In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (a gathering of about a hundred and twenty) and said, “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit foretold through the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus. He was one of our number and shared in this ministry. ” For it is written in the book of Psalms: ‘May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it’d and, ‘May another take his position. ‘Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have accompanied us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from John’s baptism until the day Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.” So they proposed two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. And they prayed, “Lord, You know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two You have chosen to take up this ministry and apostleship, which Judas abandoned to go to his rightful place.” Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles. – Acts 1:15-17,20-26 BSB
There is so much to unpack here. First of all, we have to ask the question: what is the book of Acts about? The world’s encyclopedia, Wikipedia says this: The Acts of the Apostles, often referred to simply as the Book of Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament; it tells of the founding of the Christian church and the spread of its message to the Roman Empire. A website about “religions” explains Acts this way: The book of Acts is an important book for understanding the actions of the apostles, mostly Paul and Peter, after Jesus’s ascension into Heaven. It is an important book in understanding how we can be directed by the Holy Spirit and the role of Jesus’ lessons in our lives. This is the story of Christianity’s beginnings and how evangelism played a role in the spread of faith around the world. Gotquestions.com says this: The book of Acts was written to provide a history of the early church. The emphasis of the book is the fulfillment of the Great Commission. Acts records the apostles being Christ’s witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the surrounding world. The book of Acts sheds light on the gift of the Holy Spirit, who empowers, guides, teaches, and serves as our Counselor. Reading the book of Acts, we are enlightened and encouraged by the power of the gospel as it spread throughout the world and transformed lives. Many miracles were performed during this time by the apostles to validate their message. The book of Acts covers the transitional time between the ascension of Christ and the completion of the New Testament canon, and the apostolic miracles were God’s means of authenticating His message through the men who penned the Bible.
Leader, the Books of ACTS is about the early church, the most powerful church, the Spirit guided church. It does us well to study how the church, WHEN EFFECTIVE, works in fulfilling the GREAT COMMISSION no matter what the world is doing, or hating or saying. It also shows that even when we are close to God we can be so FAR off from HIS WILl! Only God is omniscient, perfect knowledge. God cannot learn, by definition. If GOD has perfect knowledge then that means He cannot learn a single thing. If God was to learn anything, then He would cease being God. God has HIS plans, and our job is to find out what are the Fathers’ plans and how can we be a part of what HE is doing. First of all Peter misapplies scripture in the replacing of Judas as an apostle with another. There is no place in scripture that we read that God commanded the remaining apostles to REPLACE JUDAS. What Peter does is he takes a psalm and misapplies it. V 20 references Psalm 109:8: Let his days be few, And let another take his office. This is the clause which St. Peter has cited and applied to Judas, in his discourse to the disciples, at the election of Matthias into Judas’s place. He cites, at the same time, a clause from Psalm 69:25; Let their habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein. This latter sentence, though in the plural number in the Hebrew, yet is applied by St. Peter in the singular number to Judas. The passage in this Psalm is singular, “yet applicable,” says Dr. Horne, “not to Judas only, but to the whole nation of the Jews; whose days, after they had crucified the Lord of glory, were few; who were dispossessed of the place and office which they held as the church of God, and to which, with all its honors and privileges, the Gentile Christian Church succeeded in their stead, when the Aaronical priesthood was abolished, and that of the true Melchisedek established forever.” (Benson Commentary)
Conduit, at no point did God command the replacing of Judas with another. For God had this already figured out, God has His replacement- it was to be PAUL, who was originally known as Saul! But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; (Acts 9:15-18) Not only were the apostles doing God a Favor that He never asked for, but the way also they did it is totally NON-Biblical as well- they CAST LOTS. The devil is the prince of this world, He is the Prince of the Power of the Air- He holds court on this planet: And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” (Luke 4:5-7) The devil has sway on this planet and the “blessings” that people get. I have a former friend who does every big decision of his life by casting lots, using the apostles as his guide. The problem is he is following men, who were not following God. Where else in OUR LIVES are we doing the same thing: Following after men, who are NOT FOLLOWING AFTER GOD? Also, in ACTS chapter 1, the history of the church, we hear about Mary being present in the room with the 120. It is interesting to note that Mary, blessed among women, whose job was to bring the incarnate Jesus into the WORLD, is never mentioned again in the Bible. She had nothing to do with the early church! Remember, the book of Acts is about God’s early church and it’s key players. Mary (v14) is never mentioned again in the New Testament, and Mathias has his only mention of scripture here, as well- in the 1st chapter of ACTS and never mentioned again. I have a friend who is struggling with a 5-year relationship and I told her to use this time to get close to Jesus. Later that day I saw her post on Facebook about running to MARY in times of distress, to run to the arms of the HOLY MOTHER? We bow to know one but God, we run to Jesus, not some man or woman! We do things God’s way, not our perceived version of God’s way. This is why it is important to study the Bible. Jesus and the Bible= ONE in the same. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. (John 1:1-4) if we want to do the will of our Father and HIS WORD, Jesus, then we need to be IN THE WORD and get out of the WORLD! The question we have to ask ourselves today, is will we be in the WORDS OF JESUS, when HE says, His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. (Matthew 25:21)