2011-08-19 - The Parable of the Wedding Feast
Part 2 ~ Based on a Sermon Originally Preached 2006-03-29
From a prophetic vantage point, we can see that Jesus was not just speaking of the Jewish leaders but about all of God's chosen people. Jews as a whole rejected Jesus so the call goes out to the Gentiles. Some Jews just keep at doing their regular religious business. The Jews killed or ignored the prophets up to John the Baptist who delivered the first invitation. It is given a second time by Jesus and the disciples. It is re-given to the Jews even after Jesus' death by his disciples, many of whom were martyred, for several years after Pentecost before the invitation is given to the Gentiles.
Acts 13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
The Jews were then scattered as Titus' army destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD. The wedding garment then becomes a symbol of God's saving grace the righteousness of Jesus. In Revelation 19:11-14, we see the armies are all dressed in fine white linen - the wedding garments Jesus prepared for his bride the church. That is why we must "put on the Lord Jesus" (Romans 13:14) or "put on the new man" (Colossians 3:10).
But, some of us Gentiles who believe Jesus came and died for us and accept the invitation still try to come in our own clothes. Cults who believe Jesus' invitation but do not think the robes Jesus gives are good enough for God's hall so they have the nicest clothes they can buy. However, Isaiah 64:6 calls our finest robes of self-righteousness nothing more than filthy rags. People like this fit the description Paul gave of the Israelites in Roman 10
If this is a story that spans time from the Old Testament days until his triumphant return then the story has not ended. We must be in that story somewhere. You and I can each find a personal meaning for ourselves. We are each characters in this parable.
I am the called and so are you. You and I are invited to a feast in Jesus. He calls himself both bread and water and he commands us to eat of him. We are all invited to taste a personal relationship with him. In verses nine and ten, we know no matter who we are or what we have done, the invitation is given to us all - the good and the bad.
We must each respond to that invitation in one of four ways. We can respond with apathy or indifference as those in verse five did. We can respond in anger, hostility, and rebellion as those in verse six did. Or, we can make an agreeable but self-righteous response as the man in eleven and twelve did saying, "I want to come on my own terms. I won't totally commit to God's process". Those who respond in this way may be willing to join a church but not surrender their life. They could also just be willing to give up some parts of life but not the whole of it. Notice here the servants let this one person in but God kicked him out. Sometimes we'll have people like this in our midst but we do not kick them out God will come judgment day. Lastly, we can respond with acceptance and willingness like those in verse ten did. They completely committed to Christ. Full surrender means coming on his terms.
I should be a messenger. We all should be messengers. The invitation is extended to all of us the good and the bad. God wants his banquet hall full. No one servant can give the invitation to the entire world but if each person tells those in their little world then the world will know that they have been invited. We must invite them to come and fill the halls of heaven.
The parable ends with a simple statement in verse 14. "Many are called but few are chosen." I am among the chosen. I know I am. We must all ask that question of ourselves. Am I chosen? Do you want to be chosen? To be chosen you must do three things. First, you must respond to the invitation. In Revelation 3:20 Jesus says, "I stand at the door, and knock. If any man hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him." Second, you have to wear the right clothes. Do not wear your dirty work clothes; come in the fine apparel of Grace, Love, and Mercy handcrafted by Jesus. Colossians 3 tells us what these clothes will look like.
Colossians 3:10-14 NKJV
Lastly, you must enjoy the wedding. This should be easy, just be happy and satisfied. Enjoy being in the King's presence and enjoy his gifts.
All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted