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The Man Who Replaced Judas

Matthias, an abbreviated form of Mattathias, meaning a gift of God, was a disciple of Jesus Christ who was among those who witnessed everything from the ministry of John The Baptist to Christ's ascension. Although Matthias is mentioned specifically by name only once in The Bible, he most certainly played a prominent role in the early church after having been selected to replace Judas Iscariot among The Twelve Apostles, and he most certainly will, as the Scriptures below make plain, be a prominent member of the Kingdom of God.

Mount Of Olives The Choosing Of Matthias

"Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet [shown in the photograph, see also The Mount Of Olives], which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey away; and when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers." (see Mary's Other Children?)

"In those days Peter stood up among the brethren, the company of persons was in all about a hundred and twenty, and said, "Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David [i.e. King David], concerning Judas who was guide to those who arrested Jesus. For he was numbered among us, and was allotted his share in this ministry."

"Now this man bought a field with the reward of his wickedness; and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood."

"For it is written in the book of Psalms, 'Let his habitation become desolate, and let there be no one to live in it'; and 'His office let another take.'"

"So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that The Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 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."

"And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed and said, "Lord, Who knowest the hearts of all men, show which one of these two Thou hast chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside, to go to his own place." And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was enrolled with the eleven apostles." (Acts 1:12-26 RSV)

Why Was A Replacement Apostle Needed?

The Twelve Apostles served the Gospel's purpose in their human lifetime, but they will also have a major role to play in the Kingdom of God:

"You are those who have continued with Me in My trials; and I assign to you, as My Father assigned to Me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Luke 22:28-30 RSV)

"And in the Spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed; on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." (Revelation 21:10-14 RSV)

Fact Finder: What caused Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus Christ?
See Why Did He Do It?

Bible History Index | Daily Bible Study Home Page

This Week's Bible Quiz

Who said it, Peter (see Peter) or Paul (see On The Road To Damascus)?

1. "Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead I am on trial." (Acts 23:6 RSV)

2. "Lord, if it is You, bid me come to You on the water." (Matthew 14:28 RSV)

3. "Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am - except for these chains." (Acts 26:29 RSV)

4. "Lord, it is well that we are here; if You wish, I will make three booths here, one for You and one for Moses and one for Elijah." (Matthew 17:4 RSV)

5. "If then I am a wrongdoer, and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death; but if there is nothing in their charges against me, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar." (Acts 25:11 RSV)

6. "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" (Matthew 18:21 RSV)

7. "I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And I did so in Jerusalem; I not only shut up many of the saints in prison, by authority from the chief priests, but when they were put to death I cast my vote against them." (Acts 26:9-10 RSV)

8. "Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod" (Acts 12:11 RSV)

9. "Men, you should have listened to me, and should not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss. I now bid you take heart; for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship." (Acts 27:21 RSV)

10. "I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, something descending, like a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came down to me." (Acts 11:5 RSV)

For the answers to this February 19 2002 quiz, see the Bible Quiz Answers Page

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