Summary: This parable opens up the generosity of God’s grace to a world of sinners who wants nothing to do with it.

October 9, 2005 Matthew 22:1-14

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.

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.

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.’

14 "For many are invited, but few are chosen." (NIV)

I wouldn’t be surprised if most of you have “Daytimers” or monthly calendars that you display in order to plan for upcoming events. Usually you don’t put the every day events like school or work on these things. Those are taken for granted. What we’re talking about are the big things - the big game or concert that you bought tickets for, the deadline for quarterly taxes, or the date your term paper is due. These are what we would consider “big dates” that we definitely don’t want to miss. So we put them on our calendar.

There’s one Day that you won’t be able to miss whether it is on your calendar or not. It is the Day that Jesus comes for the Final Judgment. Revelation 1:7-8 says, “Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” Prior to this Day, like with a big wedding, God sends out invitations. Sometimes God compares us to the actual Bride. Today Jesus likens us to the guests. Like with any wedding, God sends out invites. These aren’t in the form of Hallmark Cards or e-mails, but they are out there. You’ve been invited too.

You’ve Been Invited to the Wedding Banquet

I. As seen from those invited in the parable

Weddings take a tremendous amount of time, money, and effort to prepare for - at least the big ones do. By the time you get the wedding hall, the cake, the tuxedos, the wedding dress, the order of service, and the limo all lined up, most married couples are absolutely exhausted and actually eager for the big day to be done. In preparation for the big wedding banquet the servants are supposed to say, `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.’ The picture that this parable draws of salvation is tremendously comforting. EVERYTHING is ready. The FATTENED cattle and oxen have been sacrificed. The meat is hot. It’s been sauteed perfectly. There’s an absolutely huge table ready to feed millions of people. This is symbolic of Jesus - of course. Galatians 4:4-5 says, “when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.” After years and years of preparation and making sure that the time was right, God was finally ready to set into course of action the salvation of the world. Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost. After approximately thirty three years of life on this earth, the sacrifice was ready to be made. Hebrews 10 describes this sacrifice -

(Jesus) said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” . . And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

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