Have you ever wondered why someone who has the same opportunities to hear the gospel as you do doesn’t respond in the same way?
I grew up in a Christian family. We attended church every week. I also went to a Christian school. At school we were required to take two years of Bible class and attend chapel. Many of those in my class also attended the youth group associated with the church that ran my school.
Even though many of my classmates heard the same presentation of the gospel and had the same opportunity to respond and follow Jesus as I did, many didn’t. They continued to live according to their own will instead of following God’s will. Why is that?
Why do Some Follow God’s Will, While Others Don’t?
At the end of the Parable of the Wedding Feast in Matthew 22:1-14 Jesus answers this question. Jesus says,
“For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matt. 22:14)
So Jesus tells us “many are called”. Many are called to respond, to profess Him as Lord and Savior, and to live according to God’s will. Jesus, however, tells us few accept the call and actually produce fruit.
The reason Jesus gives for their unrepentant heart is that they aren’t chosen. For if they were, they would accept God’s call, they would follow Him, they would produce fruit, and live according to God’s will, but they don’t. And that’s because they haven’t been chosen.
Don’t Write It Off
Now, I know this is a challenging verse. I know it is a controversial topic. But Jesus said it. So even if at first we might not agree, or even if we are turned off by it, we have to consider it because Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, God incarnate gives that as His reason for why people don’t respond to the call to follow Him and produce fruit. They haven’t been chosen.
Now when Jesus says this, I don’t think He is telling us:
- We are to try to figure out who the chosen are.
- We shouldn’t evangelize or call others to believe in Jesus. There is clear application from the parable we are to evangelize.
- People aren’t held responsible for their actions. Clearly people are rejected in the passage because they have rejected God.
Instead, what I believe Jesus is doing is answering the age old question: Why do some follow God and do His will, while others don’t?
Questions for Reflection
- Why do you believe some follow God and do His will, while others don’t?
- How do you interpret Jesus’ reason?
Post adapted from my sermon: The Parable of the Wedding Feast