Everyone wants to be chosen. Do you remember in elementary school when kickball teams were selected at recess? Likely, your primary concern was not to be chosen last because being chosen last essentially meant nobody wanted you on their team. Do you remember when the high school prom rolled around? Whether you were waiting to be asked by a boy or hoping not to be rejected by a girl, your primary concern was not to have to go to prom alone because that meant you were not chosen. Do you remember when you waited to receive that acceptance letter from the college for which you applied or for that phone call from the company to which you applied for a job? Even in those situations, we find ourselves longing to be chosen. There is something inside all of us that feels validated when other people choose us.
This inherent feeling of appreciation when we are chosen causes me to reflect on an event that occurred early in the church’s history and resulted in one individual being chosen and another being rejected. In Acts 1:21-26, Peter pointed out to the other disciples that it was necessary for Judas to be replaced as an apostle. As a result, the apostles nominated two men, Barsabbas and Matthias, for this apostolic position, then turned the decision over to the Lord. They prayed, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which one of these two You have chosen to occupy this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place” (Acts 1:24-25). Apostolic selection was always God’s prerogative. Jesus specifically chose the original twelve after an all-night prayer session (Luke 6:12-13). So, I imagine that they were thinking, or at least I would be thinking, “if the Son of God selected twelve apostles and one of them ended up betraying Him, then who am I to think that I can make the right selection?” So, they wisely turned the decision over to God. In so doing, they seem to demonstrate an understanding of God’s omniscience that is later described by the author of Hebrews when he said, “no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).
In the end, one man was chosen by God, and the other was not (Acts 1:26). Assumedly, this means that Barsabbas was rejected for apostolic consideration twice since the qualifications stated here (i.e., one who followed Jesus from His baptism until His ascension) seem to indicate that he was among the group of disciples from which Jesus made His original selection of apostles (see Luke 6:12-13). We will never know on this side of heaven why God chose Matthias and rejected Barsabbas. The goal of this article is not to explore why one was chosen and the other was not. Instead, the purpose of this article is to challenge you to consider whether or not you would have been chosen.
Imagine that you were one of those nominees. Imagine that your name was placed before God as a candidate for this position. Obviously, no one living today would fit the qualifications of an apostle, but, for the sake of self-examination, assume that you were qualified. Assume that God was considering you to be the one who would replace Judas. Assume that God was examining your actions, your attitude, and your heart in order to compare it to other dedicated disciples so that He could determine whether or not you were worthy to serve as a foundation for His church, to use the language of Ephesians 2:20 and Revelation 21:14. Would God choose you?
We often examine ourselves by considering whether or not we would go to heaven if Christ came back right now, which is a necessary question to ask. However, it can result in a bare minimum examination. In other words, when you are considering whether or not you would go to heaven, you are ultimately considering whether or not you have met the bare minimum requirements to receive salvation. I believe it is necessary for us to up the ante when it comes to such self-examinations from time to time. We need to examine not just our salvation status but also our commitment status, our maturity status, and our faithfulness status. By asking whether or not God would choose us as He did Matthias, we are essentially examining whether or not we are so dedicated to Him that He would deem us worthy of an exalted position. This is not an exercise in self-aggrandizement; this is an exercise in self-evaluation. So, take a moment this week and ask yourself whether or not the all-seeing God would choose you.