Summary: A simple short sermon for our Older Folk’s Service.
The Parable of the Wedding Banquet. Mt 22:1-14
WBC "Silver Service" 2 Mar 2006
I just love this parable! But it’s a sad one, as well
Basically- it’s a parable about God’s invitation to His Son’s wedding banquet
- and the wedding banquet symbolises "Salvation"
But at the start of it you get a feel for God’s feelings
The way these banquets happened was
- invitations would go out- and be accepted
o (particularly if it was from the King!)
- then subsequent invites/reminders would go out… to build excitement
o "it’s nearly time to come"
o "the fattened cattle have been killed! Can you smell the BBQ"
- …. So everyone would come, excited!
But here- they accept the first invite. Promise to come. But when the reality comes
- they renege on their promises
- slap THE KING in the face
- show huge disrespect (I have a field to attend to, a business)
o …. Callousness
I guess it’s all of our story, a bit. It’s certainly mine
- I promised to follow the Lord when I was a child
- But by the age of 15 I had changed my mind
o Went searching for the banquet elsewhere
God’s grace brought me back
- but I wonder how true it is of many- renege on promises and then wander lonely and lost
Tragic thing is, here (and you can feel the pain)- it’s even worse. They kill the messengers
- (actually, they even kill the Son, Himself)
But their loss is our gain. "Their" being the Jews, of course, who originally sought God and accepted his invitation- but when the Saviour came rejected Him
It’s our gain because now the
… goes out to us
People who weren’t even looking for God. Gentiles (who were certainly primitive and casual in their concept/searching for God)
- those who don’t deserve to come
- good and bad
What an incredible honour to be invited to the Feast of the King! When you are just hanging around in the streets!
- it is so fantastic!
- God invites you to share His party, presence and heaven. The life of His Son
Have you ever been invited to a lavish party?
- to Buckingham Palace?
- I thought I had an audience to meet the king of Lesotho, once- but he had to cancel (boy was I excited)
"the King of the Ages, and the creator of the Universe requests YOUR presence at a party in honour of His Son"
But here’s a fascinating thing.
The request/invite if free- but it’s not without its standards and responsibilities.
- it costs you nothing… but it cost the Kind the earth (His Son) and you can’t just breeze in or breeze out
The king goes to check up on His guests and finds one without wedding clothes
- traditionally white clothes (showing party and purity)
- just in his scruffs
And he queries him. The man is speechless
- because he realises he has been careless….
- Contemptuous, even
o Because everyone knew you put on your best for a wedding
o Not least the wedding of the King’s Son!
This person suddenly realises "I can’t come in on MY terms and conditions"
It’s extra contemptuous, as well. Now- I don’t know if this is true, as it doesn’t seem to be in tradition, but Augustine (4th C Bishop) said that garments would be provided on the side in case anyone couldn’t provide them, themselves!
- how lazy, slovenly, contemptuous is that!
- Whether it is true in practice or not- it’s certainly true in Christianity!
- The robes of righteousness are there… gleaming…. Shining… as gift on the side
o Paid for…. Washed in… the precious blood of the Son…
o The garments of grace. Covering my clothes… sin
…. All we have to do is put them on
Oh, hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
But put them on we must. There is no getting to the banquet without ’clothing yourself in Christ’…. accepting His sacrifice and what He’s done
- He is the way to heaven.
YOU are invited. Few choose it. Those who do- rejoice at the wedding banquet of the King!