What does it mean that few are chosen (Matthew 22:14)? 

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The Parable of the Wedding Feast

The phrase “few are chosen” is found in the parable of the wedding feast, where Jesus ends with the words, “For many are called, but few are chosen” (Mathew 22:14). Let us read the parable: 

“The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.” ’ But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. 

But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests. 

“But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ “For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:2-14). 

Few Are Chosen

As the parable shows, God calls everyone for salvation. The gospel call is for all who will accept it. “Whosoever will” may “take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17). Any man who thirsts for the waters of salvation is privileged to accept the invitation: “Come unto me, and drink” (John 7:37). In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus promised that all who, “hunger and thirst for righteousness… shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). 

In the parable, we read that the guests who refused to come to the feast were “many. The phrase “few are chosen” simply states the clear fact that comparatively few are willing to accept the king’s gracious invitation and enter into the festive hall. Similarly, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus clearly stated that, comparatively speaking, only a “few” find the way to salvation, whereas “many” enter into the “broad” way “that leadeth to destruction” (Matthew 7:13, 14). And this is so, for the simple reason that the many do not want to find it.

Man’s Freedom of Choice

God created men with the freedom of choice, that is to accept God’s salvation or reject it. God doesn’t make that decision. Man decides his own destiny. God invites all but it is up to men to accept or reject the invitation. God says, “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15). The Lord sets before all people life and death and invites them to choose life, but He does not interfere with their wrong choice, nor does He protect them from its natural results. Unfortunately, few choose God’s path. May we strive to be among those that accept His invitation for life.

In His service, 

BibleAsk Team 

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