Today’s post is written by my friend, Pam. Be sure and stop by *her blog!* You will love her.
Matthew 22:1-10 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying; “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.
“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.’
“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 sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
“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.”
I love that Jesus compared the kingdom of heaven to the happy occasion of a wedding banquet. It’s an event where all you have to do is say yes to the invitation and show up with a hearty appetite, a smile on your face, and a sense of expectation. After all, it’s catered by the King Himself!
Aren’t you glad that Jesus didn’t say, “The kingdom of heaven is like a country club—with the proper name and credentials, proof of a six figure income, and three letters of recommendation from celebrities, CEO’s or congressmen, you may submit your application for membership?
Actually, that probably would have made the religious leaders He was speaking to pretty happy. They had worked long and hard for their positions of respect and authority, and they viewed their “in” with God as an exclusive right.
But here was Jesus using yet another parable to point out that the kingdom of heaven was really and truly about one thing—the King’s invitation to come celebrate and honor His Son. Jesus offered the invitation to the people of His day, including those bent on destroying Him, and He offers it to us today.
But just like the religious leaders 2000 years ago, we have a tendency to complicate this simple message. Maybe because we live in a world where nothing comes from nothing and everyone knows that you get what you pay for, we try to put conditions on His invitation.
As if what He is really saying is, “Come to Me when you get your act together and are more deserving of my gifts.” Or to those who would over look the invitation out of sheer busyness, “Come to Me when you can pencil Me into your crazy schedules….Have your people call My people.”
Jesus’ message is simply to come, right now just as we are. He’ll take care of the rest, from clothing us with righteousness to giving us the mind of Christ. And while He’s at it, He’ll teach us what it means to be in the world but not of it, having already become citizens of the kingdom of heaven. All He asks is that we say, “Yes!” to the King and come celebrate His Son.
Thank you, Father, for your invitation to come to Your Son. We come with no merit of our own, but with praise, thanksgiving, and great expectation of a joyous celebration.