Many Are Called Few Are Chosen
Why did the Lord word this verse as He did? Why did He not say all are called, all are chosen? — this would have satisfied the universalist thinking, but He didn’t.
Why did He not say all who are called are chosen? — this would have satisfied those who believe that “all souls” are predestined, but He didn’t.
So what purpose did He have in saying many are called, few are chosen? — does this not imply that the call goes out to more than those that He decides to chose?
14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”
Matthew 22:14 NASB
Jesus here in this parable is explaining what?
The word “For” in this verse 14 implies that He is explaining what He has already stated before. In the verses up to verse 8 in Matthew 22, Jesus was stating to the Jewish leaders what the Jews had done or not done in response to God’s invitation to them as His called out ones (His Ekklesia). They had been the called out ones to the wedding, but most had “paid no attention” vs.5. So in vs 8 Then “he *said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.’”
Matthew 22:8-9 NASB
So, is Jesus not prophesying and at the same time confirming what had already been prophesied? The Gentiles will now be invited to the wedding. Israel is now no longer God’s main pursuit. And this is why the religious leaders had to prove Him wrong — see vs. 15. Vs’ 11-13 however, sealed the threat to these men who Jesus would later call hypocrites Matt. 23:13
11 “But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes,
12 and he *said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ Matthew 22:11-13 NASB
It is puzzling what is said here, who is this one invited guest who is thrown out representative of? He must have been invited. In verse 10 both the evil and the good were invited. No one was left out. What point is Jesus making? Those who had been originally invited did not come. The Pharisees must have understood this man to represent some group? Then all who could be found were invited. So obviously this one man was among the invited. What point then is Jesus making? If we go back to verse 8 than we might get some clarity. 8 Then he *said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy.
They, the first group, — the Jews following the teachers of Israel were not worthy. Why were they not worthy, because they in vs 5. “paid no attention”. They were not even agreeing to come. But for those among the good and evil there was an apparel required, a wedding garment — accepting this garment (the Christ, the Truth, which was offered in the Word) we learn elsewhere in scripture that He who is the righteousness of God is the Truth and the life. He is our wedding garment. This guest was invited as were all even the Religious Jews of the Nation Israel, but they were giving excuses as to why they could not come, they paid no attention to the invitation. They failed to encounter the true lamb of God, who take the away the sin of the world. Christ the righteousness of God. And the bride hath made herself ready. Those who are not ready will not be allowed to the wedding.
One of the mysteries of our understanding of God is presented in this passage of scripture. The question can be asked concerning the Wedding —
Is the time of the wedding changed in verse 8, we know the invitees were changed for the reasons presented.
If the king representing the Father had foreseen and made plans for a change that would mean one thing to us; if he reacted and made changes only because of the actions of the original invitees that would say something different.
So what is Jesus telling us?
The wedding feast was prepared early on. Invitations were sent early on. Men invited were not accepting the invitation early on, but the preparations never stopped. The time of the feast was always set. The invitation was expanded to all, but there was a requirement. Not only must the invitation be accepted, but the apparel must be met.
Does this not tell us that an all knowing God is sovereign in His creation. He knows the end from the beginning, but that man has been given by Him free choice? Jesus knew that He would be despised and rejected by the Jewish religious hierarchy. He also knew that He was on earth to bring the Gentiles into unity with the saved of Israel (John 10:16 & 11:51-52).
And though He did not know the day or the hour of the feast, He knew that the Father did.
Whether God has given us total freedom to believe in Him and accept His invitation or not does not matter if you have understood and accepted His call, you are of the chosen. Scripture says to us make your calling and election sure. Talk to God about His Son and His call on your life. He has provided for you eternal life.