Year 2 Day 185
Read - Acts 1v12-26 (Matthias)
Message - Scott Woodburn
We have almost finished our little study of the Apostles and at this stage we might be tempted to run, skip and jump to the man called Paul. We’ll not do that. We need to slow down first and remind ourselves of the Apostle who replaced Judas Iscariot. What was his name? It’s a head scratcher isn’t it? His name was Matthias and he is perhaps the least known and least remembered of the Apostles.
As the Apostles return to Jerusalem (v12) they come to the realisation that Judas must be replaced. A field had been bought with the money Judas had received for his betrayal of Christ (Matthew 27v7). Judas had hung himself in the very same field and after his body had decomposed it had fallen and burst open giving the field the name “Akeldama” or the “Field of blood” (v18-19). The field had been bought with blood money and saturated with the blood of Judas - there is no glory ahead for those who reject Christ.
Judas needed to be replaced so that the Scripture would be fulfilled (Psalm 69v25 & Psalm 109v8). Yet his replacement couldn’t just be any old person. It was necessary to appoint someone who had been with Jesus and had been an eyewitness of the resurrection (v22). Once more we realise that there is no one today who would meet this Biblical standard - regardless of what you hear…there are no Apostles today.
Two individuals were part forward for the position. One man called Joseph Barsabbas Justus and another by the name of Matthias (v23). After prayer and the casting of lots it was clear that Matthias was to the man who replaced Judas and once appointed he immediately disappeared from the pages of the Bible!
Poor Matthias! Nothing is said about his acts! Nothing is mentioned about his preaching! He replaces Judas and then vanishes like snow off a ditch. It has led some to suggest that the appointment of Matthias was a mistake. The thinking goes that the Apostles jumped the gun. The real replacement for Judas was going to be Paul not Matthias.
I don’t agree with those who believe Matthias was a mistake. The Apostles replaced Judas in full agreement with the Scriptures. They ensured that the requirements of a true Apostle were met. They sought the Lord in prayer and only then did they draw lots. This is a careful process and while the drawing of lots is not the norm today (we see no more lots drawn after the Spirit’s arrival) we still recognise “the lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.” (Proverbs 16v33)
I’m certain that Matthias was not treated like an outsider and I can assure you that he has no worry about his status in heaven today. But there is something of Matthias that we can relate to. If we’re honest about our own Christian walk we more closely resemble Matthias than we do Peter. We are not known to the world and our testimony doesn’t have much fizz, bang or wallop. We’re not desperately zealous in prayer and to the best of our knowledge we’ve never brought anyone to the Lord. What if…in your salvation…there has been some horrible mistake?
My fellow Christian I am so glad that we are not saved by our works, nor do we stay in God’s good book by our actions. There is something incredibly wonderful about a little known child of God faithfully serving the Lord without the attention of the world or fame within the church. The Lord does not make mistakes and when the Holy Spirit called you to faith He didn’t do it accidentally.
It may be true that your sister is more attractive. It may be true that your brother is your mother’s favourite. It may be true that at times you have been something of a disappointment in your dad’s eyes. Yet…hear this…the one who has received Christ by faith has been welcomed into the family of God. By faith you are now in a wonderful union with Christ and if the Father is well pleased with the Son, then He is also well pleased with you.
You may be more Matthias than Peter, but that’s okay. God doesn’t play favourites, nor does he make mistakes. Christ’s blood paid the price for all of His church, the famous and the unknown, Matthias and Peter, even one such as you! Rejoice for Jesus loves every single soul for whom He died.
Q68 What is required in the sixth commandment? The sixth commandment requireth all lawful endeavours to preserve our own life, and the life of others.