Thursday, 22 August 2019
Are You Invited To Jesus' Wedding?
In Matthew Chapter 22:1-14 Jesus tells a parable about a king preparing a wedding feast for his son. He invites many guests who do not turn up, so eventually, he invites all the people his servants can find in the streets until the wedding hall is full of guests.
In this story, the King is God. And His Son getting married is Jesus; marrying His Church here on earth - this means everyone, you and I included.
We are all invited to God's Kingdom, but many don't answer the call. Some even respond violently to the invitation by beating and killing the messengers. The King responds accordingly.
At the end of this parable there's an intriguing bit. The King enters the hall full of guests and sees a man not wearing wedding clothes. He is angry with him and gets him tied up and thrown out into the street.
Now this seems rather harsh treatment for someone not wearing the right clothes. Until we stop and understand Jewish tradition.
Jesus was talking to the Jews who understood very well that there are special clothes to wear at weddings. Almost every family had such special clothes in case they were invited to a wedding; even the poor would either have such clothes or borrow some.
No one would dare go to a wedding without special clothes. Even more important, traditionally the host of the wedding also provided special garments for those who did not have any, so they can borrow them for the occasion. So it was more offensive to the King for this guest to wear no garment.
This guest in the parable just did not bother; he showed disrespect to the King and his son; and was thus thrown out.
I guess we can note the distinction between those invited guests who refused to attend and the one with no special clothing. Those first guests are the people who refuse to accept God and to love and follow Him. The guest with the wrong clothes are the people who half-heartedly accept God as an insurance policy ... just in case ... they do not really believe and follow God. Believers in name only.
But how about us? What are our special clothes for our entry into God's Kingdom in Heaven?
Our wedding clothes are our good deeds here on earth. Whatever we do for anyone in need, however small, constitutes our wedding clothes. "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." (Matthew 25:40).
It is just not enough to spend a lifetime on our knees praying, or going to church, if our deeds are far from what is expected of us as followers of Christ.
Jesus said, "Not everyone who calls me Lord will enter the Kingdom of God, but only those who do what my Father wants them to do". (Matthew 7:21).
In other words ... action not words.