Many Called, Few Chosen

Matthew 22:2-14

    Jesus said, “Many are called but few are chosen.” If you are wondering which category you are in, Jesus helps us to understand what it’s all about in His parable of the wedding feast.

     He begins by showing us the response of the many that are the called –

     “The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king which made a marriage for His son, (verse 2).

     God is the king in this illustration and He is calling us to the marriage supper of His Son Jesus, which is the union of God’s people with Him through the Gospel, - For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes on Him should not perish but have everlasting life – John 3:16.

     God sends His evangelists to proclaim this message of hope and eternal life. “And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come (verse 3).

     The Gospel is preached and it is rejected.

     “Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, ‘Behold, I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come to the marriage” (verse 4).

     God patiently gives them a second chance which is again refused –

     “But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: (verse 5).

     There were so many other things that were more important to them than the will of God and His kingdom.

     “And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and killed them” (verse 6).

     God’s servants, His messengers of the Gospel were rejected and persecuted by those He was calling to save.

     “But when the king heard these things, he was angry: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers and burned up their city” (verse 7).

     Jesus prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem because “you did not know the time of your visitation” (Luke 19:41-44). Israel had many years to hear the Gospel before the city was destroyed in 70 AD. Jesus was sent to the Jews first and was rejected, thus they are the called in the initial portion of Jesus’ parable.

     “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go therefore into the highways, and as many as you shall find, bid to the marriage” (verses 8, 9).

     From the Jews, the Gospel was preached to the Gentiles as prophesied; the Messiah would be a light to the Gentiles (Isaiah 11:10, 42:11, 42:6, 49:6).

     “So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests (verse 10). The Gospel is preached in all the “highways,” the nations, and all those who have heard the Gospel and responded have come to the wedding.

     “And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. (verses 11, 12).

     The wedding garment is the righteousness of the saints that can only be obtained through the blood atonement of the Messiah Jesus. Many are called, but the Gospel must be obeyed. There are many who call themselves Christians, but have rejected the concept of blood atonement for the remission of sins which is the foundation of the Gospel message. They have adorned themselves in garments of their own choosing in defiance of God’s word. When the atonement is denied, the Jesus of the Gospel is rejected.

     The man in Jesus’ parable who was not dressed for the occasion is speechless; he doesn’t know how to answer the king. He thought he was a good person and his own works were enough to get him accepted. He also thought that God received everyone no matter what they believed as long as their good works outweighed the bad. He was obviously wrong.

     Maybe he bought into Jezebel’s philosophy that God does not punish anyone, or we will not reap what we sow, and there really is not such a thing as hell. But those who are the chosen do not believe that Jesus lies, and they affirm that Jesus’ words are the words of God the Father.

     The man didn’t ask for forgiveness, or ask for an explanation so he could have the opportunity to change his clothes. He remained silent because he thought he knew it all, and pride is the one thing that cannot abide in God’s presence.
     Then said the king to the servants, “Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth’ (verse 13).
     “For many are called, but few chosen” (verse 14).

     The chosen few have been called and have received the Gospel refusing to deny the Savior that bought them with His own blood, even if it costs them their lives. Today there are multitudes of believers who are facing death, torture, loss of family and possessions, all because they refuse to deny the Son of God.
     Will you be among that chosen few?

     …and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful. Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. – Revelation 17:14, 19:9.

copyright 2013 by H.D. Shively

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