After Judas Iscariot had hanged himself in a field, his dead body had burst open and all his insides had spilled out (228). All the people living in Jerusalem had heard about this.  From that time on, they referred to that field as “the field of blood.”  The death of Judas had left only eleven witnesses for Jesus, instead of the original twelve.

So, a few days after Jesus had returned to heaven, Peter shared a message from God at a meeting of about 120 believers.

peter calls for replacement

“Friends, we all know that Judas Iscariot was chosen by Jesus to be one of us.  And we all know that Judas betrayed Jesus, when he helped the temple guards arrest him.

“All this was to fulfill the prophecies in the inspired scriptures about Judas, which the Holy Spirit gave to David long ago.  It is written in the book of Psalms, ‘May his house become empty; may no one live in it.’  And it is also written, ‘May someone else take his place of service.’

“So then, someone must replace Judas Iscariot as a witness to the resurrection of our living master, Jesus.  We must choose someone who was with us during the entire time that Jesus ministered to us here on earth — from the time John the Baptizer began preaching his message of repentance, until Jesus was taken up from us to heaven just a few days ago. ”

Two men were proposed for consideration: Joseph (also known as Barsabbas or Justus) & Matthias.

Then the believers prayed: “God, please show us which of these two you have chosen to serve as a witness for Jesus in the place of Judas Iscariot.”


When they drew lots, Matthias was the one chosen by God to complete the group of twelve witnesses for Jesus.


(228) Acts 1:12-26