1:21 “Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.”
23 And they proposed two: Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen 25 to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.” 26 And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
This whole process is interesting. From a sizeable group of men they chose 2. From those two it seemed like they wanted or expected Joseph to be chosen. I say that because of the attention paid to his name. Names were important and when they really wanted to highlight someone they paid special attention to their name. This man to whom we have never been introduced before was Joseph, but called Barsabas, whose surname was Justus. That's quite a mouthful and a careful deliberate introduction. The other man was Matthias. Almost seems like an afterthought.
The names associated with the first man are strong names. Joseph of course is a strong Hebrew name. He was called Barsabas which means either son of war or son of hosts. Again a very strong name. His surname Justus simply means just and upright. That's quite a trilogy of names. Makes one wonder why he was not just automatically chosen. He appears to be the favourite.
Maybe that's the problem. From the tidbits we can gather about Judas Iscariot (who betrayed Jesus and is now being replaced) it seems he was the most qualified and respected among the disciples. Not one of the other eleven suspected he was the betrayer. It turns out we often are not good judges of character. We crown men like Saul and overlook men of true hearts like David the shepherd boy.
For some reason in that room they were able to narrow the candidates down to two and it appeared Barsabas would be the chosen one but after prayer and casting lots it was Matthias who came out as the 12th disciple. Matthias. It means Gift of God.
Turns out when we pray and seek God's will we don't choose the "best person", we choose the right person. So next time you have to make an important decision use your head and then use your knees. Make sure the choice you make is a gift from God and not a Saul or a Judas Iscariot.