They are mentioned in one paragraph in the Bible and then (with the possible exception of Acts 15:22) never again. They walked near Jesus from the time He was baptized by John to His ascension to heaven but we know next to nothing about them. What kind of personality and gifting did each man have? How frequently did they gain access to the Master?
Jesus’ promised His disciples in Matthew 19:28, “. . . I assure you: In the Messianic Age, when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne, you who have followed Me will also sit on 12 thrones, judging the 12 tribes of Israel.”
Peter and his fellow apostles felt the need to replace Judas, after he turned traitor and betrayer before taking his life. Clearly, Judas was not going to sit on a throne judging anyone after his wretched behavior. So, after much prayer and deliberating the candidates for apostle #12 were selected: Joseph called Barsabbas or Justus and Matthias.
Acts 1:26--Then they cast lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias. So he was numbered with the 11 apostles.
No doubt Matthias was thrilled to become one of the twelve. But I wonder what emotions and thoughts went through Joseph’s mind. He missed the closest election to a heavenly throne anyone has ever had! He was a lot throw away from getting his name written on one of the twelve foundations for God’s heavenly city (see Revelation 21:14)! Somehow I don’t think that mattered. These two men were special. They were godly and God-fearing. They were loyal and commanded the respect of eleven powerhouses—trained by the greatest Disciplemaker the world has ever known. I suspect they faithfully served God to their dying day. We won’t know the rest of the story until we get to heaven because the New Testament leaves them heroes in obscurity.
Hmmm. Imagine following the King of Kings faithfully for years behind the scenes, out of the crowd’s sight, all the while making it easier for someone more gifted and popular to be a blessing. Imagine, sweeping floors while praying for hurting people; making meals for the sick and quietly depositing them when no one sees; singing songs of worship out of tune to the Father Who hears your heart; reading God’s Word when every muscle in your body aches with no relief; walking lonely without your smiling mate—martyred by evil.
Perhaps you march to the unglamorous beat of obscurity. If you love Jesus and faithfully follow Him, don’t despair. Your hard work may never find mention in any paper; the pastor in your church of thousands may never know your name. You may never even win so much as a red ribbon. It’s okay friend. Your name is written in the Book of Life. You have no idea how awesome the rewards are that you will reap eternally for humility, grace, integrity and love. For the One who is omnipresent, there is no such thing as obscurity. He sees and He knows and even better, He remembers and He cares. That gratefully is something to think about . . . in reveration!
©2006 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)