“Even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world…”Ephesians 1:4
As an elementary school girl growing up in Overland Park, Kansas, I had about as much skill and speed as a slug on hot pavement on a mid-summer’s day. Needless to say, when team captains called out names, mine rang out last.
As believers in Christ, we can take comfort knowing that Jesus chose us before the foundation of the world. Before there was light, life, or sin.
But there’s more, if you’re willing to sit through a brief grammar review. Take a look at the Greek word for chose: ἐξελέξατο (exel-EX-ato). This is the aorist (past) tense form of ἐκλέγομαι (ek-LEG-o-my) in the singular, third person, middle voice. Third person singular sounds like this: He threw the ball (as opposed to “I threw the ball” or “You throw the ball”).
The middle voice can make translation tricky because English moves primarily in the active or passive voices. The middle falls between the two and tends to place the emphasis of the action on the subject. One might say the actor benefits from the action.
Active – I threw the ball.
Passive – The ball was thrown to me.
Middle – I threw the ball for myself.
What does this mean for us?
It means that when Jesus chose you, it benefitted Him. He chose you in Himself for Himself because He wanted to. In other words, you bring Him great joy and delight.
What a novel thought. Jesus didn’t choose you begrudgingly because you walked an aisle and prayed a prayer. The thought of you fills Him with gladness. The sight of you makes Him smile. He has never had a moment of chooser’s remorse with you.
I have two teenagers who make teenager type mistakes. And when I can see that they feel true remorse, I hug them and remind them that my husband and I knew what we were getting into when we had kids. We knew there would be messes to clean and bruises to bind.
All of the grace we could ever need to parent our children existed before they ever had to call on it.
The same is true of you with Christ.
He chose you in Himself before the words “Let there be light” set off an explosion of light and life. And He will keep you in Himself until the day of His return.