The first to hope in Christ

According to Ephesians 1:12, the Father singled out some to be “the first” to grasp the enormous importance of his Son. Eventually, “all things in heaven and earth” will be brought “together under Christ,” verse 10, but for now it’s just a few.

It’s not because the “few” are anything special. Nor were the Israelites special when God singled them out either. In Deuteronomy 7:7, “The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples.” God’s tendency, then, is to go for the little guys when choosing, not the best players on the team. 

And the same goes for the ones he chooses to be “the first to hope in Christ” too, as Paul rather embarrassingly points out in 1 Corinthians 1:26-28 when he writes, “Consider your calling, how so few of you were clever and talented by worldly standards, and how so few of you were among the powerful or elite. That’s because God chose the foolish, weak and despised, and even things that are not.”  

A noticeable characteristic of the few the Father singles out, therefore, would be humility. They know they’re not the biggest personalities or the life of the party, so it doesn’t surprise them if they’re not eagerly sought out for friendship and advice. “Things that are not,” as Paul wrote, is a fitting description.

But there’s one great advantage to being “a thing that isn’t,” because God loves to show what he can do in “things that are not,” not only to the clever and powerful in society (1 Corinthians 1:27-28), but also to “the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 3:10). 

And what he’s showing all these powerful beings is what happens to people who put their hope in Christ, and what happens to those who don’t. Which becomes more real by the day today, as the ‘powers that be’ give the impression they know what they’re doing, but it’s obvious they haven’t got a clue.    

Some of their solutions offered are bizarre too, like fighting climate change by blocking out the sun with a Brazil-sized raft of bubbles created in space by robots. And yet the chap who suggested this is held in high regard by many world leaders who worship his every word.  

How fortunate we are, then, realizing Jesus is in charge of this planet, not him. And Jesus not only has authority and command over every nation (Daniel 7:14), he also has authority and command over the malevolent forces infecting the global influencers too (Colossians 2:15). And how comforting is that when so many of these global influencers are arrogant control freaks, who sacrifice anything and anyone for power and money? Think of the stresses awaiting us with these people remaining in charge. 

It’s frightening what they might do. Look what they already did in the pandemic. There is no hope in them. But there is in Jesus, because he made an amazing promise in John 14:27: he told the few whom his Father had given him, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

And our Father chose some to believe that, as witness to what happens to those who put their hope in Christ.   

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