Monday, January 7, 2008

A Wedding Invitation

Matthew 22:2 "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son."

In Matthew 22 we come to another parable that Jesus told to the people in order to teach the truth of God in a way that they would easily understand. In this parable Jesus uses the illustration of a wedding banquet, and He tells them that is what the kingdom of heaven is like, so let's go through these few verses and see what we can learn.

The first thing we see here is that there was a king who was giving a wedding banquet for his son, so he sent out his slaves to summon those he had invited. When the slaves told the invited that it was time for the banquet they didn't want to come. The king then sent his slaves out a second time to again ask then to come, but they paid no attention because they had other things to do. Enraged, the king sent his army to destroy those men and their city.

He then sent out his slaves again telling them that those he had invited were not worthy, so go now to the places outside of that city and invite everyone you can find. The slaves did as they were told and they invited everyone, whether good or evil, and the kings banquet was filled with guests. But when the king came in he found one guest who was not dressed for the wedding, so he asked him how he got in, but the man couldn't answer the king, so he was bound and thrown out; for many are invited but few are chosen.

There you have a quick paraphrase of the parable, but what does this mean for us today?

This king in this story represents God the Father. He is planning a wedding feast for His Son and He invited the nations of Israel to the feast. But they rejected their Messiah, which in essence was a rejection of the invitation to the banquet. So our first lesson from this parable is that we need to be sure that we do not reject the invitation of God by rejecting Jesus the Messiah.

Those who were invited second are the Gentile nations; when the Jews rejected Jesus the Gospel was taken to the rest of the world and now we are invited to the feast. The banquet was full and the king was pleased, but then he saw a man without a wedding garment. This man represents someone who is in the church but who has never really experienced salvation.

I hear you asking, "why was this man thrown out, he came in just like everyone else?" The answer is it was the king who supplied the wedding garments, and the fact that this man didn't have one on means that he had rejected what the king had provided. Just like the wedding guests, each of us must be clothed in the righteousness of Christ to be allowed into the wedding banquet; this man represents someone who tries to get in on their own merit. The lesson here is that we cannot earn our way in and there is nothing within ourselves that will merit an invitation (Isaiah 64:6). We must come to the banquet by personal invitation of the king, and we must come dressed in the garments that he provides.

Take some time today to thank your Heavenly Father for not only inviting you to His Son's wedding banquet, but also for providing the "wedding garment" that we could not provide ourselves.
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3 comments:

Sicarii said...

Very, very well written piece on the parable, Chris!

The funny thing is that I've been moved to do a series on the parables of our Lord on my blog just recently (I posted the first post on why Jesus used parables just yesterday), and wow! here you are with one of my favorites!

There's no such thing as a coincidence; God's in this!

Hallelu et Adonai!

Shalom Aleichem, brother.

p.s. thank you for the link to my blog.

Chris said...

I read your first post last night and I am really looking forward to reading the entire series!

I agree, there is no such thing as a coincidence, and God is in everything; we just have to look for Him. I heard someone say once that a coincidence is just a miracle where God remains anonymous.

I have been working through the book of Matthew on my blog for about seven months and I am just about at the end. I have been praying about what book to do next and I have it narrowed down to six. If you don't mind would you pray that God would direct me in the direction that He wants me to go next?

Your brother in Christ,
Chris

p.s. You are very welcome for the link - thank you as well.

Sicarii said...

Amen!

I shall pray for you, Chris. :) May the LORD guide you, brother.

Shalom Aleichem.