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10th July 2024

Many are Called but few are Chosen

Jesus uses this phrase to conclude two of His Kingdom parables (the vineyard workers & the wedding banquet).
These are hugely relevant everyday stories which contain profound truths & deep mysteries about the Kingdom of God.
Both parables are about how we respond to the incredible goodness, grace & generosity of God.
ALL have been invited to respond to God’s invitation to salvation & to take their place in His kingdom.
How we keep on responding (endure to the end), rather than the initial response, is the key to being a ‘chosen one’.
All are called but few are chosen. We will unpack a little more around this today.

So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.” Matthew 20:16 NKJV

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

In both parables the word called implies a calling, an invitation, a summons alongside a divine selection & appointment.
The word chosen refers to being picked out, chosen, elected, selected as the best of kind or class due to excellence.
The invitation to salvation, via God’s initiative, has gone out to all in Christ. There is a summons that seeks a right & proper response.
The manner of the response, continuing excellence over an extended period, determines who gets to be chosen & selected.
The human response affects the divine selection & appointment. The inclusive invitation to ALL converging to the few who are chosen.
What we are witnessing is the interplay of divine sovereignty & human responsibility. SELAH The divine call & a free will response.
How we respond initially & then keep responding over the lonterm is the key thing. Begin well, continue well & end well!!

In both parables the host’s invitation was fair & just therefore he expected a grateful response.
He looked for those who would respond in excellence with gratitude & gladness of heart.
All were invited to the banquet but not everyone responded (some outright rejected the offer) & not everyone responded in excellence.
One man came inappropriately dressed (showing he was determined to do things his own way) but he was cast out!!
All were invited to work for a just & fair daily wage but not all responded in excellence at the end of the day when the wages were given out.
Many were called but only a few showed that they were chosen (responding in a choice & excellent way)!! SELAH

A wide, inclusive gospel invitation has gone out to all & there are differing ways of responding.
Some with outright rejection, others with complaints & grumbling & a smaller number (few) with truly thankful acceptance.
Responding in excellence, demonstrating that you are chosen, is evidenced by what you say & do in response to God’s gracious invitation.
There is gratitude for the generous invitation & alongside this a change in attitudes & actions. Faith demonstrating itself by godly living.
This is what the truly thankful hearts (at pay time) & proper wedding attire at the banquet are implying.
God chooses to call everyone through Christ but we have to choose to respond to that call ‘in Christ’. SELAH
Salvation accompanied by sanctification as God’s image is renewed in us & we are transformed into the likeness of Christ.
You are called & chosen ‘In Christ’, so keep on responding rightly – faith filled attitudes & actions full of gratitude. Hallelujah!!

For Reflection

  • In what ways have my attitudes & actions changed in response to the call of God upon my life?
  • How am I working out & fulfilling my human responsibilities in response to God’s sovereign call?
  • Meditate upon how the Lord is looking for an ‘excellent’ response to His call, summons & invitation.

A song related to this theme:


Heavenly Father,
Thank you that you are Sovereign over all yet You choose to call me to Yourself,
Help me to continue responding rightly to Your great love & amazing grace.
Jesus, thank you that the call to salvation comes through You alone,
Keep me full of faith & faithfully following You.
Holy Spirit transform my attitudes & actions as you conform me to the image of the Son,
Give me daily nourishment & strength as You sustain & sanctify my life.
This I ask in the mighty Name of Jesus.

Written by Gareth Jones

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