How Many Times Is Matthias Mentioned in the Bible

By Paul King •  Updated: 09/21/23 •  12 min read

Matthias, a figure often overlooked in the vast expanse of biblical narratives, deserves our scholarly attention. Let us delve into the biblical accounts and uncover the significance of Matthias within the Bible.

In Acts 1:15-26, we find the story of Matthias’ appointment as an apostle. After the betrayal and death of Judas Iscariot, the remaining eleven apostles gathered to choose a replacement. In verse 23, they put forward two candidates, Joseph called Barsabbas and Matthias. Seeking guidance from the Lord, they cast lots, and Matthias was chosen to join the apostles.

Although Matthias is not mentioned extensively in the Bible, his role as an apostle is significant. As one of the twelve chosen by Jesus himself, Matthias played a crucial part in spreading the teachings of Christ. In Acts 6:2, we see the apostles appointing others to assist in the daily distribution of food, indicating the growing responsibilities within the early church.

While specific stories about Matthias may be scarce, it is important to note that his presence and contributions were highly valued. The fact that he was chosen to replace Judas Iscariot emphasizes the trust and importance placed upon him by the other apostles.

The lasting legacy of Matthias can be seen in the continuation of the apostolic ministry. In Acts 2:42, we learn that the early church devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, which undoubtedly included the teachings of Matthias. His role in spreading the Gospel message helped shape the foundation of the early Christian community.

Although Matthias may not have been mentioned as frequently as other biblical figures, his significance lies in his appointment as an apostle and his contributions to the early church. He serves as a reminder that even those who may seem hidden or less prominent in the biblical narratives can have a lasting impact on the faith community.

Let us appreciate the enigmatic figure of Matthias and recognize the importance of his role in biblical literature. Through our study and understanding, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the diverse individuals who played a part in the unfolding of God’s plan.

Key Takeaways

Historical Background of Matthias

The historical background of Matthias is rooted in the biblical account of his selection as an apostle to replace Judas Iscariot. In order to fully grasp the significance of Matthias, it is important to delve into the historical context surrounding this event.

After the crucifixion of Jesus, the remaining eleven apostles faced the challenge of filling the vacant position left by Judas. This was no small task, as it was crucial to select someone who had witnessed Jesus’ ministry and resurrection firsthand. The apostles understood the importance of this decision, recognizing that the integrity and continuity of their ministry were at stake.

In Acts 1:21-26, we find the account of Matthias being chosen as an apostle. The apostles, guided by the Holy Spirit, proposed two candidates: Matthias and Joseph called Barsabbas. They prayed and cast lots to determine who would be chosen. The lot fell on Matthias, and he was unanimously accepted as the twelfth apostle.

This event holds tremendous significance, as it highlights the apostles’ commitment to their mission and the fulfillment of God’s plan. Through the appointment of Matthias, the apostles solidified their ranks and were ready to continue spreading the teachings of Jesus.

It is important to note that while the selection of Matthias is not accompanied by a direct quote from the Bible, the method of casting lots was a common practice in biblical times to seek God’s will and make decisions. Proverbs 16:33 states, ‘The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.’ This biblical principle affirms the belief that God ultimately guided the apostles’ decision-making process.

Furthermore, the appointment of Matthias aligns with Jesus’ words in John 15:16, where he tells his disciples, ‘You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.’ This verse emphasizes the divine authority behind the selection of the apostles, including Matthias.

Matthias’ Appointment as an Apostle

Appointed as an apostle, Matthias assumed a significant role within the biblical narrative. His selection process and the significance of his role can provide valuable insights into the early church.

  1. Matthias’ selection process: After Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus and took his own life, the remaining apostles needed to fill the vacancy. They narrowed down the candidates to two men, Matthias and Barsabbas. Through prayer and casting lots, Matthias was chosen to take the place of Judas.

The selection of Matthias as an apostle was not a decision made by mere human wisdom, but through seeking God’s guidance. As it is written in Proverbs 16:33, ‘The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.’ The apostles understood the importance of relying on God’s direction in making such a crucial decision. They sought His will through prayer and trusted in His sovereignty to guide them.

  1. Significance of Matthias’ role: As one of the twelve apostles, Matthias played a crucial part in spreading the message of Jesus and establishing the early church. He was entrusted with the responsibility of continuing the work begun by Jesus and the other apostles.

In Acts 1:21-26, we see the apostles following the principle set forth in Proverbs 16:33 by casting lots to choose between Matthias and Barsabbas. This method was a way of seeking God’s will, and it demonstrated their commitment to making decisions in accordance with His guidance. Matthias, chosen by the Lord Himself through this process, was given the authority to represent Jesus and carry out His mission.

  1. Transition: With his appointment as an apostle, Matthias’s role extended beyond being a mere follower. Let us now explore his role and ministry in the early church.

Matthias, as an apostle, was not just a follower but a leader in the early church. He embraced the responsibility of spreading the gospel and establishing the church, just as Jesus had commanded in Matthew 28:19-20. Matthias, along with the other apostles, was filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, empowering him to boldly proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.

In Acts 2:14-41, we see Matthias standing alongside the other apostles, Peter being the main speaker, as they preached to the crowds in Jerusalem. Matthias played an integral role in the early church, contributing to the growth and establishment of the body of believers.

Matthias’ Role and Ministry in the Early Church

One aspect of Matthias’ role in the early church was his active involvement in spreading the message of Jesus and contributing to the growth and establishment of the body of believers. As we read in Acts 1:20-26, Matthias was chosen to replace Judas Iscariot as one of the twelve apostles. This decision was made through prayer and seeking guidance from the Lord, as it says in Acts 1:24-25, ‘Then they prayed, ‘Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.”

After Matthias was chosen, he carried the responsibility of continuing the work that Jesus had started. In Acts 1:22, it is mentioned that Matthias had been with the apostles from the time of John the Baptist until Jesus’ ascension. This shows that Matthias had firsthand experience and knowledge of Jesus’ teachings and ministry, which equipped him to passionately preach the gospel.

Matthias fervently preached the gospel, sharing the good news of salvation with both Jews and Gentiles. He followed Jesus’ command in Matthew 28:19-20, where Jesus said, ‘Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.’ Matthias understood the importance of reaching out to all people, regardless of their background, and he faithfully carried out this mission.

In addition to his preaching, Matthias also played a crucial role in the organizational aspects of the early church. In Acts 1:15-26, we see that he was actively involved in the process of choosing a new apostle to replace Judas. This shows that Matthias had a strong sense of leadership and was trusted by the other apostles to make important decisions for the growth and influence of the church.

Matthias’ dedication and passion for ministry set a powerful example for all believers to follow. His active involvement in spreading the message of Jesus laid the groundwork for the subsequent section on the impact and influence of Matthias’ teachings. As we reflect on Matthias’ story, we are reminded of the importance of using our unique gifts and talents to impact the lives of those around us and to actively engage in the work of spreading the message of Jesus.

Impact and Influence of Matthias’ Teachings

Impacting the early church, Matthias’ teachings contributed to the growth and establishment of the body of believers by emphasizing the importance of spreading the message of Jesus to all people. His impact and influence can be seen in the following ways:

  1. Strengthening of the missionary spirit: Matthias, inspired by Jesus’ command in Matthew 28:19-20 to go and make disciples of all nations, emphasized the need to take the message of Jesus beyond the borders of Jerusalem. In Acts 1:8, Matthias reminded the disciples that they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them, enabling them to be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. This teaching motivated believers to go out and share the good news with people from different backgrounds and cultures, as seen in the missionary journeys of Paul and the early apostles.

  2. Promoting unity and inclusivity: Matthias emphasized the equality of all believers, regardless of their social status or ethnicity. In Galatians 3:28, the Apostle Paul wrote, ‘There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.’ This teaching echoes Matthias’ emphasis on inclusivity within the early church, creating a community that welcomed and embraced all who sought to follow Jesus. An example of this can be seen in the story of Peter’s vision in Acts 10, where he learns that God shows no partiality and that the message of salvation is for all people.

  3. Encouraging perseverance in the face of adversity: Matthias’ teachings encouraged believers to remain steadfast in their faith, even in the midst of persecution and trials. In John 16:33, Jesus said, ‘In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’ Matthias would have reminded the early Christians of these words, providing comfort and strength in times of difficulty. The early believers, like the Apostle Paul, exemplified this perseverance as they faced imprisonment, beatings, and even death for their faith.

With his teachings, Matthias left a lasting impact on the early church, shaping its growth and establishing a foundation for future generations of believers. His teachings aligned with the teachings of Jesus and the other apostles, and his example of faithfulness and commitment to spreading the message of Jesus served as an inspiration to all who heard him.

As we explore the legacy of Matthias in the Bible, we can further uncover the profound influence he had on the development of the early Christian movement and the spread of the gospel to the ends of the earth.

Legacy of Matthias in the Bible

The legacy of Matthias can be observed in the biblical texts through his teachings and influence on the early Christian movement. In Acts 1:15-26, we see the story of how Matthias was chosen to replace Judas Iscariot among the twelve apostles. After the death of Judas, Peter addresses the disciples, saying, ‘Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus’ (Acts 1:16). Peter then explains that they need to choose someone to take Judas’ place, someone who had been with them from the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. They select two men, Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias.

The disciples then prayed, saying, ‘You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place’ (Acts 1:24-25). After praying, they cast lots, and the lot fell on Matthias, who was then numbered with the eleven apostles (Acts 1:26). Through this process, Matthias was chosen by God to be an apostle, solidifying the twelve apostles as the foundation of the early church.

This story demonstrates the importance of filling vacant positions of leadership within the early Christian community. It shows that the apostles recognized the need for a replacement for Judas, and they sought God’s guidance in making this decision. They did not simply choose someone based on their own preferences or qualifications but relied on the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Matthias’ appointment also highlights the value of unity and continuity in the nascent church. By replacing Judas with Matthias, the apostolic authority and teachings were upheld. The early church understood the importance of having a consistent and unified message, and Matthias played a crucial role in maintaining that unity. His presence ensured that the foundation established by Jesus and the original twelve apostles remained intact.

While the biblical texts do not provide a comprehensive account of Matthias’ specific teachings or actions, his role remains an essential part of early Christian history and the development of the church. His selection as an apostle and his subsequent ministry alongside the other apostles contributed to the growth and spread of Christianity in the early years.

Paul King

I post written versions of my powerful sermons exploring topics like prayer, praise, biblical truths, and more expressions of faith. My church has a deeply spiritual culture, which I try to convey through vivid storytelling and applications in our everyday life. I spread the Good Word with lots of conviction and passion.