The Rejected Disciple


Two men stand before the tense gathering, watching the marked stones thud against the sides of a pot.

Joseph and Matthias gave up their lives to be here. Both saw Jesus crucified and watched His mother moan and cling to the wooded cross. They each look across at the tired, hopeful faces of the most faithful followers. Each feels a rhythmic thump in his heart as the stones are turned over onto the ground.

You Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place… -Acts 1:24-25

Joseph looks down at the stones. His heart parallels the rocks and plummets to his feet.

Matthias is chosen to join the twelve apostles. Joseph is rejected.

Picture what Joseph felt in that moment - rejected from Jesus’s inner circle and passed over in favor of someone else. Worse, imagine knowing it was God’s doing, through the casting of lots, which determined this outcome. Joseph must have been devastated. He undoubtedly congratulated and embraced his brother Matthias and rejoiced that God’s will was being done. But his heart must have ached.

The pain of rejection runs deep. It curls around hearts and chokes from within. The sting can be so subtle that it lies dormant for many years before it grows to its hideous fruition. It breeds bitterness, envy, discontentment, and worst of all: fear.