Judas Iscariot’s betrayal and his death by suicide led Jesus’ disciples to find another man to replace him as the twelfth apostle. This was initiated by the apostle Peter after Jesus’ resurrection while they stayed in an upstairs room in Jerusalem. The rest of the ten apostles were with him, as well as Jesus’ brother, his mother, and other women who followed him during his ministry.
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Other believers were with them also, and they decided to choose someone who followed Jesus from the time of his baptism up to his ascension to heaven. Two men were nominated as Judas’ replacement: Matthias (abbreviation of Mattathias which means “a gift of God” but not to be confused with Matthew) and Joseph Barsabas (also called Justus). After they had cast lots, Matthias was chosen as one of the twelve disciples (Acts 1:1-26). He was one of those who was filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of the Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). However, he was not mentioned again in any New Testament books after this brief introduction in the Acts of the Apostles.
It was said that he penned the apocryphal Gospel of Matthias (now lost) during his ministry as mentioned by Clement of Alexandria, Origen of Alexandria, Eusebius, and Jerome. He first ministered in Judea and traveled to Macedonia where he preached the gospel. In Macedonia, he was challenged to drink a cup of poison to test his faith but escaped alive from this episode, and he even healed the people who were blinded after they drank the same poison. He then traveled to Ethiopia, Cappadocia, and Sebastople where he supposedly died. In another version of the apostle’s death, it was said that he was stoned and beheaded or crucified by the Jews. His body was buried in Jerusalem but transported later to Rome by Helen, the mother of Emperor Constantine.
His feast day is on the 14th of May.
Zwiep, A. W. Judas and the Choice of Matthias: A Study on Context and Concern of Acts 1:15-26. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2004
Cave, William, and Jeremy Taylor. Antiquitates Apostolicae, Or, The History of the Lives, Acts and Martyrdoms of the Holy Apostles of Our Saviour, and the Two Evangelists, SS. Mark and Luke to Which Is Added, an Introductory Discourse concerning the Three Great Dispensations of the Church, Patriarchal, Mosaical, and Evangelical: Being a Continuation of Antiquitates Christianae, Or, The Life and Death of the Holy Jesus. London: Printed by R. Norton for R. Royston …, 1677
Picture By Wolfgang Sauber – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7763554
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