Sunday, 13 May 2018

Joseph called Barsabbas

In the selection process for the replacement of Judas, Joseph and Matthias are the finalists.  Unable to decide upon which one, the apostles pray and cast lots (initially reminded me of the soldiers at the foot of the cross casting lots for the robe of Jesus).  The lot falls for Matthias and he is announced as one of the apostles. 

What became of Joseph called Barsabbas?  Simple: He carried on his life and ministry!  That's how I would like to remember him.  If among all the people they had to choose from, the apostles zeroed in on these two men, they surely must have been men of faith, men dedicated to the ministry and truly in love with Jesus.  So I don't think being granted the title of an 'apostle' would have made any big difference to their personal character.  All that happened was that one got an additional role and responsibilities, the other didn't get that role... but the ministry and life of faith continued.

How often in life, have we seen people give up everything for a particular goal or post?  And once they do get the post, life is totally different.   It happens all the time in politics and with politicians.  It happens also with priests, religious and bishops..., especially those whose aim is the post (religious politicians?).  I wish Luke the author of the Acts had enumerated the qualities of Joseph and Matthias and a bit more of the selection criteria.  But honestly speaking all that was needed is clearly mentioned:
...it is necessary that one of the men who accompanied us the whole time the Lord Jesus came and went among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day on which he was taken up from us, become with us a witness to his resurrection.
...been with Jesus and his people and a genuine witness of all that Jesus stood for... we get the role for being this, with the confidence that we would do better.  If those basic qualities for which we were granted the role and related responsibilities are compromised with, then one has no right to continue in that role or claim anything related to it.  That would be the story of Judas, not Joseph Barsabbas!

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