“For many are invited, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:14
Read this verse over and over. What is Jesus whispering to you?
This morning the whisper I hear is “come.” Honestly this is one of those verses that has perplexed me. Did Jesus really say this? But as I study it deeper it makes more sense. First this verse is at the end of a parable Jesus told, the wedding banquet (verses 1-14). It was directed to the chief priests and Pharisees. So, it is important to put it in context.
The Kingdom of Heaven is like a King who prepared a wedding banquet for His Son. He sent out invites and sent His servants to bring those He invited. They refused. So, He sent His servants to gather everyone they could find, good and bad. But one didn’t put on the wedding Garment and he was thrown out.
The Chief Priests and Pharisees know that Jesus is telling these parables against them, but they don’t fully understand the meaning because their pride gets in the way. Instead of heeding the warning they want to destroy Jesus. Which is ironic because it only proves the parables.
God has called many. There is no set number. The Hebrews tend to not get caught up with numbers. When specific numbers are used they tend to be rounded or have a meaning. So, it isn’t all and isn’t a set number, because the amount doesn’t matter, it is the intent that is more important. More are invited than accept would be the best way to understand this. The word for invited is” klesis.” This word is interesting. It can be used as an invitation or call to a great feast, but it is also often used to describe the invite or call to God’s salvation. Since this is a parable it means both here.
Let’s continue and look at “few are chosen.” Again, few is an ambiguous number. It just means less than many. It could be a puny amount. Let’s concentrate on chosen. “eklektos” means chosen, select, or favorite. It is often used to describe those who follow the Lord, those who accept His call to faith.
The message we need to get is we are all called or invited to faith, but the question is, are you too busy to accept that invite? Are you living for the Lord or self? Will you come to the wedding banquet?
Looking at the whole parable we need to understand that just going to church on Sunday isn’t enough. If you don’t wear the wedding garment, (accept Christ as our Savior, or being washed in the blood) you could be thrown out into the darkness, hell. Heaven and Hell are serious issues that the chief priests and Pharisees didn’t not take seriously. They felt they were good enough and didn’t need to worry about it. They did the right things except the right things they thought they did were of their own thinking. They were too self-centered. They didn’t accept Jesus into their hearts.
Where is your faith? Do you have Jesus in your heart or have you made up your own rules? Do you worship God or self? Or do you worship personal preferences? Do you serve others or is it just about you and your comfort zone?
Jesus died for all of us, not so that we can focus on ourselves. Saving faith changes us. It refocuses us to look out and see the need in the world. Where is your focus? Are you shining the light of Jesus? Are you overflowing with His love? It’s not too late to change. Hear the call and come to Jesus. Let Him rule your life.