Matthew 22:1-14 (NIV)
The Parable of the Wedding Banquet
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 So 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, the bad as well as the good, 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 He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ 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.”
Luke 23:34-35 (MSG)
34 Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.” Dividing up his clothes, they threw dice for them. 35 The people stood there staring at Jesus, and the ringleaders made faces, taunting, “He saved others. Let’s see him save himself! The Messiah of God—ha! The Chosen—ha!”
As a parent, I’ve lost it a few (many [to many]) times whenthe boundaries get crossed. There are just some things kids aren’t supposed to do. Mates aren’t supposed to do. I’m not supposed to do. Imagine if we had a crystal ball and knew what the reaction would be before we made choices.
Well, my kids were clueless when they made choices they knew I’d be upset about? Ummm, no. They knew. I’ve done things to piss off my wife. Was I clueless? Maybe once. It’s the risk/reward thing. That’s what God is talking about. The risk though is eternal. It’s not being banished to the timeout stool for eternity. It’s not the belt or hairbrush. It’s about being separated from God forever.
We kill the messengers, the servants, The Word. We kill it overtly by, well, just killing it. Atheists and PC, not to mention Christians who aren’t followers of Christ (the guy without the proper clothes in the parable – he’s the Christian that you can’t tell apart from the rest of the world) string it up, mock it, brutalize it, and split the spoils. We kill it by not doing. We kill it 1,000 ways each day.
The parable is powerful. It shows God’s expectations and consequences. It’s real.
We’re invited. Will you accept the invitation and put on the proper clothes?
1 Peter 1:13-16 (MSG)
13-16 So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, “I am holy; you be holy.”