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Daily Devotional: Send Me: What the Bible Says about Calling | A hiker sitting on a hilltop overlooking a city below. Daily Devotional: Send Me: What the Bible Says about Calling | A hiker sitting on a hilltop overlooking a city below.

Invitation and Calling | Practical Theology

  • November 2023 Issue
Practical Theology

“There is only one way to find acceptance with God. It must be through His Son, Jesus Christ.”

In Matthew 22, Jesus tells a parable about a wedding banquet hosted by a king for his son. The king sends out invitations (and reminders), but the guests do not respond. This enrages the king who says, “Go out to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find” (v. 9). Jesus concludes with a puzzling statement: “For many are invited, but few are chosen” (v. 14). The parable contrasts those who were originally invited to the feast with the unlikely crowd who ultimately attended. Some understand Jesus as saying that many hear the gospel, but only a few truly believe. Yet the parable seems to be going beyond this teaching, emphasizing not just who was excluded but also who was included.

The parable also highlights the irony of the rejection that Jesus experienced from the religious leaders. Those leaders had received that “first invitation.” However, they not only rejected Jesus but also eventually handed Him over to the Romans to be crucified (Acts 2:23). They also rejected those Jesus commissioned to proclaim His gospel (Acts 5:17–42).

The king gave repeated appeals to come to the banquet (Matt. 22:3–7). Those who rejected became his enemies. But their surprising rejection opened the door for others who “did not deserve to come” (vv. 8–10). In the end, anyone who accepted the invitation was allowed to enter, the “bad as well as the good” (v. 10). The one provision was that they should be properly attired, wearing garments which, according to custom, would have been provided as a gift by the king (vv. 11–13).

Jesus “came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). There is only one way to find acceptance with God: through His Son, Jesus Christ. To be welcomed into the kingdom of God, I must first “be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but...the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith” (Phil. 3:9). The One who issued the invitation also provides the righteousness needed to gain entrance.

For Further Study

To learn more, read All of Grace by C. H. Spurgeon (Moody Publishers).

BY Dr. John Koessler

John Koessler is Professor Emeritus of Applied Theology and Church Ministries at Moody Bible Institute. John authors the “Practical Theology” column for Today in the Word of which he is also a contributing writer and theological editor. An award-winning author, John’s newest title is When God is Silent: Let the Bible Teach You to Pray (Kirkdale). Prior to joining the Moody faculty, he served as a pastor of Valley Chapel in Green Valley, Illinois, for nine years. He and his wife, Jane, now enjoy living in a lakeside town in Michigan.

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