognize false teachings, false teachers, and heretical ideas.
To this day, that continues. And the entire reason it does is BECAUSE WE FAIL TO HEED THE WORD. When the word is ignored, diminished, added to (see the Roman Catholic heresies mentioned above), and so on, we can never be in one accord. It is the word of God, in its proper context, that is to be held to and properly evaluated. May it be so in our lives, to the glory of God who has so ordained it. In such a state, the “with one accord” mentioned above will be realized, and there will be harmony among believers –
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!
2 It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Running down on the beard,
The beard of Aaron,
Running down on the edge of his garments.
3 It is like the dew of Hermon,
Descending upon the mountains of Zion;
For there the Lord commanded the blessing—
Life forevermore.” Psalm 133
Lord God, help us to rightly divide Your precious word, and then to present it in this manner so that all believers will be built up into one body that has Jesus Christ properly placed in His glorious position before You and before us! Amen.