As a young man appeared in court, the judge thundered at him, “What’s the reason your father is not here? He should have been here two weeks ago.”
The young man responded: “Your Honor, there are seventeen reasons why my father is not here.”
“What are they?” roared the judge.
The lad replied: “The first is that my father died a little more than two weeks ago.”
“Well,” conceded the judge, “I don’t think we’ll need to hear the other sixteen reasons!”
This brief interchange may well illustrate a principle involving the twelve apostles and Paul.
There has been much debate over whether or not Paul was God’s choice for Judas’ place as one of the twelve. Many hold that the eleven acted in the flesh and were out of the will of God in appointing Matthias as one of their number to replace Judas. Paul, they say, was obviously God’s choice for this position. But many unanswerable arguments have been advanced from Scripture to prove that this is not so and that, indeed Paul could not have qualified as one of the twelve.
Some of these argument are: The twelfth apostle had to be chosen before the kingdom could be offered at Pentecost; the eleven acted only after many days of united prayer; the candidate had to be one who had followed with Christ all through His earthly ministry (Matt.19:28); Paul did not even see Christ until after His ascension; he was not even saved at the time; he persecuted the Pentecostal Church and laid it waste considerably after the choice of Judas’ successor had become necessary. Finally, Acts 1:26 says that Matthias “was numbered with the eleven,” and Acts 2:4 adds: “They were all filled with the Holy Ghost.”
Any one of the above arguments would suffice to vindicate the action of the eleven and silence their critics. But this is particularly so of the last one. What further discussion need there be when God’s Word says that Matthias “was numbered with the eleven…and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost?”
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.