Lesser known characters :: Barsabas


Barsabas, the name hardly rings a bell. But Barsabas (also known as Justus) was the surname of Joseph, the one who was chosen to be one of the two to replace Judas Iscariot and be numbered with the eleven other disciples chosen by Jesus. Joseph Barsabas (son of Sabas) and Matthias were chosen as a potential replacement to fill the gap left by Judas the betrayer of the Lord. The disciples prayed and the Lord selected the lot of Matthias. Though Barsabas was not chosen, is there something we can learn from Barsabas?

What can we learn from Barsabas?
The qualifications that had to be met for someone to replace Judas was as follows: The person had to have been with Jesus since his baptism by John the Baptist and be a witness to Jesus’ resurrection until the day of Jesus’ ascension. Think about this qualification. This means that this individual was there as a disciple of Jesus and followed him, all the time, from the start of his ministry till he ascended into heaven. Barsabas met this qualification and yet was not selected to take the mantle of leadership (bishoprick) (Acts 1:20) by God, since the lot selected was that of Matthias.

Irrespective of the outcome of a position to serve (as a leader), we must be like Barsabas, starting out to be with Jesus in his ministry (that is given to us), all the time, until the very end and have his resurrection realized in our very lives. This is the best position we can hold.

Acts 1:20-26 (KJV)
20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.
21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

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