The Chosen Ones
Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and
ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that
your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in
my name, he may give it you.
Taken on its own, this is rather a mysterious message, but with a little
pondering, a spiritual teaching unfolds.
In the previous writing in this series1 it was shown that of
the twelve persons who were with Jesus of Nazareth in the upper room, eleven
were unconverted followers after righteousness.
Of the many disciples who followed Jesus in the early days of His public
ministry, Jesus chose twelve. If taken in context of the relevant passage
of Scripture we see that it was just after being accused by the scribes
and Pharisees (the religious leaders of the day), who followeed the strict
letter of the law (the rules of their denomination), but who couldn't perceive
the Spiritual righteousness of Jesus' action.
And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue
and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered. And the
scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath
day; that they might find an accusation against him. But he knew their
thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise
up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth.
Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing;
Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life,
or to destroy it? And looking round about upon them all,
he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And
he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other. And they were
filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to
Jesus. And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain
to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day,
he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom
also he named apostles;
It becomes apparent that Jesus did not randomly choose the twelve because
for one thing it is evident that they were still with Him even though many
others had ceased following Him. We know that eleven of these apostles
were followers after righteousness and were given to Jesus by the Father:
These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father,
the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal
life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that
they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast
sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which
thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own
self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have
manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world:
thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of
thee. For I have given unto
them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them,
and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed
that thou didst send me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world,
but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine
are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am
no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy
Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that
they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world,
I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none
of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be
fulfilled. And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world,
that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them
thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world,
even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them
out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They
are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through
thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even
so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify
myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
It would seem that God the Father informed God the Son of those who would
remain faithful believers until the end.
Moreover, we see from the first passage that Jesus had ordained them.
Most ministers and pastors today are ordained by the denomination wherein
they shall serve - after undergoing some official studying at a recognised
The ordaining that Jesus did was of a Spiritual nature and was in the form
of a vow.
We also see that they received Spiritual power:
Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority
over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom
of God, and to heal the sick.
And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would:
and they came unto him. And he ordained twelve, that they should be with
him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have power to
heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:
Moreover, they were chosen because they were strong enough to remain together
without the presence of the visible Jesus (see Luke 24:13-18):
Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord,
and that he had spoken these things unto her. Then the same day
at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were
shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus
and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace
be unto you. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them
his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they
saw the Lord.
A further thought:
The apostles were God's chosen ones, but Jesus knew them spiritually also:
And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for
a season. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and
there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.
And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called
Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were
fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I
will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their
nets, and followed him. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren,
James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee
their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately
left the ship and their father, and followed him.
And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting
at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow
me. And he arose, and followed him.
The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip,
and saith unto him, Follow me. Now Philip
was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip findeth Nathanael,
and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the
prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael
said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith
unto him, Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of
him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael saith unto
him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before
that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.
Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God;
thou art the King of Israel. Jesus answered and said unto him, Because
I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt
see greater things than these. And he saith unto him, Verily,
verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels
of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
Also, although there are twelve tribes of Israel, twelve apostles (Paul
was also an apostle), and the twelve foundations of the New Jerusalem have
the names of the twelve apostles therein (Revelation 21:10-14), one of
the apostles was a Canaanite, not an Israelite.
Now we can see the purpose of the Triune God in choosing those apostles
Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto
you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when
he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive
ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them;
and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
This is a lesson to us who wish to serve our Master in Spirit and in
Why, do you think, there is a fiery trial to try us?
Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command
you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what
his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have
heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but
I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth
fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall
ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command
you, that ye love one another. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated
me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would
love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you
out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that
I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have
persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying,
they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for
my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing
this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try
you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch
as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall
be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached
for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and
of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your
part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as
a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.
Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but
let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment
must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at
us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the
sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of
God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto
a faithful Creator.
(1 Peter 4:12-19)
And ye now therefore have sorrow: but
I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man
taketh from you.
These things I have spoken unto you,
that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation:
but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.