Friday, October 14, 2011

God's Kingdom

Jesus is telling another story, a parable, about God's Kingdom. This isn't exactly a feel good story as Matthew writes it.

A king is throwing a wedding banquet, a lavish gala, for his son. He has invited all of his friends. But they aren't interested. They have better things to do than to get dressed up and go to a party. So, instead they mistreat the servants who brought the invitations. Some they beat up and some they killed

Of course the king didn't take this too well so he sent his soldiers to wipe them off the face of the earth. He didn't want to leave any trace of their existence.

Since the table was set and everything was ready he instructed his servants to go out to the busiest intersections and invited everyone they saw to the party.

That's what they did and the room was soon filled with happy voices. These weren't the beautiful people; these were the commoners who labored hard every day to provide for their families.

Here they were enjoying the best cuisine prepared by the greatest chefs wearing the latest designer fashions. Who would have ever imagined that they would be allowed to attend the wedding banquet for the king's son?

And yet, there was one who sneaked in with the others just to enjoy the meal but not wanting to get dressed in the finery provided by the king. There's always someone who thinks they can participate in the festivities without abiding by the rules.

So, what is this parable saying for us as we listen to God's word? Who is this king who annihilates those who refuse to come to his party? Who are those who refuse to attend? Who are those who are invited from the streets? Who is the one who isn't wearing the right clothes?

Matthew wrote this gospel for the Jewish people, those who'd rejected Jesus. He wrote to show them how Jesus the Christ was the fulfillment of the prophecies written of in the Hebrew Bible.

The “king” is God. His son is Jesus the Christ. Those who refused to attend the banquet are the religious leaders who refused to repent and believe in Jesus as the Messiah.

They are the ones who mistreated and killed God's servants, his prophets who came preaching God's words of love, God's warnings, God's forgiveness, and the prophecy of the One who would come and save them from themselves and their sin.

Those who were finally invited to the banquet when the chosen ones refused to come were the Gentiles, the tax collectors, the s, the fishermen, and carpenters. Because the chosen ones rejected the invitation God chose to call everyone to the banquet table. He chose to call you and me.

The final decision is ours. God has called us. God has given us his grace and we must decide whether we will choose to answer his call. We must choose whether we will clothe ourselves in Christ and come to the banquet table. The choice is ours to make. God calls. He doesn't force us or coerce us into making this decision.

So, how will we answer his call today? Will be repent and put on Christ and join our sisters and brothers at the Table?

Friends, God has given us his grace, his love, in Jesus Christ. He loves us and calls us to join him. God loves you my friends and so do I. Thanks be to God. Amen.

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