Bible words explained: “Many are called, but few are chosen”
VIDEO: In this Bible animation, we answer some questions about how you go from being called to being chosen.
What is the difference between being called and chosen? And why is it that only a few are chosen, if many are called? Find out the answers to these questions in this concept study about Matthew 22:14.
Audio Transcript: “Many are called, but few are chosen”
In Matthew 22, Jesus tells us the story of a king who sends out invitations to his son’s wedding. Lots of people were invited, but no one showed up because they were far too busy doing their own thing. Amazingly, they even treated the invitation with outright contempt. So the king sent out his servants again, this time to invite anyone the met – from the streets, whoever they met – and these people accepted and were guests at the wedding. And then Jesus said, to summarize the story: “Many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14.)
So in this context, being called is like being invited. It’s like being invited to be a disciple of Jesus, to following His footsteps. We’re called to spend eternity together with Him! And people experience that calling in different ways. It can be by reading the Word, hearing someone say something; it can just be a longing for something more, a kind of restlessness that you feel.
Jesus says that of the many who are called, only a few are chosen. And why is that? Well, not so many want to pay the price. Jesus says in another place that the gate is narrow and the way is hard that lead to life, and only a few people want to walk on it. So you have to show that you really want this life. That means obedience to Jesus’ commandments, and faithfulness, and then you’re chosen.
Always keep in mind what you’re called to! And remember that the calling went out to all types of people. So it isn’t your starting point or your background or your talents or your circumstances that determine whether you’re chosen, but it’s how you respond to that calling!
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Explore some more of our “Bible words explained” series in the Bible animation videos below.