"I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. ..." (John 13:18)

"I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: 'He who shared my bread has turned against me.'" (John 13:18)

Who has Jesus 'chosen'?

Jesus indicates that not all of the students he was speaking with will be following his instructions. But the phrase, "I know the ones I have chosen" indicates more than just "knowing" or realizing. Here the word "know" comes from the Greek οἶδα (oida), which means "to know, i.e. get knowledge of, understand, perceive" according to the lexicon.

This can be looked at in two ways. Jesus knows who he chose. It is not as if he could choose disciples and not realize who he chose. But if we are speaking of disciples - then Jesus chose all of his disciples to be disciples.

The type of "knowing" in this case, relates to Jesus' ability to perceive the hearts of his students. He selected certain students as his close disciples because he understood they were sincere in their approach to him. They did not have ulterior motives.

This means that Jesus' selection process was not an authoritarian one. It was based upon the hearts of his students. Jesus simply could perceive which of his students were serious about his teachings.

It is not as though Jesus arbitrarily chose some but didn't choose others. It was a matter of seeing their hearts and knowing which of them were sincere.

This also means that Jesus did not ultimately choose. Each of his followers ultimately made the choice. They chose whether they would seriously follow Jesus' instructions, and thus received God's mercy.

This concept of "chosen" is completely taken out of context by some teachers today. There are many who say their race or culture or society was "chosen" by God. They claim that because their ancestors were "chosen" by God, they are somehow special because of the family their body was born into. Thus they consider themselves the "chosen ones."

This runs completely against what is actually taking place here and throughout the Bible. The concept of "chosen" comes from the place where a person has humbly given their heart to the Supreme Being. This decision, made by each individual, will bring us closer to the Supreme Being. As our devotion develops - our love for the Supreme Being increases - He mercifully reciprocates that relationship of love.

This is why in parts of the Old Testament, the Supreme Being became upset with those who claimed ancestry as the chosen, yet did not acknowledge or worship the Supreme Being within their hearts.

Who will be turning against him?

We find that this statement by Jesus relating to turning against him is actually a quote from one of David's Psalms:
Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the Lord delivers him in times of trouble. The Lord will protect him and preserve his life; He will bless him in the land and not surrender him to the desire of his foes. The Lord will sustain him on his sickbed and restore him from his bed of illness. I said, “O Lord, have mercy on me; heal me, for I have sinned against You.” My enemies say of me in malice, “When will he die and his name perish?”
Whenever one comes to see me, he speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander; then he goes out and spreads it abroad. All my enemies whisper together against me; they imagine the worst for me, saying, “A vile disease has beset him; he will never get up from the place where he lies.” Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.
But You, O Lord, have mercy on me; raise me up, that I may repay them. I know that You are pleased with me, for my enemy does not triumph over me. In my integrity you uphold me and set me in Your presence forever. Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen. (Psalm 41)
We can see from the entire context of this Psalm that the verse Jesus quoted, Psalm 41:9, was not specifically referring to Jesus, as some have incorrectly interpreted. Rather, David was describing his intimate personal relationship with the Supreme Being, and how the Supreme Being protects him from those who seek to intrude upon his mission to please God. David also identifies how God's reciprocation of his devotion to Him is an expression of God's mercy.

Jesus is applying David's situation to himself because Jesus is also devoted to the Supreme Being and is also dealing with those who sought to intrude upon his mission to serve and please God. This is why Jesus is applying part of David's psalm to himself. David's Psalm was not some kind of "prophesy" of Jesus. It expressed David's deep personal relationship with God, one that Jesus shared.

Jesus often quoted so many Scriptures to his students. This was to help them understand the teachings of the Prophets. He was illustrating how those teachings can be applied in their lives.

The ancient lineage of Prophets brought forward the teachings of those who personally submitted themselves to God and enjoyed a humble loving relationship with Him is illustrated by Jesus as he quoted a verse from one of David's Psalms, Psalm 41. Here is the entire Psalm, which includes the verse Jesus quoted:

Does this mean that Jesus is identifying someone among his disciples who has decided to turn against him? 

We must also realize there is significant evidence that Jesus instructed Judas to arrange his arrest.

Regardless, we know there were a whole host of people who turned against Jesus during his trial and crucifixion. This includes the high priest, the many followers who encouraged Pilate to crucify Jesus as well as Judas. Many 'turned against' Jesus.

Does 'chosen' mean they were appointed?

Appointing or electing teachers - whether it be pope, bishop, cardinal, priest or reverend - is something that many institutions have done over the centuries. Is this what Jesus was doing - choosing his successors?

Today institutions use councils of elected officials - such as deacons and bishops - to appoint or elect their teachers. This would mean that these councils - who are also elected into the positions - are representing God.

Only God can decide who will represent Him. And God only chooses those who have made the choice to lovingly commit their lives to Him.

Jesus, who God has chosen to represent Him, has the ability to see into the hearts of his followers because he is empowered by his relationship with the Supreme Being.

Thus Jesus could not "choose" or "appoint" the person(s) who God would empower after Him to carry on Jesus' teachings. Only God can do that. But Jesus, being God's loving servant, could certainly identify which of his students were serious about his teachings, and thus direct more confidential teachings to them. This is the prerogative of the teacher, but it still is not an "appointment" to be God's representative. Only God can empower the student.

Is this a relationship?

The spiritual dimension is a place of relationships. It is not some kind of official institution. If a person wants to know the Supreme Being, they must be introduced by someone who knows Him - someone who is exchanging a loving relationship with the Supreme Being and is acting as God's representative.

This is who Jesus was. He was introducing his disciples to the Supreme Being. Once introduced, should they be serious and apply his instructions, they may also develop a loving relationship with the Supreme Being.

Such a relationship qualifies the follower to also become God's representative, and pass on those teachings.

But it is still the Supreme Being who empowers such a person to teach and introduce Him to others.

This is a personal process, but it is not an imaginary one. We cannot just imagine we have a relationship with Jesus and think we are saved. We can't imagine having "seen the light" or have "Jesus in our heart" and suddenly our sins are cleansed.

We know that even Jesus submitted himself to a teacher before he went about teaching. His baptism by John represents his submission. John was also the student of Zechariah the priest. Zechariah was the student of another devoted priest, and this teaching lineage continues all the way back to David, Samuel, Eli, Joshua, Moses and Abraham. 

This lineage of teachers illustrates that no one simply imagined they were "chosen." Each underwent instruction from a teacher, and each made the decision to devote their lives to the Supreme Being.

Was Jesus quoting David's Psalms?

Each of us makes these choices for ourselves. We do not need to be born into a body of any particular race, country or culture to make the choice to submit our lives to the Supreme Being. We don't need to join any particular sect of any particular religious institution to make this choice to receive His mercy. 

If we make the choice to devote our lives, first to come to know the Supreme Being, then He will guide a personal introduction. Should we take advantage of this introduction and come to love Him and care for Him, God will also choose us because we chose Him.

This is why Jesus' most important instruction was:
"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22:37-38)

Here is the translation of this verse from the Lost Gospels of Jesus:
"I do not speak of all of you – I know who have been chosen. Yet as confirmed in the scriptures, ‘one who shared my bread has raised his heel against me.’" (John 13:18)