A New Disciple
Acts 1; The Desire of Ages, pp. 829–835; The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 25–34
Jesus’ friends know Him well.
“You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
Have you ever lost a friend? Perhaps this was a close friend who decided to be mean and hurtful. A long time ago one of Jesus’ disciples chose to betray Jesus. Because of that choice, Jesus’ other disciples and friends chose someone to take that disciple’s place. Let’s find out who was chosen.
So much had happened in the past six weeks. The disciples could still feel the panic and taste the fear. They had run away from the garden when the soldiers arrested Jesus. And they had seen Him die. When they closed their eyes, they could almost hear the crowds shouting, “Crucify Him!”
They would never forget the emptiness after Jesus died. Visitors to Jerusalem came looking for Jesus only to be told that He had been crucified. Everyone felt numb.
On Sunday morning the light of hope had begun to shine again.
The women came bursting into the upper room and shouted, “Jesus is alive!” It seemed so incredible. At first they could not believe the good news. Then Jesus had appeared to them.
During the past few weeks they had spent time together listening and learning more about the Master. A few days ago they had walked with Jesus to the Mount of Olives. There He gave them another promise. “Wait in Jerusalem until I send the Holy Spirit to you. He will guide you and comfort you.”
Then they had watched Jesus rise up into the air. They had stared into the sky, trying to see Him one last time.
Every day after that, the disciples and other believers met in a large room. They talked about the things Jesus had taught them, and prayed together.
One day about 120 believers were gathered there. Peter stood up. Everyone was quiet as he began to speak. He reminded them about the work Jesus had given them. “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,” Jesus had said, “and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). “Tell the people that I love them. Tell them that I came to save them from their sins.” Yes, it was time to spread the good news throughout the world.
“Judas is no longer with us,” continued Peter. “We should choose someone to take his place.”
Peter went on. “The person we choose must be one who traveled with Jesus the whole time He was with us.”
Peter wanted someone who had followed Jesus since John had baptized Him, someone who knew that Jesus had been taken up again into heaven. Someone who could tell people about Jesus’ love, and how He died just for them.
The others in the room agreed. Soon two suggestions were made: a man called Joseph and another called Matthias. It was a difficult decision. They prayed together: “Lord, You know the thoughts of everyone. Show us which of these two You have chosen. Who will serve in place of Judas?”
In those days it was the custom to draw lots. One way was to use two sticks, one long and one short, to decide how to go forward. We do not know which method they used, but Matthias was chosen to replace Judas. From that day on, Matthias would serve with the other disciples. He would tell the world about Jesus and His love for all.
Today Jesus still needs disciples to follow Him—people who know Him and will serve Him. People who will tell others about His love, and how He came to save them.
Will you tell others about Jesus?