Many are Called, but Few are Chosen…

19 Oct

I’ve been meditating a lot lately on the idea of God having a “chosen people.” Recently, when speaking with a friend, I was asked the following question, “If God loves all of His children, why are only some of them called His ‘chosen ones’?” It’s a good question, and at the time I didn’t really have much of an answer for it. The idea of God picking favorites didn’t sit well with me and my mind was struggling to find words that could adequately articulate the truths I knew in my heart about my Lord. So I hit my knees. I prayed and asked the Lord to pour clarity over my mind, and He was faithful as ever…

In Matthew 22: 14 it reads, “For many are called, but few are chosen.” This commonly quoted line of scripture follows the parable of the marriage feast.

In the parable, Jesus speaks of a king preparing a beautiful wedding for his son. He sent out his servants to invite his community to the celebration – but they would not come.

The king again sent his servants to invite his friends to the celebration, further explaining to them the extravagant measures he went to in order to prepare such a beautiful feast for their enjoyment. Again, they wrote him off, making light of his invitation and going about their day. Some were especially hostile and murdered the king’s servants.

The king could not tolerate such vile actions against his people and destroyed the murderers and burned their city, saying “The wedding is ready, but they which were called were not worthy.” (Matthew 22:3-8)

This depicts the reaction of the Jews, the called people of God, to the coming of their Savior, Jesus Christ. They ignored the lavish love that God invited them to partake in, rejecting His great mercy and showing violence to His children. As a result, the Jewish people suffered greatly.

But the king did not stop there. He greatly desired to share the beautiful feast he had prepared with people interested in partaking. So he sent his servants out again, this time inviting anyone they could find.

This represents the Lord extending His invitation to experience eternal life to the Gentiles. The call was no longer exclusive only to the Jews, but to all people everywhere.

And the guests came. They came in droves and the wedding was “furnished with guests”. But when the king came in and saw the guests he noticed a man without a wedding garment. He had the man tied up, taken away and cast into “outer darkness”. That’s not quite the happy ending to the fairy tale wedding I anticipated.

So what, then, differentiates a person between being “called” and being “chosen”? The invitation is clearly for all people, but Jesus says that only a few get to experience the beautiful wedding celebration He has prepared. At this point many people point the finger at God, asking, “Why, if He loves all His children, would He not choose all of us?” But the blame is not His…

The difference between being called and being chosen is what WE choose to do with the call we receive.

God has done His part. He has prepared the way for us to come to Him by sending His son Jesus to die for us. He has commissioned His servants to spread the Good News and to invite all of His children to sit at His table and feast with Him. He has been whispering in your ear since the day you were born to put on your wedding dress, consecrate yourself and meet Him at the altar. Will you answer that call? If you do, I assure you, you will find yourself among the chosen ones, sitting at the banquet table with the Lord. You, my friend, are chosen.

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