This past week at our Gospel Meeting Frederic spoke a lot about the Gideon Factor. While he might not have said the phrase “Gideon Factor” every night, I saw it all over his lessons (just as he said we would). God was not looking for the very best to lead, teach, convert, etc. He took men like Gideon who were afraid, very afraid and made valiant warriors out them. He took men like Peter who seemed to have a genetic propensity to stick his foot in his mouth every time he spoke and changed him into a man whose every word was one you wanted to hear. He took men like Paul, who by his own admission was the chief of all sinners (I Tim. 1:15) and turned him into a preacher/apostle that transversed land and sea trying to teach as many people as he could how to come to the Lord.
This got me to thinking about something Jesus once taught about his kingdom. The Pharisees were in danger of missing out on the eternal joys and blessings of being a part of God’s kingdom. What was said is that they were the first to be invited. God wanted them (and the rest of the Jews) to be there. To be a part of it. However, their preconceived ideas about what was the ultimate expression of their faith (to borrow a phrase from brother Gray this past week) kept them from being able to partake of the blessings of the kingdom. To explain what was going on, Jesus shared a parable about a wedding feast. This feast is often ripped out of context as people try to use it to explain the need to where “Sunday Best” to worship services. This passage has nothing to do with that. It is about being with Jesus… “The Ultimate Expression of Christianity.” I want you to notice who was ultimately accepted the invitation to the wedding; those on the main roads, both bad and good (Matt. 22:10). These were not necessarily known by the bride or groom, and I would argue they were just passerbys that were being shown hospitality. They were NOT planning on attending a wedding. They were not planning on sticking around for a week long celebration, but the house was filled. When the king came around, he noticed one man not properly attired for the wedding. (Keep in mind that in their culture, the wedding garment was given by the host). This man had no excuse as to why he didn’t have his wedding garment. When pressed about why he wasn’t wearing one he was speechless (Matt. 22:13). The king then had him thrown out into the outer darkness where there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth. The parable concludes with the statement, “Many are called by few are chosen.” Or at least that is how most translations read. The Greek however can be read another way. “Many are called but few are choice.”
What does it mean to be choice? Choice is not about what I do. Remember, this man’s “choiceness” has nothing to do with whether he was bad or good. He wasn’t choice because he failed to wear the garment that was provided to him. The king did everything here. He wanted this man to be in his presence, not because he deserved it. He wanted this man to be able to remain, so he provided him with the garment.
The spiritual lesson is this. Jesus wants us to be with him. He has invited us to bask in the blessings of being in his house. He has even taken us who were not good people and made us choice, the best. He made us this way not because we of who were are, that is our social, economic, or national background. He made us best not because of some great task we have accomplished. He made us choice because he wanted us to be with him. As a result, God did what was necessary to make us choice. His grace enables us to receive mercy. His grace enables Jesus to leave Heaven and come to this world. His grace enables Jesus to die on a cruel cross for our sins. His grace enables us to have the forgiveness of sins. His grace enables us to have access to the wonder word of God. And his grace enables us to be sealed by the Spirit.
But, in order for us, that is those of us who were on the highways and also those that were initially invited to be choice we must accept the invitation. The king didn’t drag people to the wedding feast. He said come. Come unto me. Let me provide for you. Let me take care of you. Let me make you “choice.” It is up to you and I to accept that invitation and put on our garment, the righteous son Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:27).
Grinnell church of Christ
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Are You Choice?
Volume 7 Issue 16