“The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come. “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.’ “But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ 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.“For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
Jesus spoke, once again to the crowd using a parable (a story about ordinary people doing ordinary things). This story was about a king who made a wedding feast for his son, but the story is hard to understand at face value.
Jesus starts with “the Kingdom of heaven is like or it can be compared to . . .”
So the King prepares this feast for his son who’s getting married, and the servents were sent to call in the guests who had been invited to the wedding. The guests won’t come and in fact disregard the king’s invitation contemptuously (vs 5, amp). Some of the citizens even mistreated and kill the king’s messengers (vss 6-7).
So the king makes a new plan-he sends his servants out to gather up anyone who would come-the goal was to fill the banquet hall. Even the proper attire was provided for these new guests (vs 12, amp). The servants seek out any who might come. They look in “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”.
Again, this is hard to understand by reading this story in most translations, but if you read this passage in the Amplified Translation, you’ll read what all is implied or deriven from the historical and cultural context: when the underdressed guest shows up in vs 11, the amplified version adds, “that I provided for you”.
Now this is where this unusual parable becomes clearer.
Since the start of history God has sought to commune with people. In the earliest days, He walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the day (Gen 3:8). After sin, God calls out to them and clothes their nakedness (Gen 3:9-21). Later, God calls a man named Abraham to follow Him, and makes Him the Father of many nations, among whom was the Nation of Israel, whom He covenants with, to be His chosen people through whom He would reach the nations. Over and over we find that they turn away from Him and towards sin. Centuries later, God sends His Promised Messiah, His Only Son, Jesus, to take the punishment for that sin and for our sin on the cross, to reconcile us back to Himself. At that point the Church becomes His Chosen People, His Holy Nation, again always with the goal of reconsiling all to Himself.
So, in Jesus’ story, God the Father is the King Who’s throwing a wedding party for His Son, Jesus, Who’s marrying the Church (Rev 19:6-9). He’s pre-invited guests (the Hebrew Nation), but they have become so preoccupied and busy with either their own business or even with the religion He, Himself gave to them that they miss the call to come to the feast. Everyone else, the good and the bad are invited (vs 10). Everything they need to attend this Heavenly banquet has been provided for them, through Jesus Christ (Rom 5:8, 2 Cor 5:21). Some accept that and are in on the Heavenly Banquet, while others refuse and face the consequences (vs 13). But the last verse of the story clinches the deal: “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
Now we often dump the “chosen” part off on God when the Bible’s quite clear that God calls all of us to salvation (vs 14, John 3:16, 2 Pet 3:9).
So what does it mean to be chosen? It means to CHOOSE Jesus!
Don’t be like the Chosen Nation that became so self-absorbed over being “chosen” that they missed the whole point of salvation. Choose Jesus–He’s already chosen you!
Think about it!