Matthew 22:14 - For many are called, but few are chosen.
The setting of these words is a great banquet. Jesus sets the scene like this: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast…” (Matthew 22:2-3a).
Someone tries to sneak into the party and they’re kicked out and thrown “into the outer darkness… for many are called, but few are chosen.”
How did the party crasher get caught? What distinguishes someone who is chosen?
Matthew 22:11-12 - when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless.
What is this wedding garment? Consider:
Colossians 3:12,14 - Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience… And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
Ephesians 4:24 - put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Jesus himself tells the church at Laodicea:
Revelation 3:18 - I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.
The chosen have new clothing - a new self - a new way of life. Holiness. God dresses the chosen in it.
What are the apostles always encouraging us to? Holiness. God-likeness that God himself gives us if we seek him.
2 Peter 1:5-11 - make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The holy ones - both called and chosen. Knowing they’re chosen by the fruit of their life. Clothed with the qualities of God.
May God teach us how to perfectly put on our new self - the full fruit of holiness - and not be imposters. The banquet is real. May he continue making us 100% real, too.
Revelation 19:9 - And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”