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The Parable of the Marriage Feast

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. So 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, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

“But when the king came in 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, friend?’ The man was speechless.

“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.’

“For many are invited, but few are chosen.”

Matthew 22: 1 – 14

Jesus was the culmination of many generations of prophets who had tried to point Israel/Judah back to God but failed. Moses, Elijah, Jeremiah, Isaiah, etc., they all tried to connect their nation to God and succeeded for a while but ultimately failed. Jesus himself was disgusted at how the Pharisees would not respond to God’s call. They were far too interested in keeping the trappings of power to risk them. That is why he went out and spent time with the downtrodden, the outcasts and the rejects of society.

If you or I are more concerned about what we might lose than reaching people and seeing them come to God, then we have our priorities wrong. What in this world is more important than a soul being saved for all eternity? What are we hanging onto so tightly that frankly we can’t take with us anyway?

God is a gracious and generous God who holds out the gift of Jesus to any and all comers. However, people have to accept that gift and if they don’t then that is their choice but there are implications for that. Jesus makes that clear when talking of the person not dressed in wedding clothes.

The good thing is God’s grace appears to be offered unconditionally so even though someone might reject it today, it will be offered anew tomorrow. There is always hope.

Prayer: Jesus thank you for your generosity. I weep when I think of how many people in this world reject you. Thank you that every new day you hold out your hands and offer the gift of faith. Please help more and more people to see how good a gift it is and to reach out to take it.

Action: Pray for those you love who have not yet embraced God’s gift.

This Thought was written by Norman Smith