Opening Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank you that you have chosen me. With you, help me to play my part in your plans at this time and in this place.

Read ACTS 1:12–26

Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas

12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk[a] from the city. 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

15 In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) 16 and said, “Brothers and sisters,[b] the Scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus. 17 He was one of our number and shared in our ministry.”

18 (With the payment he received for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. 19 Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)

20 “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,’[c]


“‘May another take his place of leadership.’[d]

21 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, 22 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.”

23 So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24 Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen 25 to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.” 26 Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.

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  1. Acts 1:12 That is, about 5/8 mile or about 1 kilometer
  2. Acts 1:16 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in 6:3; 11:29; 12:17; 16:40; 18:18, 27; 21:7, 17; 28:14, 15.
  3. Acts 1:20 Psalm 69:25
  4. Acts 1:20 Psalm 109:8

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


The Lord can teach us to pray, especially in difficult times.

Think Further

When the disciples returned to Jerusalem following their encounter with the risen Lord, they met together in an upper room. Was this the same ‘large room upstairs’ in which they had shared the Last Supper with Jesus?1 If so, how evocative must the ‘empty chair’ have been, adding to their sense that they existed in a totally new situation, a realization which prompted them to join together in constant prayer (v. 14). There was, of course, another absentee from the gathering: the tragedy of Judas loomed large in their thinking. Peter’s words concerning the disciple who had betrayed their Lord, stressing that he had been ‘one of our number and shared in our ministry’ (v. 17), expresses the shock and pain they felt that a close companion had deceived them and fallen prey to the love of money! There is a searching challenge here to all who hold positions of authority, as well as to congregations seeking new leaders. The fervent prayer of the church in Jerusalem was that God, who knows everyone’s heart, would reveal his choice to lead his people (v. 24). The process used to discern the right people for Christian leadership is a secondary matter; of first importance is the desire that God’s will be done.

The description of those present in the upper room includes Simon the Zealot, which suggests that a range of political views was possible when the ultimate loyalty was given to the crucified and risen Savior. Note also the presence of ‘the women and Mary the mother of Jesus’ (v. 14), the same group that had accompanied Jesus during his ministry and had followed him to Calvary and to the empty tomb.2 If a Zealot in the apostolic group seems countercultural, so too was the prominence given to women, a frequent emphasis in Luke’s writing.


Focus your prayer on Christian leaders known to you.

Closing prayer

Jesus, thank you for those you choose to serve you; use our diversity to spread the good news of the gospel far and wide.

Last Updated on May 18, 2024 by kingstar

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