For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself ta people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. – Titus 2.11-14 (KJV)
I chose the KJV this morning for one particular word in the translation in verse 14. The NKJV has ‘His own special people.’ The ESV says ‘his own possession.’
But I like the KJV’s use of the word ‘a peculiar people.’
That word has a different idea today than it did in 1611. Today ‘peculiar’ has the idea of strange or unusual or perhaps ‘unique.’ Most of us would not like to be seen as peculiar today.
But, in another way, maybe it isn’t such a bad word. We are different and unique and maybe just a little strange to the world. But in 1611 the word was just changing meanings. In that day that meaning was a title of property that meant something belonged specifically to one person.
And that point here. Because we are peculiar in the old sense – we are Jesus’s special precious possession – we are going to appear peculiar in the modern sense of the word.
We are Christ’s particular possession. Because He is the Creator God of the universe in a sense everything and everyone is His. But we are peculiarly His. We are His in a special personal precious peculiar way.
So call me peculiar, I really don’t mind.
But because we are peculiar we ought to be zealous about our work for Him. Our zeal ought to make the zeal for sports or politics or whatever pale in comparison. A lot of us our zealous about which sports team we support – but are we that zealous about Christ?
We are a peculiar people – that is done whether we like it or not. But does that peculiarity move us to be zealous in our work for Christ?