Friday, June 11, 2010

The Parable of a Wedding Feast

Matthew 22:1-14

1 Jesus also told them other parables. He said, 2 “The Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a king who prepared a great wedding feast for his son. 3 When the banquet was ready, he sent his servants to notify those who were invited. But they all refused to come!

4 “So he sent other servants to tell them, ‘The feast has been prepared. The bulls and fattened cattle have been killed, and everything is ready. Come to the banquet!’ 5 But the guests he had invited ignored them and went their own way, one to his farm, another to his business. 6 Others seized his messengers and insulted them and killed them.

7 “The king was furious, and he sent out his army to destroy the murderers and burn their town. 8 And he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, and the guests I invited aren’t worthy of the honor. 9 Now go out to the street corners and invite everyone you see.’ 10 So the servants brought in everyone they could find, good and bad alike, and the banquet hall was filled with guests.

11 “But when the king came in to meet the guests, he noticed a man who wasn’t wearing the proper clothes for a wedding. 12 ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how is it that you are here without wedding clothes?’ But the man had no reply. 13 Then the king said to his aides, ‘Bind his hands and feet and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

S - Scripture

9 Now go out to the street corners and invite everyone you see.

O- Observation

This is a parable about grace. Nobody deserved to be in the presence of the King. Among those the King invited were a land owner and a businessman. A land owner and a businessman were among the most wealthy and powerful in the community, but even for them, a invitation to a feast with the King was grace: an undeserved gift. It's interesting that both these men declined the King's offer of grace because one had to take care of his farm and the other had to attend to his business. Both these are non-evil tasks, but they contribute to a non-desirable outcome. Both chose something good, but gave up something great. Both chose busyness and duty over a closer relationship with the King.

After the King was rejected by some of the leaders, he invites everybody (verse 9). Grace is now available to all.

Jesus also depicts Christianity as a feast. A wedding feast for the son of a King would be as big of a feast as you would find. It would be filled with music, laughter, joy, great food, and great company.

A - Application

One application has to do with busyness. Many of the things I do are good: being a husband, dad, pastor, tutor, runner, etc... But, none of these (including being a pastor) should make me too preoccupied to accept the invitation to the King's feast. And, I will be better in all my roles by being in a relationship with the King than I would being apart from the King.

A second application is to invite others to the feast. The King tells his servants to go and invite everyone they encounter. Some people may not know about the feast. Others may know about it, but think that the feast is not for them. A simple invitation, given in faithfulness and love, can change a life forever.

P - Prayer

God, help me to say no to the good things in life so that I may say yes to the great feast - a joyful relationship with you. Never let me become so preoccupied with the things of this world that I lose the priority of living in your Kingdom. Help me also to go out and invite people to your Kingdom. Amen.

No comments: