Summary: How should we go about inviting people to come to Christ?
Jesus enjoyed parties. His very first miracle was at a wedding feast. When He called Matthew to follow Him, He went to Matthew’s house for a party. So it’s not surprising, when the religious leaders criticized Him, they said He went to too many parties, attended by wrong people.
“The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’” - Luke 7:34 (NIV)
We can be like the Pharisees and forget how Jesus compared God’s invitation to be part of His kingdom to a king inviting subjects to a party. And as a result, we lose our own joy from being part of a great party and our enthusiasm for inviting others joining us. My hope is this series will be used to restore own joy and reinvigorate our passion.
Chapter 21 says what led to this parable. Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. He entered the Temple and looked around. The next day, Monday, He returned to Jerusalem and ran the moneychangers out of the Temple. The next day, Tuesday, He returned, and the religious leaders asked where He got His authority. In reply, Jesus shared three parables: one about two sons, another about a landowner and his tenants; and a third about a party invitation. (READ TEXT)
1. Prophecy about Israel - vs. 1-7
In light of the religious leaders’ rejection, Jesus prophesied about what would befall the nation. Let’s make note of the players here:
A. The King - God.
B. The Son - Jesus.
C. The Wedding Feast - marriage supper of the Lamb.
“Then the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ And he added, ‘These are the true words of God.’” - Revelation 19:9 (NIV)
D. The King’s Servants - the Prophets, and certainly, the Apostles.
E. Those invited - Israel and the religious leaders. Not all the Jews rejected in Jesus of course. The disciples were Jews. But many did.
“He came to his own people, and even they rejected him.” - John 1:11 (NLT)
F. Their city - Jerusalem, destroyed in 70 A.D.
G. The army - The Roman army that destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D.
2. Protocol for the church - vs. 8-14
“Protocol” speaks of the proper way to do things. An example might be a wedding, since this parable is about an invitation to a wedding feast.
If you do a search online, you’ll find several of sites informing you about proper wedding etiquette and protocol.
There’s a right way and a wrong way to do almost anything associated with a wedding - from sending invitations, to who pays for the wedding, to which side of the auditorium which family sits, to who comes down the aisle, with whom and when, etc., etc., etc. Admittedly, wedding protocol has changed through the years, and people are doing things differently, but there are still some things considered to only be done right if they’re done a certain way.
In the same way, when it comes to the church inviting people to enter the kingdom and celebrate the Son, there are two protocols emphasized in this parable. If we’re going to invite people to the party, we must . . .
A. Make the invitation clear - vs. 11-14
Just as a party invitation makes clear what the proper dress is for the occasion, the invitation we are called to extend to a world separated from God by sin is that we must come to God through Christ.
“And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.” - Galatians 3:27 (NLT)
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” - John 14:6 (NIV)
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” - Acts 4:12 (NIV)
“You believe in God; believe also in me.” - John 14:1 (NIV)
One is allowed into the party only through faith in Jesus Christ. That is why we must clearly present the Gospel to people.
We’re sinners, separated from God. The penalty is so great, we can’t pay it ourselves. So God rescued us in the person of Jesus Christ. Who lived a sinless life, and died on a cross, where He fully paid the penalty for the world’s sin.
He proved He’d fully paid sin’s penalty by being raised from the dead and has ascended to heaven, where by His Holy Spirit, He calls us to acknowledge Him as our one and only Savior. When we do, we benefit from the forgiveness provided by the cross. We enter into a personal relationship with God and become citizens of His kingdom forever. Jesus says “Many are invited, but few are chosen.” The King chose to invite “anyone we can find.” But only those who respond appropriately are allowed into the party. The chosen choose the Son.