Everyone is Invited

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Read Matthew 22:1-14

Jesus often described the Kingdom of God by telling stories, or parables. Two of those parables talk about the Kingdom of God as being like a wedding feast, and in both, Jesus casts Himself as the Bridegroom. Both parables tell us something about our relationship to the Bridegroom, and both contain a surprising, even shocking, twist.

The first parable is recorded in Matthew 22:1-14. In it, a king had planned a wedding feast for his son. When all was prepared, those honored by an invitation from the king were unwilling to come. They all claimed to have something more important to do. They all treated the king and his servants with total indifference and disrespect…even to the point of violence. The king responded appropriately.

But he was still intent on filling his banquet hall. How could he celebrate the wedding of his son without guests? His honored, invited guests had proven themselves unworthy of his generosity. So here comes the shocking twist: since the honored guests had disqualified themselves, EVERYONE was invited. The king’s slaves were ordered to go throughout the whole city and urge everyone, high and low, good and bad, to come to the wedding celebration. Everyone could come and feast with the king!

But here comes another twist: one guest is thrown out for being inappropriately dressed. He hadn’t even bothered to dress in his best clean clothes, in a way fitting for such an event. Like those originally invited, he had treated his king and his king’s invitation with indifference and disrespect, so he too was excluded.

So what is the point of the parable? It is summarized in v.14: Many are called, but few are chosen. (NASB)

God’s wedding invitation goes out to all. All may joyfully, freely celebrate with Him and enjoy His abundance. But not all are “chosen” – that is, not all will actually be allowed to taste the feast. Those who insult their King and arrogantly spurn His hospitality will never taste His provision.

The King’s invitation is free, but it carries conditions. We must realize that we have received an invitation from our Sovereign King, and respond with the respect due Him.

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