Saturday after Rogate
Scripture: Acts 1:12-26 (NKJV)
12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey. 13 And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James. 14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty), and said, 16 “Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus; 17 for he was numbered with us and obtained a part in this ministry.” 18 (Now this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out. 19 And it became known to all those dwelling in Jerusalem; so that field is called in their own language, Akel Dama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 “For it is written in the book of Psalms: ‘Let his dwelling place be desolate, and let no one live in it’; and, ‘Let another take his office.’ 21 Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.”
23 And they proposed two: Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen 25 to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.” 26 And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
“One of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.”
The focus of the Church is to preach Jesus Christ crucified for our sins and risen again to show His victory over death. For the sake of those who hear and would believe, it is important that the message be clearly and faithfully proclaimed. Those who preach are not selected just because they have a feeling or hear some inner voice that tells them they are called. Those who faithfully preach are qualified by their foundation and connection with the Word of God and the truth of Jesus Christ.
In the case of the Apostles filling Judas’s place, it was not a matter of asking for the first volunteer to jump up and say he felt the Spirit move in him. They carefully selected men who were faithful and constant in learning from the Lord. These men were qualified because they showed clear outward characteristics that made them apt to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
A man called as minister to the Church is not qualified by some mere feeling. Nor is he qualified by his good looks, people skills, or rhetorical abilities. (However, such things can be a help in serving as a minister.) A man is qualified because God has trained him according to His Spirit and Word, giving the man knowledge, wisdom, and ability to teach faithfully. He is qualified because he has made a clear and faithful witness to the life and salvation we have that comes through our crucified and risen Lord, Jesus Christ.
We pray: Lord God, continue to bless Your Church on Earth with faithful men who preach, teach, and administer Your holy gifts according to all that Christ has commanded. In His Name. Amen.