Do you recall who replaced Jesus’s betrayer among the apostles? More importantly, do you remember the qualifications he had to fill? Let’s take a quick look at where Peter gave the credentials required to replace Judas:
“Therefore it is necessary that of the men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us—beginning with the baptism of John until the day that He was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.” . . . And they drew lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles. (Acts 1:21–22, 26)
If you search the gospels you’ll not find Matthias’s name anywhere. Many Christians today have never heard of him. He was a man just as qualified as the other apostles, but whose name never appears in the ministry of Jesus. Never. And yet, he was there the whole time! Never demanding attention. Not hung up on his position. In no way insisting on a particular rank or title. (How’s servant for a job title?) He didn’t stay faithful in order to get a pat on the back or in hopes of replacing anybody. Matthias had none of that. I love that kind of humble integrity in one who serves in ministry.
If you are one of those willing unknowns and sometimes feel discouraged because you’re overlooked, remember a promise the Lord has made to you:
For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. (Hebrews 6:10)
An individual with that kind of selfless commitment to the ministry of Jesus was exactly who was needed in the first century. The church today still needs that kind of quiet modesty and availability among its servants.
See also: The Willing Unknowns, Part 1