The king cordially invites you to the wedding of his son….will you come?
The invitations had been sent out days in advance, now the king sent out his servants to invite the guests again. One by one they refused.
Jesus said this is just like the way people respond to the Kingdom’s invitations which God has sent out (Matthew 22:1-2).
The first group simply “would not come” (Matthew 22:3). It was “against their will”. What a sad commentary against the Jews who simply refused Christ. Jesus said, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.”
Considering all that God was willing to do for us (Isaiah 53:10, “will of the Lord to crush him”) and all that God is not willing we endure (not willing that any should perish, 2 Peter 3:9), we should all be willing to come to His feast (John 3:16-17).
The second group “paid no attention” (Matthew 22:4-5). Perhaps this is even more rude than the first group! They did not even acknowledge either invitation. Like junk mail which receives only a glance before being thrown away, the King’s invitation received little nottice. The preacher in Hebrews 2:2-3 asked, “For if the word spoken by angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, ho will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” The word “neglect” in Hebrews 2:3 is the same word translated “paid no attention” in Matthew 22:5. It means “to have no care for; to neglect; to be unconcerned” (BDAG).
Much like the priest and the Levite who passed by on the other side of the road, the cross and empty tomb are passed by without regaurd to their clarion call for action. God help us to be moved by the love and sacrifice of Jesus!
The third group “mistreated and killed” the servants (Matthew 22:6). This is represented in the previous Parable of the Landowner as well: Matthew 21:38. It was a clear indictment of the Jews who persectuted the prophets because they had rejected God. Jesus also warned his disciples that they would share the same fate as the prophets (Matthew 21:35; 23:37).
They had not rejected the individuals preaching so much as they had rejected the God who they were preaching. It is no wonder Paul admonished Timothy to “preach the Word. Be instant in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:3). The time when “they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires” is now (2 Timothy 4:3).
Jesus’ conclusion was that all these were “unworthy.” They had been invited. God wanted them. However, they”judged themselves unworthy. Paul had the same experience with the Jews who refused Christ and said, “It was necessary that the Word of God be spoken to you first; since you repudiate it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles” (Acts 13:46).
What a sad commentary upon those for whom Jesus died. Salvation is full and free, yet the mulltitudes reject life in exchange for the fleeting glory of this dying world. Too many judge themselves unworthy, while God has done everything to make us worthy. Colossians 1:12 says, God “qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.” 2 Corinthians 3:5-6 says, “Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anythying s coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills but the Spirit gives life.”
The king then commanded the servants to “go to the main roads and invite to the wedding as many as you find” (Matthew 22:9). The Jews rejected Christ. Many reject Christ even now. This rejection doesnt defeat the mission of God. Their rejection only highlights the urgency of the Great Comission. Let us go into the highways and compel them to come in.
The entry and acceptance of the invitation, however, does not exclude one from proper behavior at the wedding. While our society has determined that we should always “come as we are”, proper dress is still proper manners. As the king looked over the crowd, “he saw there a man who had no wedding garment and said to him, Friend how did you get in here without a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.”
The message is still pertanant to us. Will we respond to the invitation? Will be judge ourselves worthy? Wll we be judged unworthy by God? Have you put on the appopriate garments for being a Christian? Galatians 3:25-27. Have you put on the full armor of God?