Have you ever stopped to think about Matthias? Not too many sermons go into detail about Matthias. He is a blip on the radar screen. He’s mentioned once in the first chapter of Acts and never given a second thought. Even the legends and traditions of the church don’t know that much about him. Some say he was stoned and others say he died naturally. Some say he went to cannibals and some say he went elsewhere. Apparently, no one thought enough to write down his story. He is the least publicized apostle in Scripture. We know more about the guy who wasn’t picked than we do about Matthias. And that’s okay. The church needs Matthiases.
Here is what we know about Matthias. Matthias was around from the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. He was there when Jesus was baptized and he was there when Jesus ascended into heaven. Thus he obviously saw the resurrected Jesus. All that leads to the conclusion that he fit the calling to be an apostle. The other apostles prayed over him (and Joseph, aka Justus, aka Barsabbas). The lot fell to Matthias. God called him and the eleven acknowledged his calling. That’s all we know. And that’s okay. The church needs more Matthiases.
The church had its celebrity preachers from the beginning. Peter gave the first sermon at Pentecost and 3,000 souls were won to Christ. He stood up to the councils, and proclaimed the name of Jesus unashamedly. John was with him. Philip, the deacon, went to Samaria and heralded the gospel to the people, and many were saved. Yet Peter was sent to pray that they may receive the Holy Spirit. John went with him. Paul went all around the known world preaching and defending and debating. Everyone knew of Peter, John, and Paul. Apollos was another celebrity preacher. When Paul chastised the Corinthians he chastised them because they were dividing the church over those whom they preferred, as if one was not truly saved because he was not led by Peter, Paul, or Apollos. There was nothing inherently wrong with being a celebrity preacher. What was wrong was the hearts of those who pitted them against one another. Yet, in the midst of all of this fame, somewhere in the world was the apostle Matthias. His devotion was unquestioned by his following Jesus from the beginning even though he was never among the 12 before the ascension. He was never even hinted at until after Jesus was gone. He didn’t have recognition. He didn’t have fame. And that’s okay. The church needs more Matthiases.
Matthias was a no name preacher in some no name town, proclaiming the gospel to no name people. That’s what the church needs. I love John Piper, John MacArthur, Ligon Duncan, Mike Fabarez, Thabiti Anyabwile, and a whole bunch of other people that I’m sure you all like too. I have no problem with these men being celebrity preachers. Praise God for them! But that pastor laboring in the middle of no where is doing just as much of God’s work (and maybe even more in some cases) than those to whose YouTube channel we subscribe.
If you’re a Matthias, God bless your work. Do not lose heart. I may never know your name; and only 1 person may ever watch those pixely sermon videos you film on your iPhone. And that’s okay. The church needs more Matthiases. We need more men who will work and endure through obscurity and die without throngs of people watching the funeral streamed live on Facebook. We need men who will pour their hearts and souls into people who never seem to grow as fast as you’d like and who aren’t out to be a big star someday. We have our Pauls and our Apolloses and Peters; what we need is more people being okay with being Matthias. Because the church needs more Matthiases.