Summary: It was nice of God to invite us to this party. But the purpose of the party makes turning down the invitation very serious.

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Passage: Matthew 22:1-13

Intro: Throwing a party can be a dangerous thing.

1. because you can make great preparations, but if no one comes…

2. years ago we had a big Sunday to “kick off” our church. We had worked for weeks, sent out invitations, made thousands of phone calls.

3. never forget standing at the back door, waiting for the “crowd” that never came.

4. we have watched the intensifying proclamation of Jesus to the Jews, and specifically their religious leaders.

5. and the parable we have before us sums it all up.

6. but not just directed at them. It is for everyone.

7. because in this parable, Jesus lays out very plainly the purpose of God, the reason for urgency, and what God requires of those who come.

I. A Gracious Invitation with a Purpose

1. don’t forget the context! The confrontation of unbelief is very pointed.

2. v2 is very specific, don’t miss it

3. “kingdom of heaven” is like a king

4. who would be the king of the kingdom of heaven? God!

5. and He has a son, whom He desires to honor.

6. so He has prepared a “wedding banquet for his son”

7. parents with older kids understand the emotional investment here.

8. child has grown up, found a spouse, we are proud of him and want to honor them.

9. so we throw a party! And we invite people to come for the purpose of honoring our kid.

10. wedding banquets at this time lasted for many days.

Il) in our day, we substitute money for time, Clintons spent $5 million on Chelseas wedding.

Il) . this particular wedding banquet even had a “save the date” v3

11. “those who had been invited”= perfect tense.

12. invitation had been sent out previously for the people to be ready to come when the word was given. No excuses!

13. this king is going to honor His son, and called others to do the same.

14. the connection to Jesus is very clear, and to the Jews. All those promises, all that prophecy!

II. The Day of Decision

1. v3, a group of servants goes out to call them to come, but they “refused”=”kept on refusing”

2. another group goes out in v4, now the verb tenses get really interesting

3. perfect tense all over, means a past action with ongoing impact.

4. watch this! “those who had been invited”-people who had been given a “save the date” card.

5. tell them, “the date has arrived!”

6. in fact, there is an urgency involved at this point.

7. “I have prepared”=perfect tense.

8. animals “have been butchered”=perfect

9. everything is ready.

Il) “come and get it! Dinnertime! Wash up!”

“It’s better when it’s hot.”

10. this is in a day without refrigeration.”I have invested a great deal to honor my son, and I command you to come and celebrate with Me! Come! Now!”

11. decision time is here. Vote with your feet about you feel about my Son..and Me!

12. twice he sends out this call, but the increased urgency only results in intensifying resistance.

13. some “shrug it off”, go about their normal routine

Il) get an evite on FB, just ignore it

14. others much more hostile.

15. “mistreat”=”treatment that is calculated to publicly insult or opening humiliate the person who suffers.”

16. as we saw last week, this rejection of grace ended with the crucifixion of the son!

17. they knew the claim: “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Living God?”

18. and the rejection of the invitation to honor the son has grave consequences.

PP Psalm 2:10-12

19. brothers and sisters, God has made His son the decision point Jesus has said it!

PP John 6:29

20. the Jews dishonored Jesus and so dishonored God

21. and if we reject the grace of God found in the giving of His son, then we have nothing left but His wrath.

22. this is the clear message of the Bible to the Jews. It is unmistakable.

III. A Broader Invitation With the Same Purpose

1. the language changes dramatically in v8ff

2. the rejection of grace has brought wrath

3. and it has also extended the invitation very broadly

4. no more “save the date”

5. now just an open invitation to anyone and everyone. No limits.

6. Jew and Gentile, good and bad

7. a beautiful picture of the wonderful grace of God, inviting everyone to honor His Son.

8. people again have a choice, but the hall is filled with people who have responded to come and honor the Son.

9. but there was a problem in v11

10. “to see”=purpose verb. There is a little inspection/evaluation going on.

12. one guy is dressed inappropriately.

13. and the context gives us the clue as to what the problem is, because there are many theories.

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