The following is an excerpt from a recent sermon I preached on Acts 1:12-26. The prose has been slightly edited for ease of reading, but I’ve tried to retain the sermonic, spoken feel as much as possible.
Who chose the first twelve disciples? Jesus.
You may recall that rabbis in that day, they didn’t go out choosing disciples. Disciples would come to them as and sort of petition, “Hey, can I enroll in your school?” But Jesus was different, he went out and said, “I want you, you, you, you.” Jesus even chose Judas. And now he chooses Mathias.
This was the Lord’s choice. No one is irreplaceable so long as Christ is still Lord. And isn’t it interesting that Luke’s gospel is the only one that mentions the story about Jesus coming into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and meeting the Pharisees. They tell the disciples, “Hey stop singing. Stop shouting. Stop praising him.” And remember what Jesus says, “If they don’t praise me even the stones will cry out.” It is one of Luke’s themes. God will have a witness.
“Can I get a witness?” That’s what Acts is about. And Jesus says, “I will. I don’t care if you’re all shut up. I’ll get stones. If Judas leaves me, and I knew he would, I’ll get Mathias.”
Too often when preachers talk about the need for evangelism or for missions, it is presented in such a way that makes God look needy and us look heroic. But that’s not the way it is. God will save his people. God will get the word out. And he’ll find a Mathias to do it if no one else will. Christ will have his witnesses.
He does not call us to speak out because God is in a pinch. He calls us to speak out that we might have the privilege.
You can listen to the entire sermon and watch the whole thing here.