June 17th, 2015 | By admin
By Paul Holland
If you could have dinner with any one in the world, who would it be? If you could sit in the presence and talk with any person, who would you choose? What if you were to get an invitation from that person, how would you react? What would you wear? We would all probably dress up. Maybe not formal wear – that would probably be one of our first questions, wouldn’t it? What should I wear?
A parable Jesus gives in Matthew 22 deals with what you should wear when you enter the presence of the king.
THE SETTING OF THE PARABLE – 22:1-2:
The wedding feast was an image the prophets used for the blessings of the new covenant. The kingdom is not like a long, dreary funeral procession. It is a festive occasion of warm fellowship and inexplicable delight (Romans 14:17).
THE REJECTION BY THE INVITEES – 22:3-7:
The servants were invited to call those who had already been invited. In the Orient, it was customary to send out an initial invitation to alert people that a banquet was going to take place. Then the second invitation would go out once all the preparations were finalized.
But observe the key to their refusal in verse 3 – they were unwilling to come. They really had no reason not to come. It was a matter of their will. They found excuses.
These people in the parable offered excuses not to come to the wedding feast. There was one reason why they did not come – they loved other things too much. They had refused a very generous host (look at verse 4). They had rejected grace. Notice verse 5 – “they paid no attention.” In other words, they didn’t care!
When you turn your back on grace, hell is the only alternative.
THE PROVISION FOR OTHER INVITEES – 22:8-10:
In verse 8, the king says matter-of-factly that “those who were invited were not worthy.” I want you to observe that what makes a person worthy to be in the presence of the king is simply his/her response to the king’s gracious invitation!
Compare this with Luke’s comment about the Pharisees in Luke 7:29-30.
So, the servants went to the “partings of the highways.” These people would not expect to find themselves as guests at a royal banquet. They would be even less likely to refuse such an invitation.
THE PRESUMPTION OF ONE INVITEE – 22:11-13:
The man was speechless. How could he give an excuse? He stood self-condemned. The banquet was an act of grace. The invitation was an act of grace. The wedding garment may have been an act of grace. And he spurned it.
When the world stands before God and are saved or condemned, we will also be speechless. We will know why were we are saved or condemned.
The wedding garment represents right living (Isa. 61:10; Rev. 19:8), which is only possible if we live in Jesus Christ, which begins with being immersed into Him in the waters of baptism (Galatians 3:26-27).
CONCLUSION – 22:14:
The parable teaches us that the ones “chosen” are the ones who responded to the gracious invitation of the King.
Christ has called you to enjoy the marriage banquet with Him. Respond to His grace by being obedient to His call.