Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Parable of the Wedding Banquet

Matthew 22: 1-10 The Parable of the Wedding Banquet

1Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2"The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3He 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. 6The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. 7The 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. 9Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.' 10So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

Wow. This is one of the best analogies for salvation I've heard. I read this today and thought, "What am I doing? What are we Christians doing?"

God has everything to offer us, yet we tell Him, "No, thanks." over and over again. Why? Because surely God, the creator of the universe, has it all wrong. Surely we have it right, right? Wrong.

Our culture is overly concerned with being politically correct, not offending anyone and letting everyone figure out their own path. For a split-second, I almost didn't post verses 5-7 because I "Didn't want to make the Bible sound too intense". Ya, I wanted to punch me in the face, too.

God's popularity in America has declined so drastically due to so many people's unwillingness to accept the fact that there is definite right and wrong. It's easy to understand this desire to not ruffle any feathers, it's the way we live in America. Truth is: God's party isn't sexy, God's party isn't a raging kegger, God's party isn't American. Thank God for that.

So back to the parable... The king sends out his servants to give people the heads up about his party. Some of them walk away and pay no attention, while others capture the king's servants and kill them. This takes us to verses 5-7, the "Uncomfortable scary God part." I wonder if these murderers knew who's servants they were killing? Didn't they realize who they were messing with? Ya, I think so.

The political correctness of our American culture has also slipped into our Christian culture. A lot of Christians don't want to recognize a God who uses anger and wrath to strike down those against him. Instead, they worship a God who loves everyone and never enforces the consequences we all deserve.

God's word says there are consequences for not obeying God, for not recognizing Him as the king He is. The beautiful part of this parable to me is near the end where the king tells his servants to find anyone they can and invite them to the feast, "The good and the bad." That's just what God has done for each and every one of us, through salvation. God offered everyone the gift of salvation, the good and the bad. Maybe you think you're a good person. Guess what? You aren't. You're evil by nature, just like me, my pastor, my parents and your parents. My question to you is this, "Are you willing to accept the invitation of the king, even if it means shedding your politically correct, comfortable, American camo?" Then, you will truly live, and truly feast upon the banquet God has prepared for your life.


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