Many Are Called, Few Are Chosen

Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Matthew 28:20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.

Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

In the course of doing this (which is still going on today) Christ makes the following statement in:

The Parable of the Wedding Feast

Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.


What does this mean? It says many, not all. And of the many, only a few are chosen.

What is going on and how does this fit into the plan of God? What is He doing and how does this fit in with the God that we know.


Defining ‘called’:

klētos klay-tos’ invited, that is, appointed, or (specifically) a saint: – called.

Called but in the connotation of invited.

Let’s look at the context of this passage [the parable of the wedding feast]:

Matthew 22:1 And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said:
Matthew 22:2 The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son,

The King is God the Father and the son is His Son and of course this is an analogy of the the Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven which are synonymous.

This was a royal wedding and if you can imagine with a feast, all the trimmings and pulling out all the stops. It is the premier event that we all say that we want to be at.

Matthew 22:3 and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come.

καλέω kaleō kal-eh’-o it is kin to kletos and it means to “call,” bid, to invite

…not willing to come this is the wedding of the Son of God with His eventual Bride; who doesn’t want to be here! The invitation/calling is sent out to many, but by their own choice they decide that they do not want to have any part in it. [We will get more into why they opted out]

Leviticus 26:12 I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.
Blessings and cursings chapter; at the end of the section of all the blessings that they will receive for obedience.

He is calling them to do these and “be His people” but they have to accept honor and walk in the ways of the preceding verses – but as we know they did not with the exception of a few.

So the king once again puts out the invitation

Matthew 22:4 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.” ‘

The time is short and there is a sense of urgency.

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

This is how they treated the calling that God was putting out: the first did not give it the time of day or the importance it deserved. They were more concerned and taken in by the priorities of this life (Matthew 6:33) and tending to their business (Luke 2:49 be about my Father’s business)

Matthew 22:6 And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them.

The other treated their calling with derision, hostility and animosity (Romans 8:7 carnal mind is enmity against God). They have rejected vehemently

…servants One of the main methods that God uses to send out His calling is by His servants (Amos 3:7) it is not by some mysterious and misunderstood way.

2 Thessalonians 2:14 to which He called [kaleo] you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

When Christ came (time getting shorter) He told them that they rejected their calling before, now and in the future.

Matthew 23:31 “Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.

Matthew 23:34 Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city,

They continued to do this to Paul (through beatings and scourgings and eventual martyrdom)

And they will do until the end (Revelation 11:7 two witnesses killed).

Matthew 22:7 But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers [commandment breakers], and burned up their city.

Babylonians went to the northern Tribe of Israel; Assyrians to Judah; Romans during the time of Christ; destroying the temple in 70AD

Matthew 22:8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy.

They through their own free moral agency had shunned the calling that God had put out. Not only did they not accept the calling, they directly rejected it of their own free will. So, OF COURSE, they were not chosen to be a part of it.

Matthew 22:9 Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’
Matthew 22:10 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.

…into the highways and gathered together all a greater calling goes out

…both good and bad to all walks of life

Reminds me of the Laborers in the Vineyard. The Landowner went out and hired some workers for a denarius and then went out in the 3rd, 6th, 9th and 11th hours throughout the day and ended up giving them all the same no matter when they came onto the scene (Matthew 20:1-16). Matthew 20:16 So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.

Revelation 7:13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?”
Revelation 7:14 And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. [made their clothing pure]

Here we have the invitation going out at the end giving others the opportunity to be a part of the wedding

Most of the Israelites and later it continued with the nation of Judah up to the time of Christ, they rejected God and His Son: they were the first that will become the last to receive salvation and those that have been called and accepted it at the end will become the first to inherit the Kingdom of God.

Matthew 22:11 But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment.

All the guests that accepted the invitation / calling are now there

Even to these people at this later hour there was an expectation

Clarke: To afford accidental guests clothing suitable to a marriage feast, was a custom among the ancient Greeks. Homer relates that Telemachus, and the son of Nestor, arriving at Lacedaemon when Menelaus was making a marriage feast for his son and daughter, were accommodated with garments suited to the occasion, after having been bathed and anointed.

It was provided for them

Matthew 22:12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless.

Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”
Revelation 19:8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

Zephaniah 1:7 Be silent in the presence of the Lord GOD; For the day of the LORD is at hand, For the LORD has prepared a sacrifice; He has invited His guests.
Zephaniah 1:8 “And it shall be, In the day of the LORD’s sacrifice, That I will punish the princes and the king’s children, And all such as are clothed with foreign apparel.

Isaiah 61:9 Their descendants shall be known among the Gentiles, And their offspring among the people. All who see them shall acknowledge them, That they are the posterity whom the LORD has blessed.”
Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

…he was speechless there was no excuse. He chose what he wore to the wedding…and he did not put on Christ.

There was an expectation of making progress in becoming properly adorned and the man knew this:

Luke 19:21 For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.
Luke 19:22 And he said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow.
Luke 19:23 Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’

When we are called we learn very quickly what is required of us. To ignore it and not do it, is to not come to the party prepared for which there is a consequence.

Matthew 22:13 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.’

The Parable of the Weeds Explained

Matthew 13:41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness,
Matthew 13:42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 13:43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

Just as there was punishment in Matthew 22:7 there was here [:13] for not acting righteously

So it is in this context Christ says:

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

So what we see is that the Word of God has gone out and is going out to many in the world and by their own volition they have not heeded that calling.

We do this today and get the same exact results

So what we see is that of the many that have been called, many ignored it and were apathetic towards it, others were belligerent and opposed to it; while still yet others were unprepared for the wedding.

In the end the one that answered the calling and was dressed appropriately was the one chosen – so we can see why so few were chosen.

So the definition of calling here can be a direct working with the physical nation of Israel as well as a general witnessing to people.

John 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.

helkuō    helkō hel-koo’-o, hel’-ko to drag (literally or figuratively): – draw. Compare G1667.

Romans 7:15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.

Let’s notice a little more about this difference in another parable

Parable of the Sower

Matthew 13:1 On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea.
Matthew 13:2 And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
Matthew 13:3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: Behold, a sower went out to sow.
Matthew 13:4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them.
Matthew 13:5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth.
Matthew 13:6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.
Matthew 13:7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them.
Matthew 13:8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
Matthew 13:9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
Matthew 13:10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”
Matthew 13:11 He answered and said to them, Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.
Matthew 13:12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.
Matthew 13:13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
Matthew 13:14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘HEARING YOU WILL HEAR AND SHALL NOT UNDERSTAND, AND SEEING YOU WILL SEE AND NOT PERCEIVE;

But it is different for us:

Matthew 13:16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear;
Matthew 13:17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

Can you imagine? Do you appreciate this? This is the pearl of great price.  [Matthew 13:45-46]

Interpretation of the Parable

Matthew 13:18 Therefore hear the parable of the sower:

4 Different Scenarios


Matthew 13:19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.


Paul had this fear for some he taught

2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!
2 Corinthians 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.
2 Corinthians 11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

Bottom line is Satan is alive and well and working hard

Next, He explains three different scenarios of those that God has opened their minds, and they all respond differently


Matthew 13:20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;
Matthew 13:21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.


He leaves this drawing

John 6:65 And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.”
John 6:66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.
John 6:67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, Do you also want to go away?
John 6:68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
John 6:69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

What can take us away?


Matthew 13:22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.


Worried about what others thought and the things of the world

unfruitful – he quits growing in character


Matthew 13:23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”


This is the Christian God wants

Bear Fruit

John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
John 15:2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
John 15:3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
John 15:4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
John 15:6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

No guarantee

There is a lake of fire for a reason

We must repent


Revelation 17:14 These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.”

We must remain faithful!