Text – 15 In those days Peter stood up among the brethren (the company of persons was in all about a hundred and twenty), and said, 16 “Brethren, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David, concerning Judas who was guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 For he was numbered among us, and was allotted his share in this ministry…21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us–one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” 23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsab’bas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthi’as. 24 And they prayed and said, “Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show which one of these two thou hast chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside, to go to his own place.” 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthi’as; and he was enrolled with the eleven apostles.
Summary – After the ascension of Christ, the eleven apostles returned to Jerusalem, along with other followers of Jesus. Peter is the leader of the group, since Jesus after his resurrection came to him personally and commissioned him (John 21:12-23). Peter stood up and declared that Judas betraying Jesus was a fulfillment of prophecy in the Psalm. They needed to replace Judas as an apostle. The qualifications were that the person had to have followed Jesus from his baptism to his death, and be a eyewitness of the resurrection. Two men were called forward as meeting the qualifications. They prayed for the Lord to show them which one was to replace Judas, and cast lots. The lot fell to Matthias, who was then an apostle.
Insight – Why was it so important to replace Judas? Why could they not have gone with eleven apostles? One of the things that Jesus did in his ministry was mark out a New Israel, that is a New People of God. It is not random that he chose 12 disciples, but rather that number corresponds to the number of Old Testament tribes. There were 12 tribes of Israel, and now there are 12 apostles. The 12 apostles show us that God’s people are not those who were born into one of the tribes of Israel. It is not those who sacrifice at the temple, or those who listen to the Pharisees, but rather true Israel, that is God’s people, are followers of Jesus.
Catechism – Q. Who was chosen to replace Judas?
Discussion – Why is it important for us to know that the God’s people are those that follow Christ?
Prayer – Heavenly Father, you control all things even the results of cast lots. In your wisdom you had Judas betray Jesus so that he may die for the sins of the world. We thank you that we who are now spiritual Israel, if we follow Jesus, who with you and the Holy Spirit are one God. Amen.
Contributed by Jared McNabb