I’m studying Acts for the first of half of this year so this is me sharing a bit from that study…
Acts 1:26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
To cast lots was a first century equivalent to tossing dice. Of course, in this case “chance” was not a factor here. The occasion is the selecting of an Apostle so naturally the Lord Himself was appealed to and the Lord made the call as to who would be selected. Two men were brought before the Lord, Joseph Justus and Matthias. These two are on the threshold of history. One of them is going to be an ambassador of Jesus, going into all the world with the Lord’s authority and power behind him.
The other will be the answer to a really hard Bible Quiz Bowl question.
The lots were cast and the lot fell upon Matthias. From then on, he was numbered with the eleven, bringing the ranks of the Apostles back up to a dozen. He became an anointed spokesman for the Lord, leader in the church, and surrogate for the King.
And this verse right here is the last we hear of him.
It’s almost funny how so much attention was given to this moment (all of Acts 1 builds and builds to it) only for it to come up exactly zero more times in the New Testament. But then again this isn’t a storybook with a narrative and a plot. This is doctrinal history; this is an inspired record for posterity.
So what happened to Matthias? Traditions say he was a powerful and effective evangelist, travelling as far as modern Russia. Maybe. Who knows. All I know is he was chosen by God to fulfill the prophesy of David, to replace the Lord’s betrayer, and to bring the number of Jesus’ Ambassador’s back up to a dozen (twelve men overseeing the spiritual twelve tribes of Christianity).
Is it a high honor to be an Apostle? I guess. It certainly carried heavy responsibility. On the other hand, there’s the other guy.
Do we really think Joseph Justus went home and pouted, never to serve the Lord again? He was faithful enough to be considered for the role of Apostle. That’s a pretty high honor too, no? He was the other guy but it’s worth noting that the same church historians that say Matthias took the Gospel north of Jerusalem also record Joseph Justus taking the Gospel south and dying a martyr. He was the other guy but he worked hard, served in the church and died for his King. He just didn’t get have to deal with all the fame and recognition the one guy got.
I dunno, that sounds like a pretty good deal to me.