My initial thoughts on this topic were to look at all (or most) of the uses of the word “Chosen” throughout the Bible. But now I see that will take far too long, and there is a lot of repetition, especially in the Old Testament. But I don’t want to leave the topic without looking at some of the New Testament uses of the word; that’s the plan for this post and will conclude the series.
We can read how Jesus called each disciple independently, but He said to them collectively in Jn 6: 70, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” These men were chosen by Jesus to carry His message to the world after His death. They possessed the necessary skills, fortitude, courage, and love that would be necessary to revolutionize the world; except Judas Iscariot. As unpalatable as it is, Jesus knew when He chose Judas the he would be the betrayer; but in the unfolding plan to reconcile the world to God, the betrayal was also a necessary evil that initiated the events leading to the ultimate sacrifice. Jesus reinforced that in Jn 13: 18 when He said, “I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill the scripture: ‘He who shares My bread has lifted up his heel against Me.’” And Jesus tells the disciples in Jn 15: 18-19 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”
In the account of Paul’s conversion Acts 9: 15-16, Jesus specifically calls Paul “My chosen instrument to carry My Name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for My Name.” (See Post: “Chosen Instruments” dated June 8, 2017)
Peter tells us that even Jesus was chosen. “He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through Him you might believe in God Who raised Him from the dead and glorified Him, and so your faith and hope are in God.” 1 Pe 20-21. Then Peter tell us in 1 Pe 1: 9-12 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him Who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us.”
And that, I think, is the essence of you and me being chosen.