Summary: God is throwing a huge party and you’re invited. The only way you get in is by special invitation and by putting on wedding clothes. At the same time the world demands your loyalty and is having a party of it’s own - so which party do you want to go to?
As a reporter I often got to go places that others didn’t. Sometimes it was to places others wouldn’t want to go – like behind police lines or maybe to Iceland. But there were also times when you felt privileged – like being able to meet a president or former president. I remember when President George H.W. Bush came to town we all got invited in while no one else was there.
The odd feeling came later – when all the big wigs would arrive, all the movers and shakers – the people that ought to be there. And sometimes I would think that some official would come walking up to me and say "Hey – you don’t look like you belong here – get out!" That never happened – but the feeling was the same – I’m somewhere I don’t belong because I have a special place that I don’t deserve.
The question is – is that how we feel when we get a special invitation to join God’s party? Or do we feel like "you should be privileged to have me in your midst"? And it begs the question – which invitation impresses you the most – the one the world offers to serve it’s kings – or the one God offers?
Let’s find out.
22:1 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2 "The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.
4 "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.’
5 "But they paid no attention and went off-one to his field, another to his business. 6 The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. 7 The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
Those invited to a wedding feast actually got two invitations – one inviting them to come, the second telling them that all was ready. The people were rejecting the second invitation after accepting the first.
Servants delivering the gospel receive rejection – both passive (not accepting the invitation) and active (abuse). Yet we must be faithful to give the invitation.
8 "Then he said to his servants, ’The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. 9 Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ 10 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.
"good and bad" means the servants didn’t discriminate based on social standing reputation, or moral character.
Paul wrote to the Corinthian church: 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
God does not discriminate against us based on who we are – because "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" we are all equally bad, and He offers salvation equally.
Make no mistake – there will be a wedding hall filled with guests one day.
Revelation 19:9 Then the angel said to me, "Write: ’Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’" And he added, "These are the true words of God."
After everyone who will has come into the church, receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior – God will collect us up from the highways and byways of the earth and we’ll enter a glorious banquet with Jesus, our groom. Also know, that there will be those who refuse to answer the invitation – as the Jewish establishment did at Jesus time. Don’t miss this party – ‘cause the other party going on at that time won’t be any fun at all!
But in this story – not everyone who came to the banquet was welcome.
11 "But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12’Friend,’ he asked, ’how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless.
13 "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.’