I have a question on Matthew 19:28.  Does this passage mean that Paul will have to judge the people of Israel?  When Judas killed himself they chose Matthias, but Paul was also an Apostle.  In a commentary I read Barkley and McDonald claim that God approved the selection of Matthias through Zareba.   In Acts 1 we learn that a choice for an apostle has two requirements:   1. It had to be one of those who was with the disciples during the three years of Christ’s Ministry from His baptism by John until His ascension.  and  2. It needed to be able to testify of the resurrection of the Lord.    Acts 1:23-26 were the names of two people who met the conditions – Joseph, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. But which one should you choose? The apostles gave the decision to the Lord asking Him to reveal to them Your choice. Then they cast lots, and he pointed at Matthias as successor to Judas, who went to his place, that is into eternal damnation.  This leads me to two questions:

1. Were the apostles right in choosing Matthias? Shouldn’t they have waited until the Lord call the Apostle Paul to give him the vacant place?

2. Was it necessary for them to cast lots to know God’s will?


Regarding the first question, in the story there is nothing that would indicate the improper actions of the students. A lot of the time They spent in prayer; they sought to obey the Scriptures and, apparently, was unanimous in the choice preemie ka Judas. Moreover, the mission of Paul differed from the Ministry of the twelve, and there is no reason to believe that he…


I believe that we might be best advised to leave this one in God’s hands.  There are some things whose meaning we cannot fully understand.  There are some things which God does not reveal to us.   What, exactly, did Jesus mean here?   Is he talking about literal thrones?  I seriously doubt it.   Is he talking about the exact twelve who were with him at that time?  Probably not, as this would include Judas.   Will the number include Matthias?  Who knows.  We do not need to know.  We can afford to leave this as a mystery, as we really do not even know exactly what Jesus is talking about.  In what sense will they be judging Israel?  In the sense of determining if they go to heaven or hell?  Maybe.  Probably not, but I am not sure.  Is he talking about judging the nation as a whole, or the individual members of that nation?  I do not know.  Will they be judging in the sense of evaluating them, or will this be ultimate judgment?  I do not know.

Will Paul be in the number doing this “judging”?  I have no idea.  I can speculate.  In fact, it may even be fun to speculate, but it would be mere speculation, as God does not tell us.  Again, this is a mystery and we are best leaving the mysteries in God’s hands. Deuteronomy 29:29 offers good advice for such mysteries.  God tells us, through Moses, that “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.”  I believe that it is a good idea to let what is God’s be God’s.  Not that it is harmful or bad to speculate about such things, but that we should be humble and admit that there are some things we cannot know.  There are two other situations that I can think of right off hand in the Bible where someone asked God or Jesus to answer a question in which they were told, essentially, “none of your business.”  The two are in Daniel 12:8-10 and John 21:21-23.   In the first case, Daniel asked the angel for clarification and he is told “Go your own way….”  Not exactly an answer to his question.  In the latter, Peter asked Jesus what would happen to John and he is mildly rebuked—being told, “what is that to you.”

Paul was an apostle, but he was one “abnormally born.”  This is in 1 Corinthians 15:8.  What does “abnormally born” mean?  It might mean that he was choses through an extremely different method.  It might mean that he is an apostle is a very different way than the other apostles.  The Bible does give qualifications for being one of the twelve, but it is not clear that this applies to Paul.  Again, as above, I am afraid that we may have to settle for admitting that we are not exactly sure.

What I can say for sure is that Paul is not one of “the twelve.”  The ministry of “the twelve” was, principally to the Jews, although even that was transformed over time.  If I had to give an opinion, the statement given to the apostles in Matthew 19:28 does not apply to Paul, but that is because, in almost every case, Paul is treated as a special case and not one of “the twelve.”  Matthias was chosen to replace Judas.  Paul definitely was not chosen to replace one of the twelve.  Like he said, he was abnormally born.  Yet, like the twelve, he clearly had the power to pass along miraculous gifts, so he truly was an apostle, at least in some sense.  I am afraid that we will have to leave the exact determination of what sense Paul was the same and in what sense he was different as somewhat of a mystery.

Your last couple of comments show me that your thinking is actually similar to mine.  I hope my response was helpful.

About your second question, the casting of lots was something that the apostles chose to do in that situation.  This was a traditional way to resolve questions for the Jews at that time.   I assume that there was no consensus on the choice between the two choices among the apostles.  Perhaps they felt that both candidates were equally qualified and thought that the casting of lots was a way for God to let them know his will.  We have no evidence that they had this as a command from God and certainly this was not the only way God could have revealed his will.  Personally, I think we should look at this as simply describing what happened at that time–not as a statement that the church should decide questions by this method or even that God approved the method.

John Oakes

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