Invited, but Rejected - Part 2

November 19, 2021

But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, “Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?” And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, “Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” For many are called, but few are chosen (Matthew 22:11-14).

The man who dressed inappropriately for the wedding celebration was removed from the party because of his attitude. His dress demonstrated a grave disrespect for the king and his son. How are we to understand this?

This parable, which began in Matthew 22:2, is a third condemnation of Jesus upon the Chief Priests and Elders. The Kingdom of God would be taken from them because they refused the invitation to enter it by rejecting Jesus, the Son of God, whom the Lord God had sent to save them. These men were ‘good’ men in the eyes of the Jews. They were very religious, pious, righteous (in their eyes and in the eyes of the people), and were dressed to reflect it!

This parable is also about others who were invited into the Kingdom of God. Some who came were ‘good’ people (religious, moral, upstanding, respectable, etc.), and some were ‘bad’ people (tax collectors, prostitutes, Gentiles, etc.). They came to the celebration to honor the king and his son, with respect, appreciation, and humility. One man did not and was excluded.

For as long as I can remember I have believed that any given local church congregation is a mixed congregation. There are those who are truly saved, those who think they are saved but aren’t, those who are not saved and they don’t know it, and those who are not saved and they know it. Therefore, every sermon preached and every lesson taught must have, at its core, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This constitutes the ‘call’ in v.14. It is the invitation of the Son of the King (Jesus Christ) to come into His Kingdom - to be saved. The ‘few who are chosen’ are those who have heard the call (the Gospel) and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior - they join in the wedding feast of the King’s Son. Verse 14, For many are called, but few are chosen, is the scriptural balance between God’s sovereignty (grace in extending the invitation) and man’s responsibility (faith in accepting the invitation). 

John 3:16, For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son. That’s God’s grace in extending the Gospel to everyone. That’s the ‘call’. That whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. That’s faith to believe the Gospel and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. That’s the ‘chosen’. How so? Because even the man who attended the celebration and was kicked out did not have the right heart. He was in the group, but he had no respect for who and why he was there. The King chose to honor the guest who had a right heart, and chose to exclude the man who did not have a right heart.

“Lord Jesus, as the psalmist sang, Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! so that I may present to You a heart that honors You, Amen.” 


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