YES, I’D LOVE TO COME!
Lord, I desire an eye for beauty, an ear for truth, and a heart that hungers for you. Grow them in me I pray.
Read MATTHEW 22:1–14
The Parable of the Wedding Banquet
22 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.
4 “Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’
5 “But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. 6 The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. 7 The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
8 “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. 9 So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ 10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.
11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless.
13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
14 “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
God invited us to the great wedding feast. Let us accept this invitation through Jesus, that we may dine with God forever.
It is a tremendous honor to be invited to dine with the US President, or the leader of another nation. The right response, which honors the ruler, is to say, ‘Yes, I’d love to come’, to dress appropriately, to be there on time and to enjoy the event.
The great news is that God is King and he has invited us to the great feast at the end of world history.1 It is a wedding feast for the Son and his bride, the church of God (us!).2 We have been invited. Unlike those in our generation seduced by materialism and consumerism, we must not make excuses but put God’s invitation above all else.3 Ultimately, God will exorcise evil from his world and everything opposing him will be scorched away.
Nor are we to simply arrive at the feast and selfishly gorge ourselves. Rather, like all good guests, having been invited, we offer to help. We remember how earlier the King’s servants came to us and invited us to the feast. We respond by joining them in going out into the roads of our world and we invite others to the feast. The food is glorious. The wedding hall is massive with room for more. Our job is not to ‘eat, drink and be merry’,4 but to fill it with more and more guests.
In ancient times, it was customary for the king to provide attire for those he invited.5 When we enter, we should change our clothes. As Paul might say, we take off our clothes of sinful, fleshly desire and put on Jesus and his armor.6 We must never take off this attire, or we may find ourselves cast out into the darkness. In the meantime, rejoice, enjoy the feast, go and invite.
Ask God to show you who he wants you to invite to his feast and how he wants you to go about it. Deliver those invitations.
Mighty God, what a privilege it is to be a part of your kingdom. Release your Spirit in me today as I seek to be your faithful disciple.
1 Cf Isa 25:6–12; Luke 14:12–24 2 Eph 5:22–33 3 Matt 6:33 4 Luke 12:19 5 CL Blomberg, Matthew, Broadman & Holman, 1992, p328 6 Rom 13:12–14
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