“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. (John 17:6-10, ESV)
“God has chosen.” These are incredible words seen over and over again in Scripture. What an amazing thing it is to know that we are chosen by God. In scripture we read words such as chosen, elect, predestined, and foreknew. Despite what some might say about how we come to salvation, it is not something that is man’s idea. God did not offer up His Son and say, “Come if you wish, it’s all up to you.” Though Scripture clearly states that we have to believe to be saved, we clearly read that salvation is a work of the Spirit in the hearts and minds of those chosen by God so that they can see and know and even believe. Being able to believe is an incredible gift we have been given by God.
In passages like this, where He was praying for the eleven (after Judas departure) and even the greater number of believers at that time (according to verse 2), Jesus again speaks of Himself faithfully making the Father known to those the Father had given Him out of the world. Clearly He is not speaking of the whole world here because He said that these were given to Him out of the world—out of all humans, these were given to Him by the Father. They belonged to the Father from the past, they were given to the Son, and they have proven themselves faithful.
Having been faithful in telling them what He had been given to say and repeatedly reminding them that what He said was what He had seen and received from the Father, they now knew everything that had been given to Jesus was from the Father. He had given them the words given to Him by the Father, and they now have surely come to know the truth that He indeed did come from the Father. They earnestly believed that He did come from the Father.
It was these believers, these faithful ones, these ones who knew the truth that Jesus was praying for. The world rejected Him and He was not praying for the world. He was praying for those that were given to Him by the Father. These are the ones God chose. They belong to God—both Father and Son, and by being faithful to show them the Father Jesus in turn is glorified in them knowing both the Father and the Son.
I am not a lucky accident. I am so thankful that God has chosen me, shown Himself to me, and softened my heart and opened my eyes so that I can be counted among those that belong to God, both Father and Son and am sealed by His Spirit. I am so thankful as well to know that God having begun this good work in me is also faithful to complete it in Christ such that one day I will step out of this body and into His presence knowing in the meantime that I am honored to serve Him. If you have trusted Christ for your salvation you are no accident either, and if you have not won’t you stop, thank God for prompting you to look to Him, and ask for the salvation freely given in His Son. You aren’t a lucky accident either.