Matthew 22:1-14 Few Are Chosen

Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.

4 “Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’

5 “But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. 6 The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. 7 The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.

8 “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. 9 So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ 10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless.

13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

14 “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”

Few Are Chosen

Not everyone gains access into the presence of God.  In Jewish tradition the priests came into the presence of God at the temple.  They would have access to the Holy of Holies.  Jesus however has pronounced the end of Jewish access to God in this way.  Jesus foretells the destruction of the Jewish relibious system and the destruction of the Jewish people who have rejected him.  In one sense this prophecy was fulfilled in 70 A.D.

Jesus gives an overview of Jewish history where the prophets of God were misunderstood, mistreated and killed by the people they were sent to reach.  Now to access God people need to come in new wedding clothes provided by Christ.  If people are not disciples of Christ they can not enter.  They are thrown beyond the outer courts of the temple and into the garbage dump, where God’s light does not shine.

God has invited everyone to join him.  However, when people do not want to come to God in the way that he dictates, they are no longer the ‘chosen’ people.

Questions

  1. Who is invited to the banquet?
  2. How do people respond to the invitations?
  3. How does God treat those who reject him?
  4. Who gets to attend the banquet?
  5. Do you want to be in the presence of God forever?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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2 Responses to Matthew 22:1-14 Few Are Chosen

  1. Larisa says:

    But how did the man not wearing the wedding clothes get into the banquet? Why does his presence confuse the king? Why does the king seem surprised? Who does he represent in the parable.. I’m curious!
    Thank you for your feedback..

    • Plymothian says:

      The man wearing the his own soiled clothes responded to the invitation to come but did not wear the special clothes that would have been given to him by the host. This illustrates how some come to Jesus and seem like disciples by their outward actions but their hearts remain unchanged. This is a warning to people like Judas Iscariot. The confusion of the king illustrates the strange situation where someone takes all the effort to show up but does so for the wrong reasons. Jesus at this point may have been surprised himself that one of his own disciples was going to be lost.

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