Acts 1:21-26
Acts 1:21 (KJB)
Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
Peter now begins to lay down the qualifications for the one who is going to replace Judas. They could not be a late comer but must have been with the twelve disciples when they were ministering with the Lord Jesus Christ for the full three and half years. They needed to be fully informed as to the life and events in the life of Christ and what had transpired. They could not be one who just read about Christ and His earthly ministry, they needed to be full eyewitnesses to everything. This also gives a good insight that those who are chosen to do any kind of public ministry, they need to have a very good grasp on the teachings of Scripture.
Acts 1:22 (KJB)
Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
Peter continues the qualifications needed to fill the office of Judas in fulfillment of the Scripture. This person must have been familiar by first hand knowledge with the entire ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. Only then would they be qualified to become an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, to be numbered with the twelve. They needed also to be a witness of the resurrection. This could definitely not be known from secondary sources or else the witness of the resurrection would be suspect in the minds of the hearers. They had to witness the fact that Christ walked the earth for forty days after His resurrection and this was done by physically seeing Him with one’s own eyes.
Acts 1:23 (KJB)
And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
There were only two men who met the conditions to take the place of Judas. The first was Joseph called Barsabas. Nothing is known about this man except that he must have been an exemplary disciple and faithful for the entire ministry of Christ to have been named. He also had a Roman Surname called “Justus.” The name “Barsabas” means “son of the Sabbath” which means he may have been born on the Sabbath. The second nominee was Matthias who according to Eusebius some three centuries later was one of the seventy which was sent out. (Luke 10:1 KJV) After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. Nothing more is known about Matthias but he too must have been a faithful disciple to be nominated.
Acts 1:24 (KJB)
And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, show whether of these two thou hast chosen,
The Apostles first prayed to the Lord for wisdom concerning the choice to replace Judas. It is a good prayer because they are calling on the Lord who knows the hearts of all people and the Lord’s choice would be the right one since He knows the hearts of all men. (John 2:24 KJV) But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, Their confidence was so high in the Lord that they already knew in their hearts that the Lord had chosen one of them. Since these were the original twelve Apostles and were the Apostles of Christ, it was necessary that Jesus pick the replacement.
Acts 1:25 (KJB)
That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
They sought the Lord for His choice of replacement. This is also a great principle when having to replace a person in ministry. The choice must never be made based on friendship with the individual or friendship with the nominating committee, education, finances, or family connection. Whenever a person is needed to fill or refill a position, a serious seeking of the Lord must take place to get His choice, no matter how long it takes to bring that correct individual to the ministry. During the earthly ministry of Christ, Judas was thought to be a legitimate disciple but after his actions in betraying Christ, the other disciples knew that he was of Satan and his soul was now awaiting the Judgment on the last day when he will be judged and cast into hell. The Scripture calls it “his own place” which would aptly apply to the final place of all unbelievers.
Acts 1:26 (KJB)
And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
The disciples, after praying, had used an Old Testament method of casing lots to pick the right person. (Prov 16:33 KJV) The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD. They would have known about this Proverb plus the casting of lots was used extensively in Old Testament times. (Lev 16:8 KJV) And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat. (Josh 18:6 KJV) Ye shall therefore describe the land into seven parts, and bring the description hither to me, that I may cast lots for you here before the LORD our God. (1 Chr 26:14 KJV) And the lot eastward fell to Shelemiah. Then for Zechariah his son, a wise counsellor, they cast lots; and his lot came out northward. When the disciples cast lots for the decision, the lot fell upon Matthias and he was then chosen to be numbered with the twelve. The casting of lots is never again mentioned in the Bible after this time.