Matthias Chosen

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.’

21 “Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 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.”

23 And they proposed two: Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen 25 to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.” 26 And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles. — Acts 1:15-26.

Peter takes the initiative in encouraging his brothers in Christ to find a replacement for the traitor, Judas, who is dead. (The account in this chapter of Judas’ death by his falling headlong and bursting open is fully consistent with the fact that he hanged himself. The branch on which he hanged himself could have broken, or the rope could have slipped or he could even have been cut down and allowed to fall. He could have been torn open on a branch or by the way in which he hit the ground.) Peter details the minimum qualifications for the replacement apostle.

Peter’s exhortation is acted upon. Two viable candidates, Barsabas and Matthias, are proposed and prayed over and lots are cast. Matthias is selected. Careful selection and prayer precedes the casting of lots, and it seems the casting of lots is a good way to decide whom to appoint when there is nothing to choose between the candidates, as far as the disciples can tell. [Source: Bible Panorama.]

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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