Matthew 22:14

ESV For many are called, but few are chosen.”
NIV For many are invited, but few are chosen.'
NASB For many are called, but few are chosen.'
CSB "For many are invited, but few are chosen."
NLT For many are called, but few are chosen.'
KJV For many are called, but few are chosen.

What does Matthew 22:14 mean?

This passage, especially including this verse, contributes to a sense of tension between two ideas. Scripture seems to counterweight two concepts which are not contradictory, but which overlap in complex ways. On one side is God's choice of those who will enter the kingdom of heaven. On the other is the mandate for people to accept the invitation and receive the gift of God's grace by faith in Christ. Even in Jesus' parable, some willingly refuse the invitation. Some accept and fully engage. One seems to accept the invitation, but not entirely. Jesus concludes by saying that many are called to come and participate, but few are chosen to stay.

In a later passage, Jesus will refer several times to a chosen group called "the elect" (Matthew 24:22, 24, 31). It is clear from the gospel that everyone included in the elect—all those who are chosen—received the gift of God's eternal grace after trusting in Jesus (Ephesians 2:8–9). God calls to everyone to come to Him through faith in Christ (Acts 4:12). This demonstrates the limits of human understanding (Isaiah 55:8–9). Mysteriously, and in some interrelated way, only those elected by God will believe, and yet those elected will believe by their own choice. Only those who truly believe (John 3:16–18), those who sincerely and deeply obey the call, are the chosen ones.
What is the Gospel?
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