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Matthew 22:1-14 "For many are called, but few chosen". ESV

I think there are on this site at least three questions about aspects of this story but none asking about its conclusion at v14. The 14 verses end with the word "chosen". If the point of the story is to illustrate the difference between "called" and "chosen", where is "chosen" portrayed in the story? I am asking about the story and not how "chosen" may or may not fit a theology.

In this wedding story some are "gathered" [v10]. May we presume that as they were gathered [forcibly?] they could not go home to make or collect clothes fit for a royal wedding, and so must have been given their wedding clothes by the king and his servants?

If "chosen" is being portrayed in this story is it:

A. The "bad and good"[v10] being gathered?

B. The gathered were given wedding clothes?

C. The ones that stayed at the wedding were allowed to stay because they were wearing wedding clothes?

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In this attempt, I assume that the current parable is distinct from the one in Luke 14.

Matthew 22:

8Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’

This was a second invitation, an on-the-spot spontaneous one.

10And those servants went out into the roads and gathered [G4863] all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.

May we presume that as they were gathered [forcibly?]

I don't think they were forced. On the contrary, the context says that they were invited. Furthermore, the dictionary meaning of G4863 also bears this out.

4863 sunagó συνάγω

The first part σύν means
identified with, joined close-together in tight identification;

σύν gives a nice connotation of cooperating together.

The second part ἄγω meaning to bring.

So συνάγω means to bring together (nicely).

Thayer's

a. to gather together ...
b. to bring together, assemble, collect ...
c. to lead with oneself namely, unto one's home, i. e. to receive hospitably, to entertain

Now about the wedding clothes in Matthew 22:

11 “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment.

Ellicott explains:

The framework of the parable probably pre-supposes the Oriental custom of providing garments for the guests who were invited to a royal feast. Wardrobes filled with many thousand garments formed part of the wealth of every Eastern prince

The king provided wedding clothes free of charge.

12And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13Then 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.’ 14For many are called, but few are chosen.”

The first batch of people who were invited was called by the king but they didn't show up. The second batch of people who were invited was also called by the king and they showed up. The chosen ones were the ones who remained in the wedding banquet to the end because they were dressed properly, clothed in righteosness.

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  • 1
    Clothed 'in righteousness' is an interpretation which I have never (yet) had anyone explain to me. My own understanding, from passages such as the skins clothing Adam and Eve and the garment gambled for at the foot of the cross (yet two garments then appear in the sepulchre : one for the head and one for the body) and the garment of fine linen for the Revelation bride - is that the clothing is a new humanity (under the Headship of Christ). And anointed "down the Head and the beard" even "to the skirts of the garment". (Up-voted +1.)
    – Nigel J
    Aug 13 at 5:49
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    Amen. We will experience the reality of that when the time comes :)
    – Tony Chan
    Aug 13 at 13:34
  • . . . . and some are already 'quickened with Christ, raised with Christ and made to sit together in the heavenlies with Christ' Ephesians 2:5 & 6. They experience it in this life, right now.
    – Nigel J
    Aug 13 at 15:07
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    Amen. Thanks. You're the spiritual one :)
    – Tony Chan
    Aug 13 at 15:12
  • Just a servant, glad to do service, brother.
    – Nigel J
    Aug 13 at 15:14
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How does “chosen” relate to the wedding story of Matthew 22:1-14?

Jesus concludes the parable by saying.

Matthew 22:1-14 "For many are called, but few chosen". ESV

There were many invited from the nation of Israel, the Israelites did not respond to the call and so only a few natural Israelites were chosen. The third call for guests to the kingdom of heaven (Vs 1) was to the Gentiles (Vs 9,10) The scriptures show that most of the guests who receive the heavenly reward (provided they remain faithful to the end (2 Cor. 11:2-3) are non-Israelites. (Eph.3:4-6)

The work of gathering from the streets started in 36 C.E. with Cornelius and his family being the first gentiles to receive God's spirit.

9-10 ESV 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.

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