Matthew 22 begins, “the Kingdom of Heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son”
You know, in the grand scheme of the Godhead, I don’t fully understand the “Oneness of God” and yet that he is Revealed to us as “Father, Son, and Spirit.” It is truly beyond our understanding, yet it is not beyond our believing and embracing.
A deeper thing then is the relationship between “The Father” and “The Son”. What is this relationship between two self-existing, eternal beings of the Godhead?
Well, I do not have to understand it to embrace it. I also do not have to understand the “how” and the “why” in order to understand the “what”.
God is not a man or a woman, but he IS Father. And Jesus is The Son. And in this revelation, God is giving us something that we CAN understand, something we can embrace and a Mission Objective that we can strive to accomplish.
The Objective: A Father/King is preparing a Wedding Banquet for his Son.
What a sentence to encompass all of Human History, the Human part of God’s Story: A Father is preparing a wedding banquet for his son.
The Unfolding of Human History is about making provision for this thing that God is doing.
So, there must be a Groom. There must be a Bride. There must be Guests. There must be a Dowry paid. There must be a Ceremony. There must be a Celebration
John 14 tells us that Jesus is preparing a place. He is clearly the groom, the son of the king. Right now he has gone to his Father’s House to make preparations for his bride.
So, in the New Testament, The Church is the Bride being prepared for the son.
John the Baptist understood it. He said in John 3, “I’m just the friend of the groom …” he recognized that his job was to make preparation and then get out of the way
There are then in this story from Matthew 22, “those who have been invited to the banquet”. I believe that is the people of Israel. They are primarily the honored guests at this banquet. We see it in the book of Revelation chapter 19. I believe the Faithful of Israel are those who have been blessed to be invited to the Banquet for the King’s Son. Israel has always known the story of the coming of the Messiah and the inclusiveness of the Gentiles. They have been invited, but as Jesus delivered this message, he says “They refused to come” v3. This is more about the individuals like the Pharisees and Leaders who refused to embrace Christ.
So, in verse 4 another invitation goes out. Maybe they didn’t understand that This Is A Big Deal. He tells them “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, it says some “went off one to their field, one to his business”
Lord forgive us for having too much to do and missing what you are doing.
It goes on that they “seized his servants, mistreated, and killed them.”
Study the treatment of God’s prophets as they proclaimed his message, Biblically and Historically.
verse 7 says that he sent armies to judge them, and he did through pagan nations like Babylonia.
Then verse 8 he says “The wedding banquet is ready … the invited did not deserve to come”
So the instruction: “Go To the street corners and invite anyone you find”
The word “anyone” here means “if anyone, whatever, wherever, whenever, anyone”. There is no exclusivity … there were first invitees, with special honors, but now the King says Invite ANYONE.”
so verse 10, “So they went out to the streets and gathered …”
“went out” is the word exerchomai = to go, but also to pass away … It also looks like our word “exercise” –
“Gathered” is the word synago where we get the word synagogue
In order to go for Christ, we need to DIE to Self and follow … Jesus taught us that. And Paul taught us we are to be crucified with Christ. So as we die to self, we must Go and we must DO – exercise is action … Mission is Action
We GO – that’s obedience toward God
We Gather – that’s obedience toward People
We go, exercise our faith, and synagogue, gather, people together around the invitation to the banquet. We certainly should be gathering people, synago, but, If we are gathering people and not inviting them to the Wedding Banquet of the King’s Son … then we have Mission, our Commission.
Then Jesus says they gathered both good and bad … our job is not to “weed out” the ones we don’t think deserve to be invited, only the worthy, the respectable, the privileged, our job is simple to gather.
Regardless of your theological position on salvation, soteriology, The Call of God for his servants is to Go and Gather. Let God do the sorting out of the chosen. I believe it was D. James Kennedy, who said, “God’s job is to do the electing, I’m just on the nominating committee.”
v9 “and the wedding hall was filled”
There is our focus … this is not about us, This is about the Celebration of the Wedding of the Son of the King. Don’t we want the place to be filled?
You know we are inviting people to the banquet … but as most illustrations break down eventually, we realize that we are inviting people to salvation in Jesus Christ, and if they come and embrace Christ, they become part of the Bride.
Well, what a more beautiful picture than this. A beautiful maiden, longing for the one she loves … she’s invited to a lavish wedding celebration. She arrives, they take her and she is dressed in the finest of clothes and then she is escorted into the Hall, only to find that:
SHE IS THE BRIDE!
What a story
What a Kingdom
The King is preparing a wedding celebration for his Son
Let’s Take It To The Streets