4/6/16 A Replacement For Judas Iscariot

The apostles go to the home where they are staying in Jerusalem.  The owners of the home have given them a room upstairs to use as their temporary home while they are there.  All eleven of the remaining apostles are together – Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and the other Judas – the son of James.  They stay together in Jerusalem, waiting and praying for the Holy Spirit to come to them.  Jesus’ mother Mary is often there with them, as are His brothers and many of the women who have been following Him since the beginning of His ministry.  During one prayer meeting, when about 120 of them are present, Peter broaches the subject of a replacement for Judas Iscariot.  He says, “We all understand now, after Jesus explained it to us, that someone had to betray Jesus, and that someone ended up being Judas Iscariot.  King David was the one who received the prophecy and wrote about it.  In the field where he killed himself, his body was torn open, and the field is now known as the field of blood, since the news of his death has spread throughout the city.  This, too, was prophesied by King David – the prophecy says, ‘Let his home become desolate, with no one living in it,” and then, “Let someone else take his position.’  Until the time that Satan entered into him, Judas was one of us.  He took part in spreading Jesus’ message along with the rest of us.  But now he is gone, and we need to replace him.  We must be very careful in choosing the man to replace him – this man must be someone who has been following Jesus since His baptism in the very beginning of His ministry.  This man will be an apostle with the rest of the eleven of us, and will go out proclaiming Jesus’ death and return to life and what that means for the people of the world.”  Everyone agrees, and they begin to consider the possible candidates.  In the end, it comes down to two men.  The first is a man named Joseph, also known as Barsabbas or Justus, and the second is a man named Matthias.  Before attempting to choose, they come together in prayer, wanting God to make this decision.  “Father, you know the hearts of every person in this room better than we know them ourselves.  Judas has left us now, having chosen evil instead of good, and we need to replace him.  Please, choose the man whom You wish to use to spread Your Holy Message to the world with us in Judas’ place.”  After praying, they cast lots to decide which man will be the twelfth apostle, and Matthias is chosen for the honor.

 

Acts 1:12-26, Psalm 69:25, Psalm 109:8

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