Then they returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, which is near Jerusalem—a sabbath day’s journey away. When they entered the city, they went to the upstairs room where they were staying. Peter, John, James, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James, Alphaeus’ son; Simon the zealot; and Judas, James’ son— all were united in their devotion to prayer, along with some women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers. During this time, the family of believers was a company of about one hundred twenty persons. Peter stood among them and said, “Brothers and sisters, the scripture that the Holy Spirit announced beforehand through David had to be fulfilled. This was the scripture concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus. This happened even though he was one of us and received a share of this ministry.” “Therefore, we must select one of those who have accompanied us during the whole time the Lord Jesus lived among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when Jesus was taken from us. This person must become along with us a witness to his resurrection.” So they nominated two: Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. They prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s deepest thoughts and desires. Show us clearly which one you have chosen from among these two to take the place of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas turned away to go to his own place.” When they cast lots, the lot fell on Matthias. He was added to the eleven apostles. (Acts 1:12-17, 21-26, CEB)
12 is a biblical number. When I taught confirmation I told the students if I ask for a numerical answer, good guesses are always 3, 7, 12, or a multiple of 12.
But I also have to say I have always wondered about this text. Why did the one to replace Judas have to be someone who was with them from the beginning? The other 11 were not really great representatives. I mean read the gospels and see how many times they messed up and who was there at the cross? When Jesus got arrested they scattered because they knew they were next.
So of course the replacement for Judas has to be one who was there from the beginning to share what they saw.
Yet we share the good news of Jesus through our lives and none of us were there when Jesus chose the 12.
We are all witnesses to the love God has for the world.
We are all givers of grace and mercy to a world that needs to know they are loved and accepted as they are.
We are the ones who Love Out Loud.
So continue sharing the good news and shining light.
Loving People. Loving God.