THE CHOSEN FEW
I have often used the statement of Joshua in Joshua 24:15, "... choose you this day whom ye will serve ..." to urge people to make a commitment to serve Christ. But in John 15:16 we read, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you ..." Is this a contradiction? No. We need to do what I have suggested in other lessons. We need to consider the context. To whom was the Lord talking? Here, as in John 13:31 to John 17:26 he is addressing the eleven apostles. We need to be careful to follow the rules of interpretation in these verses just as we urge people of the world and our denominational neighbors to do in other verses. When we do this, the explanation becomes clear.
So, he is saying ONLY to these eleven men, "Ye [the eleven] 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" (John 15:16). He concludes this chapter, definitely identifying the ones he is addressing in all these verses by saying in John 15:27, "And ye also shall bear witness, because YE HAVE BEEN WITH ME FROM THE BEGINNING."
(Luke 6:13) "And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles." These men were chosen for a specific purpose. Their task would be to introduce the world to the gospel message which would be divinely conveyed to them by the coming of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. They did not choose to be apostles; Jesus chose only certain ones and a certain number. Paul did not choose to be an apostle; Jesus chose him. (Acts 9:15)
Their task would be to bring forth fruit, that is, to produce results by their efforts. The results would be a called out people built upon a solid foundation that should remain. Peter initiated this mandate to the Jews on the Pentecost of Acts 2 and to the Gentiles in Acts 10 and 11. Whatever they needed to carry out this task would be provided. "... whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you."
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