Then Jesus said, “I chose the twelve of you, but one is a devil.” He was speaking of Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, one of the Twelve, who would later betray him. (John 6:70-71)
Read: 1 Kings 8:1-53, 2 Chronicles 5:1 – 6:42
Relate: I remember a prayer a prayer I used to pray often when I was back in high school and early college. “God, I don’t just want to be called, I want to be chosen.” My heart was right but my theology was a little bit off. The prayer came out of Matthew 22:14, “For many are called but few are chosen.” I don’t know if I misunderstood someone else’s teaching, I heard bad teaching, or I just built this misconception in my own mind. I took that statement to somehow mean there’s all kinds of Christians but there’s another, deeper, higher level that God only lets some get to. I should have thought about it. Judas was chosen. He was also a devil.
The verse itself is talking about those who are called to come to a wedding banquet. Those first invited rejected the honor so the call went out to everybody that might come. One guy showed up but he was wearing the wrong clothes and he was taken out and thrown into hell. The parable is really about the fact that some who are called by God resist that call and chose not to come to Him. Others appear to have accepted that call and show up but they aren’t truly one of God’s people and eventually they are thrown out. The first batch are those who resist the Spirit’s conviction in their life. The second batch are those who show up at church and call themselves Christians but they aren’t wearing the right clothes, there is no real change in their lives. They’re fake Christians fooling, possibly, even themselves.
React: If I wanted a verse to build my prayers on, a better one for calling and choosing would probably have been Romans 8:30:
And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.
God, chose me, call me, justify me, and give me Your glory. This is truly about going deeper. It is about going higher. It is not about becoming some elite class of Christian. It is about the work God does in me by making me one of His own. Judas was called to follow Jesus. He was chosen to be one of His apostles, but he never really did belong in that group. Jesus was the banner to which He rallied, but He wasn’t the Savior through whom he was cleansed and Jesus wasn’t the Lord to whom he surrendered.
God, more than being called or being chosen, help me to understand that it is about redemption. The first are what I’ve been, the latter is about what You have done. I don’t have a right to boast. I don’t have a right to be proud. It’s not about some higher level. It is about surrender. It is about what You have done, not what I think I might become. I don’t want to be seen as part of some elite circle. Some in that circle both in Your time and in these days are really devils. All I care is that I have been given right standing with You. I have been justified for You are my Savior.