by: Rich Vaughan
A while ago I was reading a devotion that told the story of a child who had asked her mother, “Mom, who took Judas’s place?”. How would you have answered your child or anyone else who had asked you that question? Do you remember who replaced Judas? His name was Matthias. His story is found in Acts 1:23-26, but very little is known about him. In fact, he is truly the unknown/forgotten disciple. He is not mentioned anywhere else in the New Testament and the traditions about him found in the apocryphal books (written between 200 BC & 400 AD) and in the ancient “Fathers” writings are considered very inaccurate. All we know is that he was born in Jerusalem and died there around 80 AD. We also know that he is the first Disciple not chosen directly by Jesus (but by the disciples themselves). However, we also know that he was part of the 12 by the time of Pentecost and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
In this same devotional the child had a great second question for her mother. “What did he ever do for Jesus?” Tough question! The only answer I would have been able to give her was that Matthias was faithful. We know that he was part of the group outside the original 12 that Jesus had handpicked, who had been with all those who followed Jesus from His baptism by John until the day Jesus ascended into heaven. He had been faithful, not flashy, just faithful. But isn’t that exactly what our Lord is looking for in each of us? We don’t have to make headlines. We shouldn’t have to be patted on the back or receive huge accolades. It should be enough that we love Jesus and follow him. It should be enough that we love our neighbor as ourselves and that we used our hearts and hands for Jesus’ sake. Yet, I can’t help but wonder how each of us would answer that challenging question if it was put to us, “But Richard, Papa, Dad, (Your name), WHAT DID YOU EVER DO FOR JESUS?” How would we answer? I am not going to be satisfied by saying I became an ordained pastor. I am not going to boast that I preached for over 46 years for him. I am not going to put statistics down on paper that this many people joined the churches I served, or this many came to Christ by Profession of Faith (i.e. “saved”). No, instead I am going to ask that question of myself every morning as I get up and every evening before I go to bed from this day on. I pray I ask that question about myself every day for the rest of my life until I draw my last breath. And I hope at the end of my journey I can whisper, “I wasn’t perfect Lord. I wasn’t flashy Lord. But I was faithful Jesus”. How about you? Amen and Amen.