The disciples have a tough task in this passage: discerning who will take Judas’s place. They narrow the selection to two before making the final decision.
William Barclay says that we learn two important truths about being an apostle from these verses. First, the function of an apostle is to become a witness with us to his resurrection (v. 22). Secondly, they were looking for someone who had accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us (vv. 21-22).
The criterion for becoming an apostle involves being part of their community. Discipleship is not a solo act. Apostles, like followers of Christ today, cannot fulfill their purpose alone. We need each other. We need community.
This involves more than just showing up to observe a worship service. It means engaging in activities that build Christian community, participating in small group studies or service and mission projects. It could mean planning a fellowship, hosting a dinner for newcomers, getting involved in church groups that excite you, or starting a ministry that brings you joy and meets a need.
As they look for the person to take Judas’s place, they consider those who have been part of their story all along. In what ways could taking on a new role deepen your witness?
Let’s find new ways to strengthen the Christian community.
How do you find community as a person of faith? How do you deepen those relationships?
God, remind us not to go it alone but to find the companionship and guidance of a Christian community. Amen.