Note: This series is written as a first-person narrative to present the apostles in the context they walked in with the unknown disciple that narrates introducing my thoughts and sparking more ideas with his questions. Enjoy.
We walked the dusty half mile back into Jerusalem after watching Jesus taken up into heaven. When we arrived, we went back to the upper room.
I looked around at those present, counting eleven. We had heard that after Judas betrayed Jesus, he had hung himself, and the blood money was used to buy a field.
There were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; myself-James son of Alphaeus, aka Thaddeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas, son of James. We all joined together always in prayer, along with the women and Mary, the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. At the same time, we waited for Jesus’ promise of the Spirit.
One day, after the other followers of Jesus began to come back, Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) and said, “Brothers and sisters, the Scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through David concerning Judas, who served as a guide for those who arrested Jesus. He was one of our number and shared in our ministry.”
“For,” said Peter, “it is written in the Book of Psalms:
‘May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it,’ and, ‘May another take his place of leadership.’
Therefore, it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”
We broke into groups and discussed who could join the Twelve. Occasionally a voice was raised. Some nominated themselves, and after a time, we put it to a vote.
God was going to have the final say, though.
We nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. Then we prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.”
We got a cup with little stones in it, two of them marked for Matthias and Justus. We shook it and passed it down the line of the remaining apostles until it got to Peter, who cast them. The lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.
I remembered him as one of the 72 messengers sent by Jesus about a year and a half ago.