15 In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) 16 and said, “Brothers and sisters, the Scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus. 17 He was one of our number and shared in our ministry.” 18 (With the payment he received for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. 19 Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 “For,” said Peter, “it is written in the Book of Psalms: “‘May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it,’ and, “‘May another take his place of leadership.’ 21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, 22 beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.” 23 So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24 Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen 25 to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.” 26 Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven 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