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Summary: It’s unusual to get an invitation from the White House. I suppose it’s more unusual still to turn that invitation down. But a far greater invitation has, in fact, been offered to you and to me. Matthew 22:1-14 tells us about it. It is an invitation th

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January 15, 2006

YOU’RE INVITED! RSVP REQUIRED!

Matthew 22:1-14

In the mid-1980’s my Aunt Vivian received an invitation to attend a rose-garden ceremony with President Reagan at the White House. I found the invitation a couple of years ago when I was looking through a box of old documents and newspaper clippings. What shocked me is she didn’t go. You see, I’ve always been fascinated by the presidency—and especially the White House. I’d jump at the chance to meet the man we call “president.” I’d be thrilled to participate in a ceremony on the White House grounds. But those things just didn’t appeal to her. You see, the ceremony she was invited to marked the anniversary of her imprisonment by the Japanese during World War 2. And I suppose that was a part of her life she had no desire to relive.

It’s unusual to get an invitation from the White House. I suppose it’s more unusual still to turn that invitation down. But a far greater invitation has, in fact, been offered to you and to me. Matthew 22:1-14 tells us about it. It is an invitation that comes, not from an earthly ruler, but from the King of all Creation! And the glory into which He invites us far exceeds anything found at the White House or, for that matter, any palace found on earth. It’s God’s invitation to you and me to enter into His kingdom. Jesus reminds us of God’s invitation in the parable of the wedding feast. Follow as I read that parable found in Matthew 22:1-14.

Matthew 22:1-14 reads, Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come. Then he sent some more servants and said, “Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.”

But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, “The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.” So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. “Friend,” he asked, “how did you get in here without wedding clothes?” The man was speechless. Then the king told the attendants, “Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” For many are invited, but few are chosen.

“The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come…” It’s hard to read this parable and not think of the wedding supper of the Lamb described for us in Revelation 19:9. But I don’t think the wedding supper of the Lamb is the main focus of this story. With this parable, Jesus reminds the Jewish leaders, the people of Israel, and you and me that we’ve all been invited to dine at the banquet of God’s grace. And what a rich banquet it is! Listen to the king’s cry! In verse 4 he says, Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.


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