Acts 1:15-23

Acts 1:15-23

Acts 1:15-23

Acts 1:15-23


In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Matthias Chosen As Apostle To Replace Judas


15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty), and said,

  1. Election of a candidate to the holy office is not left to a few people.  The church (Christian people) gather together to elect a pastor. For us, it is first a gathering of the seminary faculty who decides who will be rostered and therefore an eligible candidate.  Second, the congregation gathers in a call-meeting with district representatives present. Also, the word disciples can mean men and womens, such as we speak of brothers and sisters in Christ today.  However, here it only means male Christians.  This is a gathering of about 120 men.


16 “Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus;

2.    This is a great statement of the verbal inspiration of Holy Scripture.  The Holy Spirit spoke by the mouth of David. We will read some of those words in v.20.  The Holy Spirit Spirit spoke by the mouth of David to Peter and now the Holy Spirit speaks through the mouth of David and Peter to us.  


17 for he was numbered with us and obtained a part in this ministry.”

3.  Judas was one of the twelve apostles.  He held the highest office Jesus could give.

A quote from Luther’s Galatians Commentary on Who Is An Apostle, “For who can preach unless he is an apostle (sent)?  But who is an apostle except the one who brings the Word of God? And who can bring the Word of God except the one who has listened to God?  But the man who brings his own dogmas or those who rest on human laws and decrees, or those of the philosopher - can he be called an apostle?  Indeed he is one who comes as a thief, a robber and slayer of souls....To put it clearly, this means that as often as the Word of God is preached, it renders consciences joyful, expansive, and untroubled toward God, because it is a Word of grace and forgiveness, a kind and sweet Word.  As often as the word of man is preached, it renders the conscience sad, cramped, and full of fear in itself, because it is a word of the Law, of wrath and sin; it shows what a person has failed to do and how deeply he is in debt.”


18 (Now this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out. 19 And it became known to all those dwelling in Jerusalem; so that field is called in their own language, Akel Dama, that is, Field of Blood.)

4.  Judas didn’t buy the field.  He threw the money on the temple floor and left.  The Pharisees called it blood money and would not add it to the temple treasury.  They bought the field. But the people knew what was going on and named the field.


20 “For it is written in the Book of Psalms:

5.  Think of the ‘for’ as ‘for instance’ and then Peter gives two examples from David.


   ‘Let his dwelling place be desolate, And let no one live in it’;

6.  This is Psalm 69:25 regarding the removal of Judas from the his place and position.


And, ‘Let another take his office.’

7.  This is Psalm 109:8 regarding filling of his vacant place by another.


21 “Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.”

8.  The requirements are stated.  Out of about 120 Christians, two met the requirements.


23 And they proposed two: Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen 25 to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.” 26 And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

9.  They pray and elect (cast their lots) Matthias.  God has his 12 again. Never hear of Matthias again.


10.  Some implications:  

  1. Judas met the requirements for the office but had his own word rather than preach God’s Word.  We need to pray for the church today. Many pastors bring their own word to congregations today.  The common fruit of their word in the congregation is sexual misconduct. We have our own sad stories within our very district.

  2. God takes care of His church even when individuals fail.  God again has 12 apostles.

  3. God takes care of His church even when we don’t hear from people again.  How many faithful Christians have passed through our congregation over the last half century.  They come and they go. Even though we don’t hear from them again we know they will be at the resurrection.  We will be able to catch up with Matthias.

  4. What about Joseph called Barsabas?  He was qualified but did not obtain the office.  That is ok. We have many men in this congregation who meet the requirements for the office of the holy ministry but have not obtained it.  They are usually elected elders or to some other position in the congregation.

Let us close with the Lord’s Prayer.


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