Wednesday 8 June, 2016

Acts 1:15-26

15 In those days Peter stood up among the believers. About 120 of them were there. 16 Peter said, “Brothers and sisters, a long time ago the Holy Spirit spoke through David. He spoke about Judas Iscariot. What the Scripture said would happen had to come true. Judas was the guide for the men who arrested Jesus. 17 But Judas was one of us. He shared with us in our work for God.” 18 Judas bought a field with the payment he received for the evil thing he had done. He fell down headfirst in the field. His body burst open. All his insides spilled out. 19 Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this. So they called that field Akeldama. In their language, Akeldama means the Field of Blood. 20 Peter said, “Here is what is written in the Book of Psalms. It says, “ ‘May his home be deserted. May no one live in it.’ (Psalm 69:25) The Psalms also say, “ ‘Let someone else take his place as leader.’ (Psalm 109:8) 21 So we need to choose someone to take his place. It will have to be a man who was with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us. 22 That time began when John was baptizing. It ended when Jesus was taken up from us. The one we choose must join us in telling people that Jesus rose from the dead.” 23 So they suggested the names of two men. One was Joseph, who was called Barsabbas. He was also called Justus. The other man was Matthias. 24 Then the believers prayed. They said, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen. 25 Show us who should take the place of Judas as an apostle. He gave up being an apostle to go where he belongs.” 26 Then they cast lots. Matthias was chosen. So he was added to the 11 apostles.

I think this passage speaks to us about the importance of teams and of commitment and training. The apostles knew that they needed to have a complete team to do what God asked. They were a bit traumatised as they had just watched Jesus, their leader, leave and their friend and teammate, Judas, had turned out to be not who they thought. Even so they got together to work out who should come into the team.

They first went through everyone they knew, to work out who had been there with Jesus from the very beginning. The person to come into the team needed to have shown staying power and commitment. They also needed to have received training from Jesus. They needed to have the right stuff to slot right into the team. They also sought God’s advice about how to make the final choice.

We are part of God’s team and He has chosen us to play a role just as He chose Matthias. We need to show stamina and commitment. We need to receive His training in the role He has for us (preparation and on the job). Sometimes that training is just about being around Him and those in leadership in our team. That is what qualified Matthias – he stuck around Jesus and the apostles for the life of Jesus’ ministry. We need to listen and observe and learn and wait so we are ready when God asks.

Lord God, thank You that You have a plan for this world and for each one of us. Help us to be open to Your training and Your leading so we are ready and in the right place. Help us to be teachable, to be keen to learn and to be willing to be part of a team.

Written by Therese Manning

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