And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias . . . (Acts 1:26a)
“Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6b) – these are the last words utter by the disciples before Jesus is taken from them. “It is not for you to know . . . But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:7–8) – these are the last words uttered by Jesus before he is taken away; this was Jesus’ response to his friends’ inquiry.
So I find it interesting that the first thing the disciples do is to take it upon themselves to select a new member to their group in order to fill the vacancy left by Judas. Yes, they had criteria that the potential replacement had to meet. Yes, they prayed about it. Yes, they cast lots for him. Yes, they seemed to conduct their business decently and in proper order. But Jesus told them that they would begin to fulfill their mission once they were empowered by the Holy Spirit. Nonetheless, eager to move forward and anxious to conduct their business in their way, the disciples made the hasty decision to act on their own. I pray that we learn from the error of their ways and always take the time to wait for God’s Spirit to guide us. – rc