Scripture Reading: Job 25:1-29:25 / Matthew 21:33-22:14 / Psalm 18:7-15
Weddings are often major events that require a great deal of time, planning, attention and money. The wedding ceremony is one of the greatest acts of covenant that a man and woman can make. Both pledge their love, heart and faithfulness to each other before God and everyone in attendance. It is a very significant time that is to be honored and celebrated.
It seems more people enjoy celebrating the wedding than attending the wedding ceremony. More show up for a wedding reception than the wedding itself. Usually family and close friends make every effort to attend the wedding ceremony and others simply opt for the reception. This was usually not an issue during biblical times because the marriage order was reversed as the wedding feast was before the wedding ceremony.
Jesus shares a parable of a King who invited guests to attend his son’s wedding. To receive a special wedding invitation from the king was a great honor. Today, reception expenses and hall sizes often determine the number of wedding invitees. We should not look lightly on the wedding invitations we receive yet there is an invitation from a certain King that is to be valued and cherished above all.
Jesus said, “He went his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.” (Matthew 22:3) More servants were sent and told the guests that the dinner was prepared, “my oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.” (v.4)
They were invited to rest on the princely couch, shelter under the King’s roof, eat at the King’s table and fellowship with the privileged guests. In the east, an original invitation was given and followed by reminders as the day approached. To the dismay of the King, the guests rejected his invitation and viewed it as insignificant. The invitees even mistreated the King’s servants by beating, ridiculing and killing them. It was a complete rejection and rebellion of the invitation.
The Kings anger was kindled, the murderers were killed and their city was destroyed. They were unworthy of the invitation so the King sent his messengers to “the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.” (v.9) There are those today who reject the invitation to come to the wedding feast of redemption. Like Israel, they are defiant towards His grace, mercy and love. Thankfully the invitation has been sent to the world and to you and to me!
All guests were given festive robes to wear but one guest did not wear his. The man was quickly discovered for his hypocrisy and expelled from the feast. It’s not enough just to respond to the invitation; we must lay hold of His righteousness. Your name is on the guest list, have you responded? Better yet… are you dressed?