“In the Book of The Acts of the Apostles,” Stan began, “there’s an account of how Judas, the one who betrayed Jesus, was replaced as an apostle.”
“Wasn’t there something about two different men being considered for the position?” I asked.
“That’s right,” Stan replied. “There was one man by the name of Matthias and another who seemed to go by several different names, one of which was Justus. It appears both men were well qualified to handle the job.”
“But only one was selected, right?” I responded.
“Yes,” Stan said. “After the other apostles prayed about it, asking God to show them which one He had chosen, they drew lots and Matthias was the one who was chosen to replace Judas.”
“What does choosing by lots mean?” I asked.
“I don’t know for certain about that,” Stan replied. “I guess it would be kind of like flipping a coin.”
“Anyway,” I said, “Justus wasn’t selected. What became of him?”
“Again, I’m not sure,” Stan replied, “from a quick look, there seems to be some conflicting views of church history about him, but my best guess is that he went on to play an important role in the early church.”
Continuing, he added, “His story is different from one I viewed once in a church we were a part of before we moved here.”
“What was that?” I asked.
“The Elder Board of the church was considering two men for an open seat. Both seemed to be well qualified. The elders prayed about the choice and selected one over the other. The one who was not selected got really upset.”
“Because he wasn’t chosen?” I responded.
“Exactly,” Stan replied. “He was so upset he left the church and tried to cause considerable disruption in the community. He said all sorts of bad stuff about the church and the Elder Board.”
“Sounds like God made the right choice in not choosing him,” I said.
“God always makes the right choice,” Stan replied. “He knows our hearts and whether we are rightly related to Him in order to serve His church. And God will lead those making the choices about others if we will just listen to Him.”
And they put forward two men, Joseph called Barsabbas (who was also called Justus) and Matthias. And they prayed and said, “Thou, Lord, who knows the hearts of all men, show which one of these two thou hast chosen to occupy this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” And they drew lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. Acts of the Apostles 1:23 – 26.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for wanting your people to serve your church. You know the role you have for each person to serve. Thank you for making known your choice. I pray for those who make choices between individuals for particular roles, that they would truly seek your will in each instance. As well, I pray for each person who is considered for a particular role, that he or she would accept your choice and continue to be involved in your church regardless of the choice you have made. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you ever been in a situation where you were not chosen as the one to fill a particular position? If so, what did that feel like? From the opposite perspective, have you been chosen over another? If so, were you able to handle that in a way that you know was pleasing to God? Why or why not? Can you relate to the person in this story who left the church in anger after not being chosen? Why or why not?