And Matthias: Reading Acts 1:15-26
Judas had betrayed Jesus and committed suicide. It was the will of God for someone else to become number 12. The criteria were simple. The next number 12 had to have been with Jesus from the beginning of His ministry until the ascension. The Bible says there were two candidates. Candidate one is Joseph. Some call him Barsabbas. Others call him Justus. He is a man with three names (Acts 1:23). Of the other candidate, the text simply says, “and Matthias.” They pray and cast lots. Matthias is chosen and the Bible says nothing else about him.
It would be easy to conjecture from the brevity of his mention that Matthias was unimportant, insignificant, but that may not be an honest interpretation. We must remember the first reader of the Jesus sequel is Theophilus. A more honest interpretation of “and Matthias” would be that for Theophilus, all he needed was a name. Because of their relationship, Theophilus could fill in the rest.
Whether good or bad, there are some people who need only to be mentioned by name to be recognized. Their name is not insignificant, it is unmistakable. Tiger. Beckham. Obama. W. Saban. Cam. Herschel. Bo. There are other people in our lives that may not be unmistakable to pop culture, but they have left an indelible impression on our souls. For me those names would include Jerry Joe, Clayton, Bobby, Bro. Wayne, Mrs. Pat, The Atlmans, Dr. Affman. Then there are my one name friends Chris, Dave, Dell, John, Bill. When any of these names are mentioned I can fill in the rest.
“And Matthias.” Luke was a great historian. His first volume was gospel. He is not careless with detail, so it is safe to assume that for Theophilus all he needed to know was that number 12 was Matthias. Theophilus could fill in the rest.
Matthias chose to live the sequel. He was willing to be a candidate. Living the sequel means making yourself available for God to use. It means giving yourself so fully to others that all they need to hear is your name. More importantly, we must realize that the sequel includes us, but it is not about us. The sequel is about Jesus. Ultimately it is not about making our name famous. The sequel is about making Jesus’ name famous. The sequel is about how He continues to live His life through His people. In the end, the credits will roll, names will be called. The book that records their names is unmistakable because it is emblazoned with His; The Lamb’s Book of Life. It needs no further explanation, only a brief mention. Its significance is clear. These are the names of the people He redeemed. These are the people who lived the sequel.
When those names are read, there will be no need for explanation. It will be instead a chorus of praise to His name. These are the names of the redeemed: Luke, and Theophilus, and Matthias, and Brian, and . . . you?
If you have not been redeemed, repent of sin and call upon His name (Ezekiel 36:22-32, Romans 10:13). He is calling each of us to come and live the sequel.