226. Kingdom parable-6
PARABLE OF THE GREAT BANQUET.
"The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come ... they paid no attention and went off ... Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find. 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. But when the King came to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. He asked, 'how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' ... 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.'" (Matthew 22:2-14) The gospel is an invitation to all mankind to attend the wedding banquet God has prepared for his Son. But to some, a wedding party in heaven sounds like a joke, while to others, this parable is just another story. But it's not! 'Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude ... shouting: "Hallelujah! ... For the wedding of the Lamb has come and his bride has made herself ready ... Then the Angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!'" And he added, "These are the true words of God." (Revelation 19:6-9) The Jews were the ones who were naturally invited first being the family and friends of the groom 'but they paid no attention and went off - one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He send his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.' (Matthew 22:5-7) Now the invitation to attend the wedding banquet has been extended to the Gentiles, who too have become members of the same family. 'Through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.' (Ephesians 3:6) So "I say to you that many will come from the east, and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Issac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." ( Matthew 8:11-13) If Jews who are the subjects of the kingdom, will not be spared, how then can Gentiles who have now become subjects of Kingdom be spared for disobeying the gospel ? (Romans 11:21) If only those who have been clothed with the righteouness of Christ are going to be raptured to heaven before the tribulation, how then can any be found at the feast in heaven without having worn the wedding clothes? But to make it clear to his audience that none without the righteouness of Christ will be able to partake of the feast, Jesus added a twist to the parable by saying that one among the guests was found to be without his wedding clothes and was therefore thrown out. But none will be raptured to heaven and then be found lacking, rather many will try to enter heaven but will not be able to, because they were found lacking. "The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut." ( Matthew 25:10) Both the good and bad who have been invited are found in the Church, where they are being dressed up for heaven. Have we put on the righteouness of Christ ? Or else let's hurry up before it's too late to dress up for the wedding banquet. Amen.