Matthew 19:28

What did Jesus mean when he said there will 12 thrones since he knew about Judas and his betrayal? I heard that there was another apostle that shorty replaced Judas after his death, but I don’t know. Your thoughts?


Hello @ljhan40
After Judas’ demise, the apostles elected Matthias to fill his place. Acts 1:23-26.

Matthew 19:28
And Jesus said unto them, “Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

From my understanding the twelve disciples represent the twelve tribes of Israel. The verse means that after Jesus ascends to the Father, the twelve disciples will begin preaching the gospel to the nations: to the twelve tribes of Israel scattered in the Middle East and abroad.

See Acts 2.

In this way the disciples are “sitting on thrones” and 'judging" the nation’s by preaching repentance, and turning people to Christ. This command begins at the great Commission at the end of Matthew and, then extends in the first few chapters of Acts, where Christ gives the disciples the authority to preach the gospel.

And according to Rev 21:12-14 both the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles (Almost certainly Matthias, and not Judas), have the privileges of eternal recognition in the new Jerusalem

I hope this helps

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Hey @ljhan40, excellent question!
Like @hluke , after the situation with Judas Iscariot the other eleven got together and basically nominated two men of which one would be the “replacement apostle”: Joseph (called Barsabas), whose surname was Justus and Matthias of whom after they had prayed and cast lots the lot fell upon the later. Acts 1:21-26

Personally, I think they took things in their own control a little too soon. God has a special place for the 12 apostles, but I don’t see it in the story and context that God had told them to re-elect another apostle in Judas’ place yet. I tend to lean towards Paul being the 12th apostle as he was called out by God and in 1Corinthians 15:8-9 we see that Paul refers to himself as the least of the apostles, born out of season. And in many of Paul’s letters, he mentions his apostleship to that of being called/ or ordained by the will of God.

I don’t see much of Matthias being mentioned after the eleven nominated him, but I see there to be plenty in regards to God’s “nomination” of Paul’s apostleship, giving me great reason to believe that he was the elected one for that service. Although there is reason to believe that Matthias is the 12th apostle. Whichever way, I’m not sure if we can be certain.

I’d love to hear others thoughts on this as well!


@CharityLinzey. That’s a great point: thanks for informing us about that possibility!

Paul is a significant apostle according to the will of God, but just as much as there is no (or little) biblical evidence to indicate Matthias’ apostleship in action, there is no (or little) evidence to suggest that Paul became a part of the twelve apostles. I will explain why later.

Paul was certainly chosen uniquely by God based on the circumstances of his conversion and his pivotal role in spreading the gospel of Christ, but that doesn’t grant him any higher status as an apostle of Christ, at least with God who has no favourites. (Rom 2:11)

So if it is true that God has no favourites, it is also true that, behold, believers are no much better or worse than the apostles in God’s eyes. Even if they have special recognition on earth now and in heaven, they are children of God like us. It’s an astounding thing to comprehend.

For example, John, “the one whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23) is most likely the writer of Revelation. Even though he was a friend of Christ on earth, he could not comprehend the majesty of the risen and glorified Christ in the book of Revelation.
Jesus’ presence was utterly overwhelming and incomprehensible. While Christ obviously loved John, (no more than he loves us), there is actually a sense in which he has little consideration for John’s earthly presence. Why would he. God Most High, next to a mortal sinner. Rev 1:12-18

I agree that Paul seems more qualified according to the will of God, but regardless if we feel that the apostles acted too quickly, we must give them, and Luke (the likely author of Acts), the absolute benefit of the doubt, especially if we believe the bible to be the infallible truth. And as it stands, Matthias is unequivocally labelled the replacement of Judas Iscariot, and not Paul.

Again, I agree that Paul seems the more fitting replacement. But according to the bible he wasn’t necessarily: he could be. But I think if he did replace Judas, that would be made explicit. Only my opinion.

And this would actually be a great question for discussion. Thanks for the resources!

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