Summary: For three years, Judas was a disciple and an apostle of the Lord Jesus, but in the end he betrayed the Messiah. Judas would no longer occupy a seat among the twelve; his seat is declared vacant.


"15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty), and said, 16 “Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus; 17 for he was numbered with us and obtained a part in this ministry.” 18 (Now this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out. 19 And it became known to all those dwelling in Jerusalem; so that field is called in their own language, Akel Dama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 “For it is written in the Book of Psalms: ‘Let his dwelling place be desolate, and let no one live in it’; and, ‘Let another take his office." Acts 1:15-20.

While Jesus was here on earth, He personally selected from His many disciples twelve men and gave them an apostleship—special responsibility to receive and spread His message after He returned to Heaven. John 17:6-20; Matthew 10:1-4; Mark 3:14-15. One of the twelve was Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus. In agony, Judas committed suicide. Thus, when Jesus returned to heaven, there were only eleven apostles remaining:

1. Peter

2. John

3. James

4. Andrew

5. Philip

6. Thomas

7. Bartholomew

8. Matthew

9. James, the son of Alphaeus (to distinguish him from James the half-brother of Christ)

10. Simon the Zealot

11. Judas, the son of James (to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot who was now dead)

So, the failure of Judas created a vacuum that needed to be filled. The apostles were to sit on twelve thrones, so there needed to be twelve of them. Matthew 19:28. Due to the inglorious death of Judas, a seat is unoccupied.

Some days later, the remaining apostles assembled in Jerusalem, praying with Jesus’ mother, His brothers, and other disciples. Peter then proposed choosing a new apostle who will replaced Judas. But not everyone could be considered. There are certain qualifications, and criteria that are required. The candidate for that office needed to have been with the Lord during the whole three and a half years He was among them. A candidate for that position needed to have heard Jesus’ life-changing teachings and been present to see the miracles. A would be apostle needed to have witnessed the death of Jesus on the Cross at Golgotha; and to have seen Him walk, talk, and eat among the disciples again after His resurrection. The apostles put forward the names of two men-Joseph Barsabbas (who was also called Justus) and Matthias. Then they prayed! The apostle prayed that God would show them which one of the two nominees He had chosen for the office. They asked God to guide them to know which one was to fill the post. Using a method of determining God’s leading that was common at that time, they cast lots, thus giving God freedom to make His choice clear. The lot fell to Matthias, and he became the twelfth apostle. The vacancy left behind by the absence of Judas has now been filled by Matthias.

Matthias originated from the Hebrew word “Mattithiah”, which means “the gift of Yahweh”. For more than three years, he had witnessed it all—in absolute obscurity. Before the death of Judas the Bible never mention Matthias' name; yet he was there. Since John the Baptist announced the Messiah, Matthias had followed Jesus. He had walked in Jesus’ footsteps from the Jordan River to the town of Galilee. Matthias had followed the Saviour with passion and love yet without recognition. He was busy labouring as a disciple even though no one celebrated him. Matthias was willing to be unknown for the sake of the Gospel. Then one day it all changed.

Matthias never appears again in the book of Acts or anywhere else in Scripture. He went back into obscurity. Matthias emerges for a moment and then vanishes again into anonymity. But various traditions have risen to fill in the details of his ministry. One says that Matthias evangelized in Ethiopia, where he was killed. Another says that Matthias travelled to Damascus and later died in Judea. A third tradition says that Matthias spent most of his time in Jerusalem, where he eventually died. It’s impossible for us to know the truth regarding Matthias’s later ministry, since the Bible does not give us any information about him after his promotion to the Twelve.


An apostle is one whom God has sent on an errand or with a message. An apostle is a person charged with a commission. For three years, Judas was an apostle of the Lord, but in the end he betrayed the Messiah. Judas position became vacant; he would no longer occupy a place among the twelve. A new apostle was needed!

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Mercy Mumbi

commented on Feb 21, 2020

Thank you Pastor, very crucial.

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