“I know those I have chosen.”
Do you remember picking teams when you were young? The way it often went was that after two captains were chosen, the captains chose their teams, one person at a time, picking the better players first. If you weren’t good at the game, you hated the process. It would feel awful to be chosen last.
Jesus makes clear that following him is first of all about being known and chosen. It’s always God who acts first. God is the Creator, the initiator, the One who seeks us first. One of my favorite hymns melodically testifies that God “moved my soul to seek him, seeking me.”
If you are seeking to know and follow Jesus, you can be confi-dent that Jesus has already been seeking you. And, unlike the process in those childhood games, being chosen has nothing to do with favoritism or your accomplishments. In love God chooses the undeserving, the weak and helpless, even the worst sinners.
So what can we say about Judas, who betrayed Jesus? (See John 13:26-30; 18:2-3). We can only say what Scripture says. Jesus indicated that Judas refused to accept the abundant life Jesus came to offer.
Thankfully, God is the judge. We are not. We are called to rejoice in the truth expressed in that favorite hymn: “It was not I that found, O Savior true; no, I was found, was found of thee.”
O God, you know me completely. Thank you for seeking me out. Move me to seek you always. Amen.
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