26th April 2012
God’s Wedding Feast
“And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. Again, he sent out other servants, saying, “Tell those who are invited, ‘See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.”’”
Matthew 22:1-14 (NKJV)
It was around a year ago that the world eagerly watched the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton. There was a lot written in the press about who was invited and who was not. In the Parable of the Wedding Feast, those invited declined to come, so others were invited. Read verses 5-7, “But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.”
Many people think God esteems clergy or holy men, and casts out the inferior—those who cannot do difficult austerities like scourging or long fasts. But in this parable God judges those who should have been at his feast by their attitudes of indifference, scorn, or even murder. Remember, these people were already invited! But we see in verse 8 that “They were not worthy.”
Verses 9-10 show the working of grace, “‘Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.” God extends his invitation to all through the sacrifice of Christ. However, we have to respond—those without a wedding garment may not enter in (verses 11-14).
In Jesus’ prayer recorded in John 17 he says (verse 3), “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” Our response is acceptance and belief (verse 8). So it is not wealth, rank or deeds, but our attitude to God that counts.
Holy Father, we thank you for your wedding invitation that others refused and which we gratefully accept. May we always have our wedding garment ready to hand so we may be clothed in the righteousness of Christ when we stand before him.
Study by Keith Le Flem