Summary: Who is worthy to enter the kingdom of God?
Matthew 22: 1 – 14 / Worthy or Not
Intro: Cell phones have become an integral part of our society so much so that many people no longer have “land lines.” They rely totally on their cell phone. We see them everywhere and hear them ring, vibrate or play a cute tune or two. I’ve noticed something interesting. When the phone rings, people look to see who it is and in a split second decide whether they will answer or ignore. Whether the call is answered or not, someone is worthy of our time or not.
I. VS. 5 – “But they paid no attention and went off – one to his field, another to his business.”
A. The invited guests politely ignored the king’s invitation. They had excuses that, to them, were probably very legitimate. In Luke 14: 15 – 24 the same parable is told with greater detail as to the excuses offered. (bought field, bought oxen, got married)
B. An Arabian fable tells of a man who went to his neighbor to borrow a rope. “I can’t lend it, because I am using it to tie up a pile of sand.” “But, you can’t tie up a pile of sand with a rope.” “Oh yes, you can . . . in fact, you can do anything with a rope when you do not wish to lend it to your neighbor.”
C. Today, a lot of people have hundreds of excuses for not being in the kingdom of God when they should be. Often, we allow others to set our priorities for us because it is easier.
II. Why would anyone reject an opportunity to party? Why would anyone reject something free?
A. Our priorities, our choices determine the outcome of our lives. They are often between alternatives that appear on the surface to be equally attractive; but, they lead to totally different destinations.
B. We have always tried to mould God into what we want when we want it. We want our expectations met on our timetable and will choose when to listen and when to ignore.
C. VSS. 8 – 10 Others were invited. The wedding banquet was not canceled! It went on as scheduled. --- Does this confirm the fact that God doesn’t care if we respond or not? (SEE VS. 7 – The king was enraged !)
III. VSS. 11 – 12 The king came to see how the banquet was going and spotted a guest inappropriately dressed.
A. It seems a trivial thing; but, it’s not. Accepting an invitation means accepting the terms of the invitation.
B. This guy thought he could come to the king’s feast on his own terms, thinking his own clothes were good enough. Forget about what the king wanted or had provided for the occasion. BUT, it is not about the clothes . . . it’s about the attitude!
C. Here, the terms are being clothed in the king’s garments suitable for a wedding feast.
Conclu: Jean Calvin commented here referring to Romans 13:14 and Galatians 3:27 which say because we are baptized into Christ, we must be clothed with Christ. The wedding guest who is cast into outer darkness (SEE VS.13) receives this judgment because he has refused to be clothed with Christ.
A lot of people want to be a part of the “feast” but they don’t want to submit themselves to God’s terms saying, “I don’t have to be “clothed” with Christ to be a good Christian.
Grace is freely given, situating us in God’s company by an act of loving election. As a consequence, we are obliged to live as God’s people.
Worthy or not, we are invited. The choice to respond to the king’s invitation is ours to make and the consequences of our choice to bear.