In case you're not familiar with Matt (we're on a nickname basis), he was the one chosen to "replace" Judas after Judas' betrayal of Jesus. The apostles knew the number twelve was important - The twelve tribes of Israel. If they were going to complete the task to which Jesus commissioned them, they needed a twelfth man. They had to choose between Matt and Joseph called Barsabbas. Both men had been with Jesus since the beginning of his ministry, so the eleven cast lots to get God's take on whose heart was ready for this great mission. Sorry Joe. Matt's in.
Have you ever been the person who wasn't the first choice? Are you thinking back to choosing kickball teams in grade school PE class? I am. Or more recently, we you the second choice for a project at work? Were you the person who was given a task after someone else dropped the ball and you knew the whole time you could do it and do it well?
Back in '03, after about six months of interning at Spirit FM, I was told that there wouldn't be a position for me anytime soon and if I wanted to, I should just move on. Less than six months later, a position was created and given to someone else. Then, after I was finally hired at Spirit FM I found out that another candidate was offered my current position before me and she turned it down. Initially, my feelings were really hurt. I thought, "They didn't really want me! I'm their Plan B!" But looking back, the outcome couldn't have been better. I wasn't ready for the job at first. Heck, I'm still learning. But God has such amazing timing!
I wonder if that's how Matt felt. Maybe he wasn't ready when Jesus chose the original twelve. Maybe he wasn't even ready when those lots were cast, but what's pretty cool (and what I think happened in my case as well) is that God foresaw what he would become and chose him because he would become worthy. We don't hear from Matt again in scripture, but I bet he did great things. He had something to prove. He was a second-stringer. A Plan B. And I have a feeling he was OK with it.
If you ever feel like second choice or a latecomer, maybe even a latecomer to that group called "Christians," just think of Matthias and ask him to pray for you. And don't let when you were called allow you to forget why you were called.