Sermons

Summary: The original Apostles were picking a replacement for Judas. Was Matthias really God's pick?

Sermon Title: Disappeared.

Scripture Text: Acts 1:15-17; Acts 1:21-26

ILLUSTRATION:

There was this church and their Pastor had ran off because of some things in his life. Since it wasn’t a United Methodist Church they formed a Search Committee. During the search they came up with two individuals that were equally qualified in every way. They made arrangements for the prospective pastors to come and “try out” for the honor of being their pastor. They both were to preach on the same Sunday morning for 20 minutes each. The Search Committee felt this would break the tie because surely one was a better preacher than the other.

Each came and at their appointed times and preached. Both preached wonderful fulfilling sermons with much depth and wisdom. The congregation voted – it was a tie!

All looked towards the Chair of the Search Committee for what to do. She slowly opened her purse, fiddled around and took out a brand new shiny quarter. She looked at the last speaker and said – CALL IT. He was stunned. He looked at the other man in shock and the other man said “heads”. The Chair flipped the quarter in the air and caught it and slapped it on her arm with a slapping sound. She looked at the man that called heads. Then looked at the other man and said “welcome to our church Pastor”.

Now hear the reading of God’s Word:

Scripture:

Acts 1:15-17 NLT

15 During this time, when about 120 believers  were together in one place, Peter stood up and addressed them. 16 “Brothers,” he said, “the Scriptures had to be fulfilled concerning Judas, who guided those who arrested Jesus. This was predicted long ago by the Holy Spirit, speaking through King David. 17 Judas was one of us and shared in the ministry with us.”

Acts 1:21-26 NLT

21 “So now we must choose a replacement for Judas from among the men who were with us the entire time we were traveling with the Lord Jesus— 22 from the time he was baptized by John until the day he was taken from us. Whoever is chosen will join us as a witness of Jesus’ resurrection.”

23 So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24 Then they all prayed, “O Lord, you know every heart. Show us which of these men you have chosen 25 as an apostle to replace Judas in this ministry, for he has deserted us and gone where he belongs.” 26 Then they cast lots, and Matthias was selected to become an apostle with the other eleven.

*Matthias won the coin flip.

I have often wondered about poor Barsabbas! If you look at the qualifications these men were to have, you realize that they both were followers of Christ, which almost certainly meant that they had already paid a certain price for being a Believer. Both appeared to have the same qualifications, and both were presumably proposed as excellent candidates for the "job" because of their Christ-like walk in life.

Yet, Barsabbas has only this fleeting mention in the Bible, never to be heard of again. I don't propose that he "toiled in vain," only that he is an example for us whose work is rarely recognized, yet equally as important as those in the spotlight or maybe even more. Come to think of it we need more Barsabbas’ in this Christian world that is making a difference but never receiving or been given credit for their work: except by God. Who is the only one that counts anyway.

Must I point out that Barsabbas disappears after this brief story. But now the punch line... SO DOES MATTHIAS!!! He is never mentioned again, either.

Wait…

it should be noted that nothing is said of Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Simon the Zealot, and James the son of Alphaeus after Acts chapter 1. John, one of the inner circle, is never mentioned unless he's with Peter and Peter does almost all the talking. So, really, to say they’re not mentioned again is not a good measure. They were doing God’s work we just don’t hear about it or see it in the Bible. Many secular books tells us about their work. God is making his point here. Wonder what God’s point is?

In the Bible the word “wait” doesn’t mean to set around the camp fire roasting marshmallows. We go about doing Gods work, our work, the Church work while we wait and see what God wants us to do or when he accomplished that which is has planned.

What is going on here with God. Could it be that God is working on this hard headed, overly zealous, religious bigot with blinders on for every Christian he sees. This man, full of hate, was walking by himself in a group headed to Syrian Damascus to arrest and bring Christian back to Jerusalem for trail.

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