Summary: Matthias is the little known apostle chosen by chance. What motivates our response, when chosen, whether by chance or not?
May 2, 2018
Hey, What About Me?
Reading Luke’s account to Theophilus about the selection of Matthias to replace the traitor Judas as an Apostle, gives rise to a few questions.
1. Who was Matthias? Matthias is not mentioned anywhere else in the bible. The only other references to Mathias that I can find are related by the Gnostic Society: From "The Apocryphal New Testament", M.R. James-Translation and Notes, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1924.
Editorial Note: It was long thought that this must be an episode from the old Acts of Andrew: but Flamion's study of that book has finally made it clear that there is no place for the tale in those Acts: and that our story is an early member of that which we call the Egyptian cycle: it is a tale of wonder with no doctrinal purpose.
[I mention this only to say that it is out there. In my opinion. It doesn’t clarify anything in our reading]
2. Why is he not mentioned again? In an excerpt from BiblePath.com on the subject, we read:
“While in Damascus, Jesus instructed a devout follower of the Way to pray for Saul in order that his sight be restored. When he did, immediately Saul could see. Saul was told that he would be Jesus' witness to all men of what he had seen and heard. At that time, Saul got up and was baptized a follower of Christ Jesus. Saul was to become known as the apostle to the Gentiles (non-Jews) whereas Peter was called the apostle to the Jews.”
So, what are we going to take away from this reading? Matthias was chosen by the eleven remaining apostles to replace the traitor Judas. The emphasis becomes - who did the choosing?
Jesus chose the original twelve, didn’t He? Divinely chosen by God the Son!
Matthias was chosen by chance (lot) by the remaining eleven. The emphasis here becomes – who did the choosing? The remaining eleven apostles did the choosing. Chosen by man, even if by casting lot, not by God!
The fact that Matthias was not specifically chosen by God in no way is an indication of any lack of worthiness or purpose. We just don’t know very much about him. If there had been any issues of concern, I certainly believe that Luke would have mentioned it. After all, Luke was the most meticulous of the gospel writers.
As for qualifications, we read in verses 21 and 22: “Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.”
Matthias did respond to his “calling”. He was preparing just as the others to receive the Holy Spirit and was there among the others on that Day of Pentecost.
History doesn’t reflect accolades, titles or personal accomplishments of Matthias. Nothing indicates to me that such were of any importance to this man. He accepted in obedience the challenges and responsibilities of apostleship.
We are all called at various times to respond in obedience to fulfill needs of ministry. Both within the local church and the greater Universal Church. When these opportunities come our way, do we consider: “what’s in it for me?” “will I be lauded and recognized?” “is this just another little assignment that nobody else wants?”
Or shall we pray for divine guidance and give any calling our best – after all, giving God our BEST is giving Him our obedience. Sometimes we get a little pat on the back and most of the time we don’t. When we get to that holy ground in the heavenlies, the rewards will be astounding and everlasting, not fleeting, half hearted or obligatory as so many here on earth.
Are you ready and willing to step up as did Matthias?
Let us pray -