Clear evidence to prove Paul or Matthias as the 12th Apostle
For every Christian, Jesus is THE example, leader and fulfiller of our faith. We continually gain inspiration from his perfect example and unselfish sacrifice. When we think about a less-than-perfect Christian example, most of us go to the Apostle Peter or the Apostle Paul. Both men showed us how to achieve spiritual victory through imperfection. They both had failures, regrets and doubts, and yet they were faithful. These challenges endear them to our hearts. They give us courage to work through our own imperfect experiences. Knowing this, it can be hard to believe there are many who see the Apostle Paul as an interloper, one who hijacked the gospel message. These accusations begin with disregarding the authenticity of his apostleship. They say Matthias, as a replacement for the traitor Judas, was appointed as the 12th Apostle long before Paul’s conversion.
The "pro-Matthias" argument is worth respectfully considering. After all, it is true there is no written record of either God or Jesus confirming Paul's apostleship. We only have Paul himself saying he is an apostle along with a claim by his friend Luke in the book of Acts. To be fair, there is no written record of either God or Jesus confirming Matthias' apostleship, either. But Acts 1:26 says Matthias "was added to the eleven apostles." With a plain biblical statement like that, why look further?
Well, because there is a lot more to find once we look closer at the context. Jesus was very specific in his instructions given before his crucifixion and right before his ascension: they were to WAIT. Just wait. Don't make any decisions, don't run away, just wait. Pentecost was only ten days away. Once they received God's influence and power, the holy spirit, it would guide them into knowing what to do next. It would give them the power to do miraculous things in order to advance Christianity around the world.
Instead of waiting, Peter met with about 120 disciples to pray and elect a replacement for Judas, even though it was not necessary or required to be done at this time. Two candidates were proposed and the group "cast lots," an Old Testament method of determining God's will. (The option of "neither" candidate was not proposed.) Later on the road to Damascus, our resurrected Lord Jesus dramatically and emphatically appointed Saul as a "chosen vessel." Just like the other 11 Jesus-appointed apostles, Paul was called a "witness."
Check out our podcast, "Paul or Matthias. Who Was the Real 12th Apostle?" that aired live on February 17, 2020. We reviewed the points of debate for and against the Apostle Paul as being the authorized 12th Apostle of Christ. The evidence overwhelmingly showed us his rightful place. Our faith was strengthened by looking into these important details of the early church. What do you think of our conclusions?
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