For many are called, but few are chosen - Part 4

Posted in: 2016
By Tom L. Ballinger
Jul 1, 2016 - 3:59:49 PM

Plainer Words since 1968
July 1, 2016
ISSUE # 409
(Matthew 22:14)
Part IV
Harken back to our references to the various Stages in the previous Three Parts of this manuscript:  Stage I – God’s Kinder-Garten, Stage II – God’s John 3:16ers, and Stage III – God’s Called. These three Stages, like all Five of God’s Stages during today’s Dispensation of the Revelation of The Mystery, are accomplished surreptitiously. In plainer words, ever since the closing the Acts Period, the Lord’s movements are done in secret.
When Jesus of Nazareth was a “Minister of the circumcision for the Truth of God” (Romans 15:8), He Personally Called some of mankind to be added to His pool of reserves—Stage III.  His Chosen few always came from His pool of reserves. Some times, this is an individual Calling; at other times, Christ would Choose to Call-Up a number from His reserves. Calling-up His Reserves has always been part of His Divine Plan. The Chosen ones are chosen to fill special postings created by the Lord Jesus Christ. Not all, but many of these positions will last for eternity.
The Word of God has left us examples of His process─ “many are called, BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN.
The Lord Jesus cured a man afflicted with the palsy in Matthew 9:1-8.  The Lord Jesus left the site of the cured man, and it is written:
“And as Jesus passed forth from thence, He saw a man, named Matthew [aka Levi], sitting at the receipt of custom: and He saith unto him, Follow Me. And he arose, and followed Him” (Matthew 9:9).
I believe that Matthew, the Tax Collector, was a believer in waiting. He knew not what he was waiting for. Tax Collectors were not in demand by the general public or by competent bureaucrats. There is no record that I know of which informs us that Matthew was a believer in Jesus Christ before he responded to the invitation of Christ to “Follow Me.” I believe that when the Lord Jesus Called someone, He Called those who were in Stage II. I believe that Matthew may have been baptized by John the Baptist and became identified as one who was waiting for the Kingdom to come. In my reckoning for this study, Matthew would be placed in the pool of John 3:16ers, which is to say, in Stage II.
This was a Personal Call of—Follow Me! Matthew didn’t hesitate for a second. He got up immediately and followed the Lord Jesus Christ. What a great principle. We don’t know where they went. But, we do know later that day, Matthew had prepared a feast at his house honoring the Messiah—the Son of God.
It turns out that Matthew was also called “Levi.”
“And Levi [i.e. Matthew] made Him [Jesus Christ] a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them” (Luke 5:29).
Notice how Mark, in his Gospel, describes the feast:
“And He [Jesus] went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto Him, and He taught them. And as He passed by, he saw Levi [i.e. Matthew] the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow Me. And he [Levi] arose and followed Him. And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his [Levi’s] house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and His disciples: for there were many, and they followed Him” (Mark 2:13-15).
I cannot but think; “What did the crowd of Followers talk about in the presence of their Messiah?” Was it more or less an informal gathering? Just imagine this gathering of Tax Collectors having fellowship with Jesus the Christ—none of them at the time realized that they were in close fellowship with God Himself in the Person of Jesus of Nazareth.
The Lord Jesus issued a “Follow Me” invitation to one man—Matthew, but a crowd responded. Those who were classed as “Followers” also became His Disciples—Stage III.  
“And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that He eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?” (Mark 2:15).
A gathering of a bunch of Tax Collectors (Publicans) was not looked upon as the cream of Israeli Society. The Pharisees and Scribes looked down their noses at the Publicans and other sinners. Pharisees considered every Jew who didn’t adhere to their Oral Law as being sinners. Israel’s religious elite, the Scribes and Pharisees, sat in amongst the crowd, being uninvited. They were hoping to find Christ violating the “Jews Law.”
Andrew and Simon Peter were brothers. They were fishermen. Also, they were disciples of John the Baptist, “Again the next day after John [the Baptist] stood, and two of his disciples [Andrew and Peter]; And looking upon Jesus as He walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him [John] speak, and they followed Jesus” (John 1:35-37).
The two brothers were Called by the Lord Jesus and switched their discipleship from that of John the Baptist to that of the Son of God—hence, Stage III, Called to be Disciples of Christ.
“And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And He [Jesus] saith unto them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed Him” (Matthew 4:18-20).
The day following the Call of Andrew and Peter, the Lord Jesus went forth into Galilee and found Philip. Of course, He didn’t go looking for Philip because the Lord knew all along where Philip was. It seems that the Lord wanted to Personally issue Philip an invitation TO FOLLOW ME!
"The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, FOLLOW ME. Now Philip was of  Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter) John 1:43-44).
I am sure the following day found Philip to be high on a mountain-top of excitement since the Messiah Himself asked to him “Follow Me.” He couldn’t wait to find his brother—Nathanael, and tell him of their good fortune
“Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” (John 1:45).
A popular saying in those days was, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Nathanael was not quite as excited over finding the Christ as was Philip. Nathanael uttered to Philip the old saying, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46). Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
To make a change of pace in closing Part IV, we will switch to the NIV.  The quotation will be from John 1:47-50:
47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, He said of him, "Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false."  48 "How do you know me?" Nathanael asked.  Jesus answered, "I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you." 49 Then Nathanael declared, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel." 50 Jesus said, "You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that." 51 He then added, "I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."
So far, we have seen some of the “many” who have been CALLED. We will see more CALLS by the Lord in Part V. But, as yet, we haven’t witnessed any of the FEW who are to be CHOSEN.
Copyright© 2016 by Thomas L. Ballinger
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