Bristol, Virginia

Many Called, Few Willing

“For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14)

I hope my title doesn’t scare you away. From the start let me assure you there is no earning our way into the kingdom. What did Jesus say about being born again? “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:5-6) That “which is born of flesh” is what man can do and that “which is born of Spirit” is what the Holy Spirit can do. So let me explain.

In Matthew 22 Jesus gives us the Parable of the Wedding Feast. In the parable the father sends out invitations to his son’s wedding.

But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business.” (Matthew 22:5)

They made light of it. Have we ever been guilty of making light of our walk with Christ? Yes, of course. If that is you there is good news. You can repent. What did Jesus say to the sleepy, indifferent, self-sufficient church of Laodicean Church?

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.” (Rev 3:19)

It is interesting that he said to be zealous and then repent. We would think it should be “repent and be zealous.” But did you ever notice God’s order of importance is often flipped from ours? Being zealous is a choice. We can choose to be alive to the things of Gods! Yes we can.

So we see the first part of those unwilling is that they are indifferent. That will not be us in Jesus’ name. We will be alive, zealous for the things of God.

The second part of the unwillingness is a lack of being spiritually clothed. After the first group rejected the call to wedding the father put out the call.

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.” (vv.9-10)

Then, when the king (father) came in to see the guests he noticed one did not have wedding garments on. The guest was removed harshly. Garments speak of our being clothed in the new man. You see, being born again (accepting Jesus) is just the first wonderful step. We then will have a daily choice which garments we will wear. Just as one chooses one profession over another, we choose which garments to wear – the old or new man. Here is a passage that sums it up beautifully.

that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” (Eph 4:22-24)

See the two garments? The old and the new man. So, the guest who didn’t have the wedding garments on represented what we would call a carnal Christian. They have accepted Jesus but by their choices showed they were unwilling to be chosen.

Now, do not be discouraged. We all come short. But Jesus, I believe, put this parable in the Bible to encourage us. Just as we can choose to be zealous, we can choose to be willing. God’s grace is available if we will just ask.

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