What Does Matthew Mean by “Many Are Called, but Few Are Chosen”?

by Pastor Ricky Kurth

Print This Article

“What does it mean that “many are called, but few are chosen” (Matt. 22:14)?

The parable in the context pictures how God always planned to marry His Son to Israel (v. 2 cf. Rev. 19:7-9). The “servants” (v. 3) sent to call Israel represent John the Baptist, the twelve apostles, and the Lord Himself (cf. Isa. 42:1). The animals that were killed (v. 4) were a type of Christ’s sacrifice. People with “merchandise” (v. 5) were unbelievers, for believers sold “all” their merchandise at Pentecost (Luke 18:22 cf. Acts 2:45). Verse 6 speaks of Stephen and others who’ll be martyred in the Tribulation. Verse 7 depicts Christ’s fiery second coming (2 Thes. 1:7,8), where He’ll judge “unworthy” unsaved Jews (v. 8 cf. Acts 13:46).

God postponed that judgment with the dispensation of the mystery, but will send Israel more preachers in the Tribulation (v. 9). The millennial kingdom will have “good and bad” people (v. 10), i.e., saved and unsaved. After the millennium, the ones not clothed in God’s righteousness (vv. 11,12 cf. Isa. 61:10) will be cast into the “outer
darkness” (v. 13) of the lake of fire.

So the “many” who were called (v. 14) were the “many” in Israel for whom Christ came to die (Matt. 20:28). But we know only the “few” Jews in the Lord’s “little flock” (Luke 12:32) were chosen. They were chosen when they believed on God’s chosen (Matt. 12:18) and became chosen in Him, just as we are (Eph. 1:4).

To the Reader:

Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:

"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."

To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.

Two Minutes with the Bible lets you start your day with short but powerful Bible study articles from the Berean Bible Society. Sign up now to receive Two Minutes With the Bible every day in your email inbox. We will never share your personal information and you can unsubscribe at any time.