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Summary: Looking at Jesus' parable of the wedding banquet, and what he’s saying about accepting his invitation to biggest wedding banquet of all time

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INTRO

 Tell Phil’s story about how he can’t wait until he gets to heaven’s banquet.

 Talk about Keegan and Amanda’s wedding.

 This morning, we’re going to look at a time when Jesus told the parable of the wedding banquet, and what he’s saying about accepting his invitation to biggest wedding banquet of all time, and what that means for us today. With that, please turn to the Gospel according to Matthew 22:1–14. This can be found on pp. 1534 of the pew Bible.

SET THE STAGE -- TELL THE STORY, AROUND THE STORY

All this takes place in the last week of Jesus’ life. Before we get started, let me just put it out there that this isn’t the most uplifting story and lesson for us to hear. However, if we look for it, there’s an uplifting message within the message, and we’ll end on a good note.

 1st Day -- overturning money tables at the temple (21:12-17)

 Day two showdown

 Cursing of the fig tree (represents Israel’s prosperity or lack there-of)

 Back at the Temple: Matthew 21:23—23:34. Starts when the authority of Jesus Questioned — “by what authority are you doing these things…” (Matt 21:23)

 Talk about how Jesus responded with a rhetorical question…. Their answer to Jesus sets the stage for the remainder of their back and forth with Jesus.

 Jesus speaks to all these groups in one setting by telling the parables

 Two Vineyard parables (vineyard is a symbol for all Irsrael)

 Parable of the Wedding Banquet -- brings us to the bulk of our time this morning.

INVITATIONS, RSVP IGNORED

 READ VV1-7

 King prepares a banquet for his son. King=Father, son=Jesus; Royal banquet preparations — last-step just before the wedding was to take place. But the invited guests hadn’t RSVP’d

 Invitations were probably ignored. Verb (καλέω) -- meaning to call upon or invite -- is past tense: they had already received their invitations.

 King sent his servants to go and remind the invitees, but they refused to come.

 He sends out even more, but the invited guests blew them off too -- they made excuses as to why they couldn’t come (paid no attention, some working, playing, etc.)

 And then, if this weren’t bad enough, the invited guests put the beat-down on the messengers. The old adage of “don’t kill the messenger” rings true in this case.

 Today, it would be like a wedding party sending out formal invitations with RSVP’s, but not getting the RSVP’s back. You try all to do all you can, but your best friends and family ignore you and decide not to come to the most important day in your life -- a slap in the face.

 If I were I king, and got slapped in the face, I’d probably become a bit irate too.

 The king becomes furious and sends his army to destroy “those murderers” and their city (notice the word “those” -- to say “those people” today is considered insulting -- probably was then too.)

 This was a prophetic utterance concerning Jerusalem destruction in 70 AD by Rome under Caesar Titus and his general Tiberius.

BANQUET INVITATIONS FOR ALL

 READ VV8-10

 King sends out more servants to get the word out —invite everyone: rich or poor, good or bad. Jesus says the original guests weren’t deserving of their invitations.

 So, the servants go out and “shout it out from the rooftops.” They tell everybody they can about this great wedding feast...

 Notice the language being used -- they gathered all the people they could. It’s like Jesus is saying that they king told his servants to go “door-to-door”, and personally bring people to the wedding feast.

 They people weren’t just invited to come, they were escorted to the wedding banquet.

 It didn’t matter who they are, what they’ve done in life to this point -- how good or bad they’ve been — they’re all invited. Status means nothing, just accept the invitation and come expecting, and to come dressed accordingly -- we’ll get to that in a bit.

 This part of Jesus story is like the rainbow in the clouds with an unseen benefit. This part of his story is the good news of the Gospel. Explain what he’s saying here for all of us

 And while this is good news, there’s a warning in there for us, as it was for the Pharisees.

WHAT NOT TO WEAR

 READ VV11-14

 Craig Keener writing in the IVP Bible Background Commentary suggests, “Even commoners knew better than to attend a royal feast without appropriate attire; this would be a sign of insolent disrespect to the host. Philippians 2:21 says, “For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ”

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