“And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.”
I was listening to Greg Laurie preach and he stated that he felt that Paul was the Apostle chosen to replace Judas Iscariot. Others have stated the same thing, and I mean no disrespect, because I love listening to Greg, but I disagree and so does scripture. Matthias and Barsabas were found worthy by the 11 remaining Apostles, and after praying for God to choose, they cast lots. Matthias was chosen. If God was not consulted, then it would have been the Apostles choice, but they called upon God to choose and the lot went to Matthias. Matthias was then the 12th Apostle and served God by spreading the Gospel. He was martyred, apparently by stoning and then beheaded late in the 1st century for preaching the gospel of the Lord Jesus, according to historians. After the Book of Acts, the Bible says nothing else about Matthias and never mentions several of the other Apostles. The Apostles that are mentioned are Peter, James, John, Thomas, and Jude if I’m not forgetting someone. The other Apostles are only spoken of by historians, as martyrs who died preaching the gospel, except for John, who apparently died of old age.
Paul was never numbered among the 12 Apostles and he never claimed to be. He was an outstanding witness for Christ, and wrote much of the New Testament that we hold so dear, he was not, however, numbered among the 12 Apostles. Greg Laurie was preaching from Revelation, and was reminiscing about the wall around the New Jerusalem. He was describing the wall, as I do in my book, “Transfigured to Serve”, but he mistakenly identifies the city gate of Zebulun and Matthias as belonging to Zebulun and Paul. I may even have the Apostles matched with the wrong sons of Israel, but Matthias’ name will be on the wall outside one of the 12 gates, not Paul. Something tells me God has bigger better things in store for Paul, but I’ll leave that up to God and keep my speculation to myself.
The Bible is an absolute treasure trove of information, history, life lessons, cherished does and don’ts, and a crimson stream of our Savior’s precious blood starting from the first verse of Genesis and winding its way through scripture to the last verse of Revelation. To God be the glory! Hallelujah!