After the Resurrection, the Apostles met to find a replacement for Judas. A requirement for the replacement demanded that the person “was of our company while the Lord Jesus moved among us, from the baptism of John until the day he was taken up from us should be named as witness with us to his resurrection.” (Acts 1:21ff) Since Matthias and Joseph were candidates for Judas’ place as an apostle, it follows that they fulfilled this requirement. That means they were also possible candidates when Jesus chose the original twelve.
It’s interesting to imagine the reaction of Mathias and Joseph when first they heard Jesus read the roster of his twelve apostles. Their names were not on the list. It certainly had to be a disappointment. All of us have been passed over for some inclusion to a group during our lifetime; maybe a pick-up game, a varsity team, a prom court, whatever. It hurt, and most of us experienced the sting of such a rejection.
I doubt it was that disappointing for Joseph or Matthias. We know they continued to serve the Lord in whatever capacity he called, so we know personal glory was not their prime motive for following Christ. In the Acts of the Apostles we find they were later nominated as candidates for taking Judas’ vacated place. Well, the lot fell on Mathias and “he was added to the eleven apostles.” (Acts 1:26) Joseph, however, was an “also-ran” a second time around. No problem. His motive all along is summed up in one word: service.
What thrills me is that neither of these disciples had his heart set on honor or glory. At the initial choosing of the apostles they were passed over and still they remained committed to working for Jesus. Too often people who have served brilliantly expect to see their efforts rewarded. And when they are not selected for advancement, rewards, kudos, or whatever, egos are bruised and experts drop out.
But Matthias and Joseph gave their full allegiance to Jesus with the purpose of establishing his Kingdom wherever they were needed, with or without recognition. Obviously they become models for us as well as challenges. Forget the “honored position”; serve faithfully in the “humble mission” for the Glory of God and His Kingdom.
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