The Chosen

Photo by Bo Lane on Unsplash

St. Peter gives us a picture, drawn straight from the Old Testament, of the people who trust in Jesus (1 Peter 2:9-10). We helps us see who they are and what God intends them to do.

First, those of us who trust in Jesus are a chosen people (or race; genos, in Greek). We constitute a new global race, whatever our ancestry, whether we are Jewish or Arab or Indian or Chinese or European, or African, or American. We are the worldwide family of Jesus. We are a distinct (and distinctive) people, the people of God. We belong to each other and we belong to God.

Peter says that we are chosen. This is the second of three times that he reminds his harassed and maligned family living in Asia Minor of this encouraging truth. The world may not want them but God does. He chose them.

Garrison Keilor, creator of A Prairie Home Companion, once talked about what it means to be chosen. He used the familiar setting of a schoolyard baseball game:

“The captains are down to their last grudging choices: a slow kid for catcher, someone to stick out in right field where nobody hits it. They choose the last ones two at a time—’you and you’—because it makes no difference. And the remaining kids—the scrubs , the excess—they deal for us as handicaps. ‘If I take him, then you gotta take him,’ they say.

Keilor says, “Sometimes I go as high as sixth, usually lower. But just once I’d like Darrel to pick me first and say, ‘Him! I want him! The skinny kid with the glasses and the black shoes. You, c’mon!’ But I’ve never been chosen with much enthusiasm.”

But God did choose us with much enthusiasm and he didn’t wait until the end — “… he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight” (Ephesians 1:4).[1]

Sometimes this delightful truth is presented in a way that disparages people who have not been chosen, but the Bible doesn’t do that. Christopher Wright pictures the biblical teaching on being chosen this way: “It is as if a group of trapped cave explorers choose one of their number to squeeze through a narrow, flooded passage to get out to the surface and call for help. The point of the choice is not so that she alone gets saved, but that she is able to bring help and equipment to ensure the rest get rescued. ‘Election’ … [is the] choice of one for the sake of many.[2] We are chosen.


[1] Van Morris, Shepherdsville, Kentucky; source: Robert Russell, The Southeast Christian Church Outlook (6-8-00), Louisville, Kentucky

[2] Christopher J. H. Wright, The Mission of God’s People (Zondervan, 2010), p. 72

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