We’ve been looking at the names of God and how his names help us understand him better. This week I want to look at the name, ‘The Chosen One’.
When the Son of God was hanging on the cross, the rulers mocked him, including calling him the ‘Chosen One’: ‘The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One”’ (Luke 23:35).
But God himself had referred to Jesus as the chosen one. In the account of the transfiguration we read: ‘About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters– one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.) While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him”’ (Luke 9:28-35).
So what does it mean that Jesus was chosen by God? When we choose someone we are usually choosing them for a particular task. So what was the task that God chose Jesus for? There are a number of answers to that question.
But Isaiah the prophet helps us with at least one of the reasons God calls his Son ‘The Chosen One’. Isaiah spoke a lot about God’s servant who would establish justice on the earth. He also called this servant God’s ‘Chosen One’: ‘Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope’ (Isaiah 42:1-4).
Matthew’s gospel then applies this text to the Lord Jesus: ‘Many followed him, and he healed all their sick, warning them not to tell who he was. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory. In his name the nations will put their hope”’ (Matthew 12:15-21).
So Jesus was chosen one in order to come and administer justice, including by his death on the cross for those who trust in him. Have you trusted in Jesus and so know he was chosen by God for your sake? Joel Radford