You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that remains… (John 15:16)
“Many are called, few are chosen,” a nurse said to me when I was nineteen.
She wrapped gauze around a surfing injury on my foot but said nothing more. Was it a warning against surfing, a prophetic utterance, or not directed at me?
The nurse quoted Jesus as he finished his parable of the wedding banquet. He lifted a finger and pointed to the simple truth that many are invited to the wedding feast of the Savior but few come.
Forty years of contemplating the cryptic words haven’t resolved the mystery. I still wonder in what sense we choose Christ, as opposed to being chosen by him. Many are my theological betters who have stubbed their toes on this question, and I can happily wait until Christ returns for the answers, but perhaps some outer layers of truth are accessible now.
The majority of the world’s population doesn’t profess Christ, or they don’t display fruit to substantiate their claim. So why me? I’m not smarter, more godly, or less self-serving than many who are not saved. I can’t explain why I’m rescued by Jesus, I only know that I am and so I stand with my mouth open, the drool unchecked.
On the other hand, following Jesus requires every ounce of my energy. The treadmill started slow. Admitting I needed a Savior was all the spiritual exercise I could handle. As I got in shape, the speed increased. It’s exhausting work dying to self. Keeping in step with the Spirit saps every calorie, and yet somehow I know this, too, is from him.
It’s not my effort that brings me salvation. Jesus both died for my sin and empowers me to serve him. The only part I have is to say yes.
Mine is a simple, plain choice. I choose him because he chose me.
Prayer: Lord, your love for me is my greatest joy and most profound mystery.