Lord, my God, reacquaint me with Your presence and enfold me in Your care. How great You are.
Read MATTHEW 22:1-14
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
It is fashionable (politically correct) today to use the word “inclusive.” However, sometimes we need to hear about judgment, standards of holiness and punishment. Jesus didn’t avoid touching on these subjects in this parable.
Nearly everyone enjoys a wedding. To be invited to a royal wedding would be a great privilege. To refuse to attend would be unthinkable. To make excuses of being too busy would be ridiculous. To attack the servants of the king would be unforgivable. And yet that is what the Jewish leaders are doing in the presence of Jesus. It is what many are doing today when they hear and refuse the Gospel invitation.
This parable has a different emphasis from the similar one told in Luke 14. Matthew notes that even the second group invited includes both good and bad. This reflects “the messy reality of church life” (Richard France). Although we rejoice in the inclusiveness of the invitation to the wedding, in contrast to the narrow approach of the Pharisees, that does not mean that an initial openness to accept the invite will always mean a full participation in the banquet. This is reflected in the account of a man who does not have a wedding garment. Here is someone whose acceptance of the invitation didn’t include his getting into a clean tunic. Although he was physically present, and was probably looking forward to the food, he did not acknowledge the specialness of the occasion nor the wonder of the king inviting him. He was insulting his host as much as those who refused to attend.
God looks for a wholehearted response to his invitation. Even in the purest church there will be people who once seemed to follow Jesus with enthusiasm but have turned away from him. Today’s reading should make us want to pray for all who hear the invitation and also to reconsecrate our own lives to follow him without any reservations.
Read Revelation 2:4-5. Examine your walk with the Lord in the light of these verses. Does your love for the Lord need to be renewed?
Patient Father, it’s not easy to recognize spiritual drift. Quicken my love for You so that I will love You with my whole heart.
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