The Word declares in Matthew 22: 14, “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
The context of the verse is a parable. It’s the story of a King who made a marriage feast for his son and in preparing for the day, the king invited (called) the noblest and influential of his kingdom to celebrate the event with him. One by one they declined for one reason or another. The King again sent his servants to bid those of his kingdom to attend the wedding feast but as it is written in Matthew, they entreated them spitefully and slew them. The king was angry but the wedding feast was ready so he sent his servants out into the highways, and gathered together (chose) all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.
The guests were freely allowed to enjoy the festivities as long as they wore the wedding garment given to them when they arrived. The wedding garment was a covering like a shawl which was engraved with the crescent of the king’s emblem. This garment assured them of the king’s protection and favor while they were in attendance. The record tells of one guest who was seen not wearing the wedding garment and he was cast into the outer darkness.
All who heard this parable would eventually walk away from the foundational truth of salvation and return to the law not many years after the ascension of our lord.
The called are the priests, rabbis, and elders of Israel. The Lord first preached in the synagogue. The word declares in Luke 4: 16 – “and he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read.” It was here that the Lord first declared the prophecy fulfilled regarding the “acceptable year of the Lord.” (Verse 19).
Luke 4:28-31 says, “ And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his way, and came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the Sabbath days.” The Lord continued calling Israel and as we know they too entreated him spitefully and eventually slew him.
After the Lord was crucified, buried, resurrected and ascended, the calling to Israel continued after the day of Pentecost by the Apostles who were endued with power from on high. The word moved mightily throughout Israel and Samaria by the works of the Apostles. The Gospel of Faith converted and freed many from the bondage of the law as all who confessed Jesus as Lord and believed in their heart that God had raised Him from the dead were covered in the wedding garment of the blood of Christ.
The Word of God grew mightily and prevailed according to Acts 19: 20. This was the pinnacle of the rise and expansion of the first-century church. From here the spirit of the world began to infiltrate the doctrine of salvation by faith with the delusion of the will of man and the first-century church including the 12 apostles fell victim to the deceitful mixture of faith and works of the law.
They no longer wore the wedding garment provided by the blood of the Lamb.
God was not fooled. He had called this from the beginning.
It is written in Isaiah 46:10 “Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, my counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” The last verse of the bible tells us what the end is. Revelation 22: 21 reads: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”
God now chose the greatest sinner to rise up and bring forth the gospel of God. Salvation by grace. When Paul went to Jerusalem, the elders and apostles came to him and openly declared in Acts 21:20, “and when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law.” Paul did his best to share the truth of grace to the elders but the rejected it and almost killed him. He then declared his Roman citizenship and appealed to Caesar. In Acts 28 we have the record of Paul defending himself before Caesar with the elders of Israel in attendance.
Acts 28: 28 records the time when the ministry to Israel was hidden and buried and the times of the gentiles began. It is during the times of the gentiles that God is filling the body of Christ by his choosing, it was an election by grace. Israel believers were born again but did not continue in the completed works of Christ. They did not wear the wedding garment.
Ephesians 1:4-7 declares “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”
Paul was writing to the gentiles. His ministry was to the uncircumcised as declared in Galatians 2: 7: “But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter.”
The confusion in Christianity today is trying to mix the writings of Paul as an extension of the writings of the Apostles.
Paul was chosen to preach to the chosen. Until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled, the gospel of faith is held in abeyance. The gospel of Grace teaches us that God first loved us and we by faith continue in that calling as we listen to the spirit.
Christianity is playing the most dangerous game in the world called. “Following the follower.” We have the word of God and faithful men who teach the rightly divided word. But above all, we have the spirit from God to guide us into the truth. We need to examine all teachings in light of the rightly divided Word.
The chosen, will for all eternity, by displayed as the trophy case of God who is sovereign. He declared the end from the beginning. He is the potter. We are the clay. Our responsibility begins and ends in grace as we worship the Father in spirit and in truth.