Matthew 22:14 (NRSV)
14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
Jesus makes a statement that most of us know at the end of an ominous parable most of us don’t. The parable describes a king who throws a banquet for his son’s wedding. He sends slaves to invite (call) all those on the wedding list. Those invitees reject the invitation. In fact, after pleading with them to come, some of those invited mistreat, oppress, and even murder the slaves. After sending troops to enact vengeance the King sends slaves to open up the invitation to everyone both “good and bad.” The wedding hall now full is disrupted as the King notices someone who does not have on a wedding robe. He rebukes him and has him cast out. Then Jesus makes the summarizing statement, “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
As disturbing as the parable is, it points to several interesting things. First, the privilege of thinking of ourselves as “chosen” can often lead to superiority concepts and even oppressive behavior. This parable is not taught in a vacuum but rather it is a verbal tussle with the religious leaders whom Jesus was in public battle with. They believed they were the chosen of God. Jesus challenges this notion with this parable. There is a difference between being chosen and invited. Their rejection showed they “un-chose” themselves. Second, God has opened the door to everyone. Those who have privilege are now no longer any more spiritually privileged than anyone else. This paradigm shift is the crux of Jesus’ ministry. Finally, even though the door is open it doesn’t mean everyone will stay in. There is some responsibility on our part to stay at the table.
African Americans had no access to privilege. Abolitionists and slave preachers invited slaveholders to set us free. That invitation was rejected. In fact, we were treated even worse as a result of desiring freedom. In fact it took a war, the shedding of blood to get us free. Fast forward to modern day. Many of us have privilege, access, and a seat at the table in ways we could have never imagined even 50 years ago. But are we dressed for the occasion?
We need Black leadership that strips ourselves from individualism. The chosen are robed in loving God with all our hearts, all our souls and all our minds, and loving our neighbor as ourselves. This series is dedicated to looking at the role and responsibility of leadership. Being chosen means being dressed right.
Lord give me the right clothing to be at the table. Show me my responsibilty as a leader for my people. In Jesus name.
Questions for Meditation
Do you consider yourself a leader? If so why? If not why not?
If you answered yes why do you think God chose you to lead? If you answered no reflect on what qualities you think are necessary to be a leader.
Now pray that God Would Mold You Into A Chosen Leader