“So now we must choose a replacement for Judas from among the men who were with us the entire time we were traveling with the Lord Jesus — from the time he was baptized by John until the day he was taken from us. Whoever is chosen will join us as a witness of Jesus’ resurrection.” So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. Then they all prayed, “O Lord, you know every heart. Show us which of these men you have chosen as an apostle to replace Judas in this ministry, for he has deserted us and gone where he belongs.” Then they cast lots, and Matthias was selected to become an apostle with the other eleven.” Acts 1:21-26
Remember how kids will pick teams to play a game? I do. I remember the lineups where two kids get to be the captains and then they take turns going through all the kids until there’s just two left and everybody is cringing for the kid that gets picked last - or in reality, the one who actually didn’t get picked - he’s just the leftover kid. I wonder if Justus felt anything like that?
The disciples are choosing a replacement for Judas. There’s something interesting here - and it’s all just speculation at first so bear with me a moment. Some have pointed out, they spotted Judas’ betrayal in scripture and also with that, Peter notes the phrase “and let another take his place” (that’s Psalm 109:8). So based on their understanding of the Bible, they set out to replace Judas. They prayed (good idea) and then cast lots (an old method, unsure if this is a good idea or not) and Matthias gets the choice. Here’s the speculation part: Was Paul the Lord’s own chosen instead? It’s been suggested. Either way, none of this does anything for poor Justus who gets an honorable mention but gets skipped anyway. And yet…
Here we are nearly 2000 years later discussing this guy. Why? Because his peers thought enough of his character and qualifications to recommend him for consideration into an exceptionally unique group of people. He’s not merely an “honorable mention” or a “runner up”. God saw to it that his name gets recorded as someone that the people Jesus knew best were willing to trust most. That counts. A lot.
So you there - you feel overlooked sometimes? Didn’t get picked first round for kickball today? It’s okay, Justus would nod understandingly. But there’s more to us than position or status, right? Learn from Justus - be the person that your peers can point to and say “Yeah, they’d be a great one to consider - they are made of good stuff!” You, go after the character, the good and lasting stuff that counts. Maybe you don’t get picked today - it’s ok. God’s watching. He’ll take note and keep record. Trust in that.
Spark. There's a flame in there if you work with it...
what is "spark"?
Its a small thing - like the flash on a spark plug that hopefully ignites something bigger to propel you forward.