And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. (Acts 1:24-26 KJV)
I remember those days in the university, when a preacher visited our fellowship for a prayer weekend. That day, he spoke to us about 2 (two) disciples of Jesus Christ: Nathanael (or Bartholomew), and Judas Iscariot. Nathanael was a quiet disciple, who after the account of his meeting Jesus as told by John, we never heard from him again in John’s episode till the last chapter where Jesus appeared to his disciples as they went a-fishing. When the roll call was made of the disciples who were present at that ‘sea’ encounter, Nathanael was there. He was numbered with the disciples. So, was it also in the census in Acts 1 vs. 13; he was also there.
But not so for Judas Iscariot, one who was not just an ordinary disciple, but a keeper of God’s purse. He would have been a part of the inner caucus of every leadership meeting, were it to be today, due to the fact that he was the person in charge of the Lord’s money. However, Judas belonged to a generation that leveraged on the grace of God, and used it in vain.
All the years that he was stealing the Lord’s money, the Lord knew, but never personally confronted him. He heard countless amounts of divine words and teachings from the mouth of the Lord Jesus concerning faithfulness in little, not serving mammon, etc. However, something prevented him from going to the Lord and exposing his folly before Him. After all, he was still doing signs and wonders. After all, he was still casting out demons. After all, Jesus still loves him and calls him friend. After all, Jesus is not mad at him. So many times, the voice of the Holy Spirit had come to him, but he turned it down. He chose to follow the way of his flesh and the reward of iniquity than to pursue the righteous demands of his apostleship. By this very action, it ultimately led him to a TEKEL sentence: “You have been weighted in the scale, and found wanting.”
The callings of God upon your life and mine, dearly beloved, places a demand on us- a serious demand. It calls us unto holiness. We can speak a lot of English about it, and we can posit many philosophies about it; but times without counting, the Holy Scriptures have warned us of the dangers of continuing in the fleshly, carnal walk. It will surely cost us something- our place in God’s agenda. Judas had a place, but he lost it. Nobody took it away from him; even God did not take it away from him. He renounced it himself- by his continual walk in sin.
It is interesting to note that while Judas was tearing up all his privileges and selling his birthright for a plate of meal, there were two (2) brethren who continued walking with Jesus in faithfulness and with a sincere heart, from the time of John’s baptism, till the ascension. They were Matthias and Barsabbas. Nobody knew about them. They were not originally numbered with the 12. They were not part of the inner chambers of Jesus ministry, but they were faithful to God. In the spirit, they weighed far heavier than Judas, the ministry treasurer. Though Matthias was chosen to sit with the twelve, but it was not a vote of no confidence on Barsabbas. In fact, after the Jerusalem council meeting in Acts 15, it was Silas and Barsabbas that were sent forth with Paul and Barnabas to convey the decision of the elders to the Gentile churches. In fact, the Bible remarked that Barsabbas was a brother with a great prophetic unction (Acts 15 vs. 22-33). So, though ordinary brethren throughout the days of their physical discipleship with Jesus, they remained faithful men serving in the shadows through those years, and they weighed more in God’s spiritual scale than Judas Iscariot.
So, dear reader, do not be deceived by your position in the church, your ministerial prowess, and all that. Are you really a man of weight in God’s scale? Is your heart right with God, indeed? Or are there things you are keeping under, while speaking bogus English and carrying out bogus display? Remember and never forget that “the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” (2 Timothy 2:19 KJV)
There is no height a man gets with God, in which God removes from him the power to make a choice. Till we get to the very gates of heaven, we have our right to exercise our will to opt out or into the purposes OF God for our lives. I only pray that the Lord will help us so that we will not miss our mark, we will not lose our position and what God wanted to do with us, because of transgressions. I pray that we will take the words of the Lord serious and depart from iniquity. I pray that we will belong to that generation of Matthias and Barsabbas who may not be part of the ‘big men’ in the ministry, but who are worth their weight in gold before the Almighty God. I pray that we will never be weighed in the scales and found wanting. So help us God.