After Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus, he committed suicide. His reason was, ‘I have sinned, for I have betrayed innocent blood.’ 1 What is interesting is the history of Judas’ replacement, Matthias.
# The apostles replace Judas Iscariot.
- During the prayer meeting after the ascension of Jesus, Peter suggested that they need to replace Judas. 2 There had to be twelve apostles as there were also twelve tribes in Israel. The final choice rested with God, so they chose Matthias by lot. 3 It was God’s will that Matthias would be a witness to the resurrection of Jesus, as the twelfth apostle. 4
- Matthias was not an ‘outsider.’ He and Joseph, the other choice, were part of Jesus’ team. They fulfilled the requirement to become apostles, ‘Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us.’ 5
# That is the only time we hear about Matthias.
- The Bible does not mention Matthias or what he did, again. However, we can deduce that he, as well as the other apostles, were about the Lord’s work.
- Though we know much more about Peter, John and later Paul, God honoured all twelve apostles eternally, ‘The wall of the city [the New Jerusalem] had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.’ 6
- Who is the Lamb? Jesus Christ. Whose name is included among the twelve apostles whose names will be eternally written on the twelve foundations of the city? Matthias.
# Like Matthias, not many of us are well known.
- Most of us go through life and do our thing. We work, raise families and follow the Lord. There is no fanfare and no crowds that admire us. We don’t write sixty or seventy best sellers or win thousands or millions for Jesus.
- Yet, our names will be written in God’s Book of Life, ‘He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels.’ 7
- The reason is that the followers of Jesus, through the Holy Spirit and Scripture, are also witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection.
# What an example of grace.
- Matthias’ name will stand forever as a memorial on the foundations of the great city, the New Jerusalem. Our names will be in the book of life forever and Jesus will acknowledge our names before the Father and his angels.
- We thank Jesus that he gave His life on the Cross, so that we can be with Him eternally: ‘For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.’ 8
That is absolutely amazing. We are as unmentioned and unsung as Matthias. Yet we will be with Jesus forever in the new coming Kingdom of God because we were also witnesses of the resurrection, not only in words but mostly in deeds.
- Matthew 27:3-4
- Acts 1:15-17
- Acts 1:23-26
- Acts 1:22
- Acts 1:21-22
- Revelation 21:14
- Revelation 3:5
- Ephesians 2:8