Daily Readings and Thought for January 20th. “FOR MANY ARE CALLED BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN”


 The above saying of Jesus in today’s reading of Matthew 22 v.14 provoked our thoughts – seeing that Peter wrote that God “is not wishing that any should perish” [ 2 Peter 3 v.9].  Why call so many, but choose so few? We should remember well the parable of the sower sowing the seed and how many examples of unproductive ground were given compared to “the good soil.”   Today there is more unreceptive and unproductive ground than ever.  It is helpful to look at the context of Peter’s words, for we often hear it said that God is not willing that any should perish. 

    Peter writes, “The Lord …. Is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief … the earth and the works that are done in it will be exposed.  Since all these things are thus to be dissolved what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness … “ [v.9-11]   It seems to us Peter is saying that God does not wish that any of you  (to whom he is writing) should perish who “after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord …are again entangled in them and overcome” [2 Peter 2 v.20]

Returning to Christ’s parable we see it is about those who, although invited to the “wedding feast” given for the son, Jesus [v.22] are too preoccupied with  their business interests [v.5] while others invited, treated those bringing the invitations “shamefully” [v.6]  This speaks of the invitation to Israel which they rejected and suffered the wrath of the King in AD70 when the Romans overthrew  Jerusalem and destroyed the temple. (V.7)  Eventually the wedding feast goes ahead after, according to Luke’s account of the parable, “the servants … bring in the poor and crippled …” [14 v.21] and “so the wedding hall was filled with guests” [Matt. 22 v.10]    But then a problem occurs.  The guests need to have a “wedding garment”! What is this? 

    In Revelation last month we read about the “marriage supper of the Lamb” and it is stated of the Bride “it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen … for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints” [19 v.8]  The deeds of the saints are those done as acts of faith, for they cannot “earn” their invitation to the wedding.  Sadly, those without a wedding garment are cast out.  We noted the wonderful words in today’s Psalm 37 which are so appropriate here, “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and … He will bring forth your righteousness as the light” [v.5,6] 

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