Summary: Let’s look at how they replace the leadership void that was vacated by one of the twelve
Let’s look at how they replace the leadership void that was vacated by one of the twelve. They do not just replace this disciple with just anybody. Peter gives the qualifications right there in verses 21-22 of Acts 1. He said the qualification for this disciple to become an Apostle, must be one who has been with Jesus and with us all the time during those three years that Jesus was among us. He must be one who was with us from the time Jesus was baptised by John all the way until Jesus ascended back to Heaven.
In other words, we want a guarantor of the faith, someone who has been with us for a long time. We want an eye-witness who has been with us and been with Jesus and has seen Jesus do and teach the things we have all seen Him do and teach. We need another eye-witness who walked the whole walk with Him from the time Jesus was baptised in the Jordan until Jesus ascended to Heaven from the Mount of Olives.
In other words, someone who has our DNA and has walked the journey with us, who knows what we believe and will teach from the same heart and core beliefs.
Now, who do we know that has that kind of resume and fits that job description?
We are too quick sometimes to fill leadership positions with someone who has not walked the walk with us and experienced the things we have, the ups and the downs. Let us take a lesson from Peter and prayerfully and selectively choose the right people for our church leadership!
WHY EVEN GET ANOTHER APOSTLE?
Have you ever wondered why it was so important to replace the leadership of the twelve to full number?
The church was at a point in time when it was necessary, according to the direction of the Holy Spirit, for there to be twelve leaders to continue leading forth with what Jesus had left the followers to do. It was important at that time for credibility to have twelve guarantors who were with Jesus all through His earthly ministry the past three years. It was important, too, as the church was just getting off the ground, to have all twelve apostle seats filled at that time.
However, this would be the last time that we see God leading His followers to fill the leadership void to full capacity with twelve. In the coming days and years as the twelve apostles were martyred, there would not be a replacing of them in the role of this Apostolic leadership position.
One example can be seen from Acts 12 when one of the disciples named James was killed for his faith.
Acts 12:1-2, NKJ
Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. 2 Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword.
When they replaced Judas’ position in the church leadership, it was right after Jesus had ascended into Heaven. However, when James died in Acts 12, about fifteen years had passed. James and the other twelve disciples had been guarantors and witnesses of the faith as close followers of Jesus for a decade and a half. The church was well underway by this point. It was a different set of circumstances when we get to Acts 12 as opposed to Acts 1. Sometimes the roles and needs of leadership change as the church goes through various seasons of life.
However, in Acts 1 God sees fit to replace the twelve to full working capacity possible due to the infancy stages of the gospel be spread through the church. Moreover, we see how God leads the followers of Jesus to take those next steps in replacing the empty seat of leadership among the twelve. Now, what do we do? Look how God leads them in choosing another person in versus 23-26 of Acts one.
Acts 1:23-26, AMP
And they accordingly proposed (nominated) two men, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
24 And they prayed and said, You, Lord, Who know all hearts (their thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, purposes, and endeavors), indicate to us which one of these two You have chosen 25 To take the place in this ministry and receive the position of an apostle, from which Judas fell away and went astray to go [where he belonged] to his own [proper] place.
26 And they drew lots [between the two], and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to and counted with the eleven apostles (special messengers).
Two men were up for the vacant seat of Apostle. Joseph called Barsabbas, aka, Justus was one man and Matthias was the other. Both apparently met the qualifications of an Apostle. Both had been with Jesus from the time of His baptism by John in the Jordan and all the way through His ascension at the Mount of Olives. Both of these men had lived day by day with Jesus. Both apparently were ready to fulfil the function of an Apostle and to be a witness to the Resurrection.