THE INVITATION

What an honor it is to be invited to a celebration of someone we love and admire greatly!  Upon getting the invitation, we begin to plan what we will wear that is appropriate for the occasion all because of our excitement to be included!  We set aside all other tasks and events on our busy schedules, for this celebration is top priority.  We mark our calendars and put stars all over the date.  We tell our family members the date because this event will be the ONE we can all attend so we tell them to get ready for it! 

Later, we find out we can invite other friends as well as our family.  So, we do!  We tell them of this special celebration that they can not miss.  We tell them they are all invited by the One we love and honor!  We are so enthusiastic and excited for the day to come.  We get ready by removing all obstacles of busy schedules and other life stuff that might get in the way of the big day! 

Because we want to prepared for the party, we google all there is to know about our Host.  We discover there is a whole book dedicated to Him, written by Him, about Him!  So, we study The Book from cover to cover!  We read what He says, what He did and who else He invited.  Yes, we are expecting the One who invited us, to pull out all He has for His party!

But as the day approaches, someone, some thing, some big task, some disappointment, some obstacle, some shiny object gets our attention and we don’t go to the party of the One who we said we love and honor.  We ignore the invitation altogether.  Wait, what?!

Matthew—God’s Word Fulfilled

Matthew 22:1-14, NLT

Parable of the Great Feast

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

“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!’ But the guests he had invited ignored them and went their own way, one to his farm, another to his business. Others seized his messengers and insulted them and killed them.

“The king was furious, and he sent out his army to destroy the murderers and burn their town. And he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, and the guests I invited aren’t worthy of the honor. 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.”

THINK ABOUT IT…THE REST OF THE STORY

Warren Wiersbe, Commentator, states; “The period described in this parable must be after His resurrection and ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit. The Father is still inviting the people of Israel to come, in spite of what they did to His Son.”

“This is a picture of God’s dealing with Israel. They rejected the Father when they refused to obey John the Baptist’s preaching. Israel rejected the Son when they arrested Him and crucified Him. In His grace and patience, God sent other witnesses. The Holy Spirit came on the early believers and they witnessed with great power that Jesus was alive and the nation could be saved (Acts 2:32–36; 3:19–26). The miracles they did were proof that God was at work in and through them. But Israel also rejected the Holy Spirit!”

“The rulers rejected the witness of the Spirit, and this brought final judgment. They had rejected the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, and there were no more opportunities left.”

WEARING THE PROPER CLOTHES EXPLAINED…

Again, Weirsbe helps us to understand; “The wedding garment was provided by the host so that everybody was properly attired and the poor did not feel conspicuous. Salvation is personal and individual. We must accept what God gives to us—the righteousness of Christ—and not try to make it on our own. Since these parables had a definite national emphasis, this personal emphasis at the end was most important.”

“The nation’s leaders were guilty of spiritual blindness, hypocrisy, and deliberate disobedience to the Word. Instead of accepting this indictment from Jesus, and repenting, they decided to attack Him and argue with Him. The result: judgment. We should be careful not to follow their example of disobedience.”

In other words, God sees our hearts and knows how sincerely repentant we are and will respond to us generously with His love and forgiveness through Jesus, His Son. 

Paul tells us how to dress and writes, “Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.”  Colossians 3:14-17

Invitation has been given.  Paul tells us how to dress for the party with Jesus.  Jesus tells us what is expected.  We just have to say, “Yes!  I’m coming, Lord!”

Abba, Father in Heaven, Lord of our lives,

Thank you for the invitation of life eternal with you to celebrate at your house forever!  Thank you, Lord for dying for my sins.  Thank you for rising again, defeating death as proof of our faith and certainty of our hope.  Thank you for help me prepare for the party with the right clothes for my heart, mind and soul.  Thank you, Holy Spirit for coming to live in my heart to direct and correct my walk.  Thank you for all you have done, are doing and will do in our preparation.  You have my full attention.

In Jesus Name, Amen

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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