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Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas April 5, 2016

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
Tags: , , , ,

Here are my thoughts on Acts 1:12-26.

Summary: In this passage, the eleven apostles returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, and they joined other believers in fervent prayer. Peter then declared that:

  • the betrayal of Jesus by Judas occurred in order to fulfill a prediction in Psalm 69:25
  • Judas must be replaced by another apostle in order to fulfill a prediction in Psalm 109:8.

In particular, the believers needed to select an apostle who could attest to the earthly ministry of Jesus – including His resurrection. They then called upon the Lord for His guidance in this matter – by casting lots between two men: Joseph and Matthias. God selected Matthias as the replacement for Judas.

Thoughts: In verse 14, we see that the believers in Jerusalem devoted themselves to prayer. Calvin offers some insights on this point:

From this we learn that true faith is faith that stirs us up to pray to God. The assurance that faith gives is quite different from laziness. God does not assure us that we have his grace so that we may at once become careless, but so that he may give us a keener desire to pray. Prayer is not a sign of doubting but is a witness to our certain hope and confidence, since we ask the Lord for things that we know he has promised.

The prayers of these believers are inspiring; they likely desired the arrival of the Holy Spirit – since Christ had now departed from their midst. While my prayer life has improved over the last few years, I definitely have a lot of room for improvement in this regard. In particular, I need to pray with more confidence that God would help me to comprehend His ways – especially when my other prayer requests are not answered according to my timing. I should note that I often present prayer requests that should be pleasing in His sight (e.g. world peace), yet I often grow discouraged when these requests are not answered, causing me to question Him and His ways. Thus, I need to pray that He would help me to grow in my understanding of His ways and continue to place my trust in Him.

In verses 23-26, we see that the believers in Jerusalem – based on God’s direction – selected Matthias as the twelfth apostle. Calvin offers some insights on this point in his commentary on verse 26:

We may infer that Matthias was not rated as highly as Joseph. Not only does Luke name Joseph first, but his two surnames show that he was held in great respect. He was called Barsabbas, which means “the son of an oath or of rest,” as if he were a mirror of faithfulness and innocence or of a quiet and unassuming nature. His other name, Justus, implied outstanding honesty. But God chose Matthias.

How did the believers in Jerusalem select Joseph and Matthias as the two candidates to replace Judas? Were there male disciples outside of the Twelve who were particularly close to Jesus during His earthly ministry? How did Joseph and Matthias distinguish themselves during Jesus’ earthly ministry? Was Joseph actually rated more highly than Matthias by the believers in Jerusalem? How did Joseph respond when God selected Matthias? Where did Matthias preach the Gospel message, and what fruit did he bear in the process? I am eager to meet Joseph and Matthias in the next life and learn about their earthly lives.


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