Dear Pastor Andy, could Paul have been the replacement for Judas, had the disciples waited, instead of casting lots (gambling)?
This has been a thought of mine for some time, actually. In fact, many other Christian Ministers and Scholars believe this, too.
The understanding (or argument) is that when the disciples decided to find an immediate replacement for Judas as the main 12, they did so in their own understanding, not of God’s. Granted, they chose by lots, which is a method that’s mentioned in the Old Testament Law, but you’re right, it’s also a form of gambling. Plus, I mean, if you have 2 people and 2 sticks, then obviously one is going to be chosen. But I digress.
My (and others’) beliefs on the matter is that Paul was God’s choice for Judas’ replacement, and that Matthias, who was chosen by lots, was the human choice, due to humans’ interference, while the other was promised by God – sort of like the issue between Isaac and Ishmael.
However, though we don’t hear anything about Matthias after this, in terms of qualification for the position, he did fit best. See, the 11 wanted the number of Apostles to match the number of tribes of Israel (12), so they required that Judas’ replacement be one who was in their company from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from them, as well as one who had witnessed with them Jesus’ resurrection. So in light of these qualifications, Paul would not have even been in the running, for he didn’t qualify for either.
But regardless, they both had the same message, which is Christ crucified and risen. Neither Matthias nor Paul can save us, only through faith in Jesus Christ is salvation obtained.