Yesterday I posted Matthew 22:1-14 concerning the parable of the wedding feast. I recently heard someone interpret this passage in a way that I had never heard before. It was stated that free will is demonstrated here since the king’s invitation can be rejected. From here the invitation is given to all people, not just an elect. I find this interpretation difficult on several levels. First, the rejection mentioned refers to the Jews unfaithfulness to God that we see in the Old Testament. The good news of the coming Messiah was first given to them. Yet time and again they turned their backs on God and chased after other gods. The invitation is indeed extended to all people as Christ dies on the cross. The way of salvation is opened to Jews and Gentiles.
What I find most interesting is verses 11-14. The invitation is given and many are gathered to the hall, “both bad and good.” The king looks at the guests and notices a man who is not wearing the wedding garments. This man is thrown out of the hall where there is “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” And this statement wraps up this section: “For many are called, but few are chosen.” It was peculiarly left out of the discussion on this passage. I would invite correction if I am wrong, but it seems to me that this final sentence is crucial to understanding the parable. Many are called by virtue of this invitation that has now been extended to Jew and Gentile alike. However, only a few are chosen from among those whom are called. A person cannot choose and also be chosen. The passage does not present such a scenario. The idea of being chosen must come from outside of ourselves. So the invitation is given to all but only some are actually chosen or predestined to eternal life. In my estimation, this passage is actually a greater support to the doctrine of predestination than the belief in the free will of man as it relates to salvation.
What do you think? Does Matthew 22:1-14 better support predestination or free will in regards to salvation?