Acts 1:21-26 - (Peter said) "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 also called Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed and said, "You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two You have 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 numbered with the eleven apostles.
So, Matthias becomes the twelfth disciple. Here's a man who followed in the footsteps of Jesus and was with the disciples throughout the Savior's ministry. Both he and Justus had heard Jesus preach His parables; they witnessed His healing of the sick and the lame; they endured the tragic spectacle of the crucifixion; and both witnessed the Savior's ascension into heaven. Both Matthias and Justus may have talked with Jesus—asking His advice on a personal problem or sharing a laugh together.
Apparently, both Matthias and Justus were suited to the task of becoming the twelfth disciple, following the demise of Judas Iscariot. So, to settle the matter and, one might imagine, move past the shame the disciples felt at having one of their own betray their Leader, Peter prayed—no doubt—in earnest. Then, as was the tradition, they cast lots to determine God's will for their decision. The lot fell to Matthias, and he was selected to take the place of Judas Iscariot.
As for Justus, well, he was not chosen.
And isn't that like life sometimes? As a kid, we lace up our cleats, grab our ball and glove, and run out to where the teams are being picked—only to find we're sitting on the bench as a "substitute." We work hard in high school, aiming for a certain college, only to get an official response telling us why we didn't make the cut. We all have stories of not being chosen, and they can be devastating sometimes.
Until we remember the One who has chosen us—for Himself, for good, forever. In Christ Jesus, God the Father picks you and me. He not only chooses us; He has gone the distance to choose us. He has not withheld even the life of His very own Son to secure our future arrival into His presence. And since this has been done, God's invitation to you and me is always open.
"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?" (Romans 8:31-32)
Most certainly, you and I have been chosen by God.
THE PRAYER: Father, thank You for telling us that You have chosen us, in Jesus. And when we feel left out and alone, remind us that we have been hand-picked by You. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Paul Schreiber.
1. Did you ever not get picked to play a game? How did that make you feel?
2. Do you think the process of casting lots—and then not getting chosen—made it easier on Justus to accept the outcome—rather than hearing it as a "group decision" by the disciples?
3. What has God done to show you that you are chosen and wanted by Him?
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