Tuesday 2 September, 2014

Matthew 22:1-14

22 Jesus told them more stories. He said, 2 “Here is what the kingdom of heaven is like. A king prepared a wedding dinner for his son. 3 He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the dinner. The servants told them to come. But they refused. 4 “Then he sent some more servants. He said, ‘Tell those who were invited that I have prepared my dinner. I have killed my oxen and my fattest cattle. Everything is ready. Come to the wedding dinner.’ 5 “But the people paid no attention. One went away to his field. Another went away to his business. 6 The rest grabbed his servants. They treated them badly and then killed them. 7 “The king became very angry. He sent his army to destroy them. They killed those murderers and burned their city. 8 “Then the king said to his servants, ‘The wedding dinner is ready. But those I invited were not fit to come. 9 Go to the street corners. Invite to the dinner anyone you can find.’ 10 So the servants went out into the streets. They gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad. Soon the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11 “The king came in to see the guests. He noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man couldn’t think of anything to say. 13 “Then the king told his servants, ‘Tie up his hands and feet. Throw him outside into the darkness. Out there people will sob and grind their teeth.’ 14 “Many are invited, but few are chosen.”

This is one gutsy parable – Jesus is speaking with boldness before the people He is identifying in the parable as the ones who were invited but not responding!  Many want a feel good story of God opening heaven to all – no matter what.  The cry is to be tolerant, inclusive to let everyone in.  We recoil from judgment even judgement on the wicked, and as for holiness that’s for ‘super-saints’ isn’t it?  What of weeping and gnashing of teeth?  It really is in your face!

So how do I respond?  I find myself chastened by God to ensure I tell it like it is – even when those around me need to hear some tough truth.  I find myself grappling again with the truth that not all are going to be in heaven and I have responsibility to help those who are seeking Jesus to find Him – that they may see in me just who He is in His magnificence!  I am reminded that not everyone who claims to be a Christian is and that I need to ensure my claim to faith has the evidences of faith.

Father you are just, merciful and true.  You don’t just let things go – You do call me and others to account.  So Father in your mercy enable me to keep short accounts with You – may I continually seek and live in Your forgiveness, Your will and Your ways.  Amen

Written by Ps. Richard Botta

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