He lent his voice to the throng that praised Jesus as He rode the donkey down the Mount of Olives for that final Passover with Jesus.
One week later, Matthias witnessed his world turn upside down—as the One he had faithfully followed died on a Roman cross in Jerusalem. Three days later, however, Matthias’ hopes resurrected as Jesus showed Himself alive from the grave.
Only a few weeks earlier, the Lord Jesus had reclined here at the table with His twelve disciples.
But then the evening fell dark and their sorrow deepened as Jesus made grave predictions of their imminent failures.
Peter denied the Lord, all others deserted Him, and Judas betrayed his master. The guilt-ridden traitor then tried to strangle his sorrow by hanging himself—ironically, in the same valley Jesus had used as an illustration of hell.
Jesus’ glorious resurrection had given the disillusioned group of disciples a new hope and a new purpose. As He ascended to heaven, Jesus told His many followers standing on the Mount of Olives, “You shall be My witnesses” (Acts 1:8).
Matthias heard it himself. He, too, had seen Jesus ascend.
There in the same room where Jesus had predicted Judas’s betrayal, Peter explained, through the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, Scripture’s prediction that Judas would need to be replaced (Acts 1:20).
The need to fill the hole he left suggested Judas had never placed his faith in Jesus (1:25)—a point that would soon be affirmed when James surrendered his head to the sword and no one saw the need to replace him.
James will rise again to sit on a throne in Israel. Judas’s resurrection will have a very different destiny (Revelation 20:14–15).
Peter described with precision the qualifications for serving as one of the twelve apostles (Acts 1:21–22). Following a discussion, only two qualified men became clear: one named Joseph . . . and Matthias.
The group prayed, and God revealed that He had chosen Matthias to serve in Judas’s place as an apostle and as a witness of Jesus’s resurrection.
God’s Surprise Witness
Most likely, no one was more surprised than Matthias.
Matthias never followed Jesus in order to serve as an apostle. He didn’t stick around to fill the first vacancy; he never hoped to unseat the first slacker. He didn’t even climb the steps to the Upper Room that day to fish for votes. Matthias simply followed Jesus from the very beginning—with no motive but faithfulness.
Repeatedly in Scripture we see individuals who began with obscure faithfulness—people like Joseph, Ruth, David, Daniel, Esther, and even Jesus—and then God expanded their influence for His glory. In each case, God alone gave the promotion.
It’s the same with us.
Your Opportunity of Obscurity
When we beg God to rescue us from our insignificant lives, believing nothing important is happening with us, Matthias reminds us that just the opposite is true.
Faithfulness in obscurity today positions us in a place of greater influence for God tomorrow. (Tweet that.)
Matthias never appears again in the book of Acts or anywhere else in Scripture. He emerges for a moment and then vanishes again into obscurity—a willing unknown who followed God with only the motive of faithfulness.
Tell me what you think: Do you see obscurity as your opportunity to honor an audience of one—God alone? To leave a comment, just click here.