And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which one of these two You have chosen to occupy this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.”
The chosen are the apostles of Jesus the Nazarene. Jesus called these 12 chosen to follow Him personally during His ministry of the kingdom of His Father our God to His excruciating death on the cross. Notice that these people responded by accepting their call to follow and went, not that they chose Jesus, but are chosen by Jesus. However, one of these apostles who also went and shared in Jesus’ ministry as (our verse above describes) took his portion of that ministry and went to his own place. But what place was that? A place called Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood (Act 1:19). Earlier in the chapter of Acts, the chosen apostles tell about 120 followers of Jesus that Judas was a personification of scripture fulfilled—“For it is written in the book of Psalms, ‘LET HIS HOMESTEAD BE MADE DESOLATE, AND LET NO ONE DWELL IN IT’; and, ‘LET ANOTHER MAN TAKE HIS OFFICE.’ (Act 1, Psa 69, 109, Zec 5). So it was time to fill that office and the qualifications were men that accompanied Christ from His baptism to Him being taken up to the right hand of God after His resurrection from the dead (Acts 1:21-22, 2:32-33).
The chosen is a land and a people of Israel for the Kingdom of God that was taken from the hardened hearts of the chief priests and Pharisees in their office of the old covenant (Genesis 18:18-20, Matt 21:33-46, Roman 11). And that Kingdom was given to the apostles that share in our present ministry of the new covenant through the blood of Jesus Christ (Luke 22:20). The Kingdom of God today is a ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:17-21) through the power and glory of God with the promise of the Holy Spirit. And it might be that you are wondering whether you are reconciled to God? If so, don’t worry, because every single one of the apostles wondered whether they were the one to betray Jesus saying, “Surely it is not I…?” (John 13:21-25, Mark 14:18-21 Matt 26:21-25, Luke 22:14-23). There was a time when I asked that question for myself, only a little differently. Let’s look at what sets the 11 Christians apart from Judas and the reason the lot fell to Matthais to fill his office .
It looks plausible that Judas was stealing enough money throughout his life including the course of their ministry to acquire a field before his betrayal (Acts 1:18). He had thrown the 30 pieces of silver back to the chief priests (Matt 26:15, 27:3-9, Zech 11:12-13), which indicates to me that he’d already acquired the field by his wickedness. The betrayal of Judas reminds me of the rogue angel (Eze 28:12-17) guised in the eyes of a woman to be a serpent trusted by what God said to be very good (Gen 1:31), but was actually an act of betrayal. Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field that the Lord God had made …(Gen 3:1). The consequential program of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is genius, because in it is the capacity for what is created to be good capable of evil (Gen 2:9, Isa 5:20, 41:23, Eze 28:12-17 ). We are not forced to be evil, all of creation is given life to share with God our Father in the program He wrote with the blood ink of His only Son, The Word of God (Rev 12:13, John 3:16, Acts 4:12).
The Lord knows the hearts of all men. If you are honest about your heart, what would the Lord know about it? We are all thieves on the cross, but are you the thief saying… “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong. Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” (Luke 23:39-43)?