Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Getting The L Out of Here. Part 7
Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
“There you have it! This verse proves Limited Atonement.” Oh that I had a dollar for every time a statement such as that has been made about that verse. Like always we want to paste this back onto the context to see if meaning of the passage follows suit with that assumption.
Matthew 22:1 And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, 2 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, 3 and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. 4 Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.’ 5 But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, 6 while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. 7 The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. 8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9 Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ 10 And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.
11 “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. 12 And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.” ESV
This parable is a ridiculous story. No one dared turn down an invitation from a king for a wedding feast. One the one hand it is a great honor to be invited. On the other hand one turned down this invitation to his or her own peril. Not living in an age of sovereign kings we cannot relate that each and every whim, if not obeyed, could bring about forfeiture of everything one owned and perhaps his or her life. This is speaking of the treatment God’s prophets received from his people when they came telling about the judgment and deliverance they would find in YHWH. However we see the ultimate reaction of the king was to invite everyone without exception.
Most guests show up in the provided wedding garments with the exception of one guest. He thought his garment was appropriate. These garments represent what we receive by faith. The robe of Jesus’ righteousness is received by those who believe and is what we wear when we go to the Lamb’s High Feast and what we wear in that eternal feast of victory in glory. Those in unbelief will not receive that righteousness preferring to trust in his or her own good works. This garment is never appropriate for it is tainted with sin although it may look holy.
So this passage refers not one bit to who is died for and who is not. The call goes out to all. Our Father does not play the game where he would call those for whom Christ did not die to repent for they would not have the price paid. This is placing our thoughts and ways as finite fallen humans onto God. And it is also submitting v 14 to an idea cooked up outside of scripture and again read down on top of it. The understanding is not complex at all. Those who are in Christ are chosen for he is the living stone rejected by men but chosen and precious. To the unbeliever Jesus is the rock of stumbling and offence and they will not receive his gifts. Those who believe do receive him and become a spiritual house and a royal priesthood. 1 Peter 2:1-9
This is a horrible playing with scripture to tell others Jesus did not die for all of mankind. That teaching takes the bitter sufferings and death of Jesus away as objective evidence of sin paid for and tosses the sinner back on him or her self to try to hash out an answer. This answer will never keep a person in the true faith over the long haul. We are constantly under attack and accused by false and erring brethren, the world, our sinful flesh and the devil. The last place we need to look to for assurance is the seat of the problem which is ourselves. Rather look to the finished work of Jesus and how we receive the benefits won by him through preaching of the word, Holy Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. For you.
In the name of Jesus. Amen. †