The Apostolic Office – Acts 1:12-26

Oct 15, 2021 By: Damien Garofalo Topic: Sermon Devotional Scripture: Acts 1:12-26

And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. (Acts 1:26 ESV)

In our last passage, we examined the ascension of Jesus Christ and its implications. The now reigning, ruling, and seated Lord had given one final command to his followers prior to his departure into heaven: starting in Jerusalem, be a witness for Christ to all the world. How would you respond to this command in the absence of the one who gave it?

The early church displayed their loyalty to Jesus immediately after his ascension. In obedience to his command, the disciples went to Jerusalem to await his promise. We have no record from Luke that Jesus gave any timing – in fact, Jesus is known for not giving timetables when asked. And so the disciples went to Jerusalem to wait on the Lord.

In our passage, verses 12-26, we find that they didn’t sit idly by as they waited, nor did they grow weary in the waiting. They experienced tremendous unity as they prayed together. In addition, they took care of a major order of business – choosing someone to replace Judas as the 12th Apostle.

This priority might seem misplaced. Their Lord was taken from heaven before their eyes and they have a whole world to evangelize – what does it matter if they have 11 or 12 Apostles? In fact, they have 120 disciples altogether at this point, so certainly this one minor detail can’t be so significant, can it be?

We find in this passage that filling Judas’ office indeed was significant. Peter rises to the occasion, grounding his reasoning from scripture and presenting the need to all in attendance. The passage indicates that all were in agreement, and they trusted in the Lord to reveal to them who among the qualified men can serve as the 12th Apostle.
This episode reveals several things about the nature of the church: 1) We should take the details seriously because God takes the details seriously; 2) An effective church is a biblically organized church; 3) The waiting period is a period of preparation for the mission. If we are to be a healthy and effective church for the Great Commission, we cannot “wing it.” We must pay attention to the seemingly mundane details – such as church polity – if we are to honor the Lord and be used as the vessel to bring the good news of salvation to the uttermost parts of the earth.