Acts 1:15-26 Judas’ Replacement And Selecting A Leader.

Peter testified, in this case initially to 120, that with regard to Judas, the scriptures continued to find fulfillment (v. 15). He also made clear that the word that came through David was inspired by the Holy Spirit (v. 16). Judas served as an example of those who have an external membership in the church, even to holding the office of an apostle, and yet who don’t have the root of true faith within them (v. 17 Cf. v. 25; Mt. 10:4; 26:47; Mk. 14:43; Lk. 22:47; Jn. 18:3). The money he earned for his betrayal of Jesus, he used to bury himself in a desolate field of blood (vv. 18-19 Cf. Mt. 26:14-16, 24; 27:3-10; Mk. 14:21; Lk. 22:22). To this end Peter employs two witnesses, the common practice of the biblical writers, to show that this was in fulfillment of what the Spirit of God had predicted (v. 20 Cf. Pss. 69:25; 109:8). We could also refer to other passages (Cf. Ps. 41:9). Peter had also denied Jesus, but he never gave Him up, and this was because the Lord prayed for him (Cf. Lk. 22:32; Jn. 17:12).

All the above would no doubt have been in the minds of those who would select Judas’ successor. In the process of selecting who would replace Judas, several points are made. The first obvious point is that Judas had to be replaced. Secondly, this man had to be someone who was with them from the time of John the Baptist to Jesus’ resurrection (vv. 21-22). Thirdly, even though they narrowed the options down to two, they prayed for God to select who He wanted to be His newest witness bearing apostle (vv. 23-26 Cf. Acts 2:32). They knew full well with the example of Judas, that only God knows the heart (I Sam. 16:7). This is not to say that Joseph was another Judas, but God alone knew who was best suited for the office. The church would continue to choose men who would go out as witness bearers (Acts 15:22), and even though we may not cast lots today, these same principles should still apply-the scriptures teach that leaders are still needed, they must be qualified, and to this end we must pray.

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