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Volume 7 - Page 10 of 133 Index | Zoom | |
The second of the so-called "Apostolic mistakes" recorded in the Acts of the Apostles,
is the appointment of Matthias to the place forfeited by Judas. Traditional teaching says
in effect that the vacancy was reserved for the Apostle Paul, who was chosen and
appointed in God's own time, and that Matthias was appointed because of the over
anxiety of the Apostles to make up the number.
Let us remember that the Lord had occupied the better part of forty days in giving the
Apostles instruction concerning the kingdom of God. This would be based upon "Moses
and the prophets" (Acts 28: 23). We are told that upon one occasion, during the ten
days that intervened between the Lord's ascension and the day of Pentecost, Peter stood
up and drew attention to the gap in the apostolic number. The Lord had already linked
the number of the Apostles with the number of the tribes (Matt. 19: 28), and the day was
drawing near when, endued with power from on high, the Apostles were to herald once
again the gospel of repentance and restoration.
Peter's procedure is to draw attention to the testimony of Scripture to the betrayal of
the Lord by Judas.
"Men and brethren, this Scripture must needs have been fulfilled which the Holy
Ghost, by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them
that took Jesus" (Acts 1: 16).
There is no apparent difference between Peter's manner and delivery here, before
Pentecost, and that recorded in Acts 2: 25-36. David is cited as prophesying that which
had taken place, and legitimate inferences were drawn. Peter goes on in verses 17-19 to
recount the history of Judas, how he was numbered with the Apostles, took part of the
ministry, and finally died an awful death in "Aceldama, the field of blood". This leads up
to the second reference to Scripture in verse 20:--
"It is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man
This was fulfilled by calling the field Aceldama, a place that would pass under a ban
and be considered accursed. "And his bishoprick let another take", continues the
quotation. The Psalm quoted here reads in the A.V., "And let another take his office"
(margin charge), and the A.V. margin of Acts 1: 20 reads "office or charge". The
Apostle evidently quoted from the LXX version. Peter's action so far runs parallel to
what is written. He now puts the legitimate deduction into practice.
"Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord
Jesus went in and out among us, 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" (verse 22).
There must have been some clear reason in Peter's mind for so particularly defining
the qualifications that were essential to become one of the twelve. First, it was not