Summary: The third message in a series on the Apostles
We are continuing our series this morning on the apostles or what we are referring to as the "C" Team and we are going to get started today by taking a look at our text. So turn your Bibles with me to the first chapter of Acts. Many of you have heard me say in the past couple of weeks that this has become my favorite book in the Bible lately...I love to read and study Acts. It is such great history...but its history written by Luke from a Theological standpoint. He covers decades of history in this very short book so it stands to reason that he left a lot of things out. Peter...he totally disappears from the book halfway through it. There is a lot of information missing about the other apostles as well...and not mention what was going on with Paul. A lot is left out. So, Luke...he gives us what he wants us to know. He has set purposes in mind when he sets out to write this book and the really fascinating thing about studying this book is discovering what these purposes are and how Luke goes about accomplishing them. Keep that in mind and we’ll go ahead and read today’s text...chapter one vv 21-26.
Now, if you don’t have your Bibles with you today you might have noticed that it seems like I started in the middle of a narrative...like I didn’t give you the whole story of what was going on here...and you’re right.... and, you know, if you had your Bibles you would be able to go backtrack just a little bit and read the beginning...but for those of you who don’t have them...let me fill in the blanks for you. All of the disciples, about 120 of them, are all gathered together. So, this isn’t just the 11 that are left but it is everybody who is a follower of Jesus. Mary the mother would have been there, Salome, Mary Magdalene...perhaps Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus...they are all gathered together in the same place...and Peter stands up in the middle of them and begins to talk about Judas. Now, don’t forget...this is very soon after the death of Jesus...this would be like somebody bringing up Benedict Arnold in the middle of the Revolutionary War or a Cub Fan talking about Steve Bartman during the World Series in 2003. The wound...even though it was helped by the resurrection of Jesus is still very fresh...but Peter brings him up all the same. Peter, he begins to explain why things had to happen with Judas they way they did...but...he doesn’t just leave it there...he says that someone has to take Judas’ place...and that brings us to our text and, it turns out...Matthias becomes Judas’ replacement.
And, the rest, as they say, is history. We have all heard of the wonderful works that Matthias performed right...we have heard of him walking on water, healing the sick, raising the dead...his name is practically a household name in Christian homes today...right? Well, as I am sure we are all aware of...he is not. In fact, after these four verses...Matthias is never mentioned again. He didn’t write any letters...he didn’t preach any fiery sermons...he just fades away into obscurity. So...we can definitely conclude that he is a worthy member of the "C" team...an everyday, average person...but you have to ask...why did Luke even include this in his book. Some might say because the Holy Spirit inspired him too...and then leave it at that. I will agree that this writing from Luke was inspired...but I am not willing to quit there. There has to be a reason...why mention this obscure man who took Judas’ place? Why was this so important to Luke? That is the question we will attempt to mention today...what, beyond being an apostle...was so important about Matthias that Luke would mention him here?
As we begin to attempt to answer this question...I want to ask you a question...what do the numbers 9, 5, and 11 all have in common? Anybody know right off? If you do...hold on for a second...you’ll ruin it for everybody else. Think about that for a while and we’ll come back to it...but don’t get so deep in thought that you don’t follow me because I think that God is going to show us something pretty amazing today.
When I was a kid...I loved sports...I would play them...watch them...and read about them. I still do all that today except play for the most part...but I was even worse when I was a kid. I would pore over the sports section and read every word of it. A lot of time you couldn’t get me to read my homework but I would read that sports sections. There was a part of the sports page that was titled Transactions and I would check that part everyday...I had to see who was being traded...who was injured...and there were always these listings in the NBA part that would have the news that somebody signed a 15 day contract with the Bulls or with the Nets or some other team. When I would first read these things I would think to myself...how stupid...signing a player for only 15 days...but now, I know why they would do that.... that was the minimum amount of time that somebody could be on the "disabled list" so they wouldn’t count on the team’s roster...so to make up that roster spot the team would sign another player to a 15 day contract. There are no minor league teams in the NBA...and the rules require them to carry a certain amount of players. These replacement players would join the team and fill the deserted roster spot until the regular player could return.