An Invitation

September 7,  2014   Matthew 22:1 – 14    Minister While You Can     

 

Prayed for the lost?   Sharing the gospel this week   Stories   Jail Brentwood  Guy listen?  No 

 

     The father invited the Jews to come – Jesus invited them to come and the Spirit invited them to come.  All three witnesses were rejected.   This is a parable of judgment in a way.   The Father sent prophets.  The prophets were persecuted and killed.    He sent John the Baptist.   The leaders never really accepted John’s ministry.   In Matt 21 Jesus ask the leaders, was John’s baptism from heaven or from men.  They would not answer him for fear of the people.   They rejected John the Baptist ministry.  Herod beheaded John the Baptist.   Jesus came to his own and his own did not receive him John 1 tells us and later they cry crucify Jesus.   But let’s keep it in perspective.   It is my sin and your sin that cost Jesus his life.  But I want to talk about their rejection of God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit.     Many received and accepted but as a nation they rejected Jesus.   There was the witness of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and then the persecution that we see over and over in Acts.  Stephen is stoned to death in Acts 7.    Peter is jailed more than once.  In Acts 8 there is a great persecution and the church scatters and the gospel finds its way to Samaria.   Philip has a tremendous ministry.  The Jews reject the gospel and God moves the gospel further.  Jesus came to his own but his own did not receive him.  In Acts 10 the gospel goes to the gentiles not that we are worthy but God in His grace and desire for all to be saved moves it forward. 

    Matthew 21:45 and 46.  When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them.  They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.   Then in 22:2 Jesus says the Kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding.   So who is the king?   It is God.    He has prepared a wedding and God is inviting people.  God is inviting the Jews.  God through the scripture invites people to come.   Come unto me all that labor Jesus said.  In John he tells the people you will not come to me that you may have life.   At the end of Revelation we read the spirit and the bride say come.   God sought Adam.  Jesus said he chose the disciples and that they did not choose him.   From Genesis to Revelation it is God inviting.  Revelation 3:20 Jesus says to the church behold I stand at the door and knock.   He knocks Jesus knocks and he knocks.  I am here I am inviting and knocking.   He invites.   And I would say that Jesus again invites in this passage. 

        A wedding feast for a Kings son would be the feasts of feasts.  It would be elaborate.   It would be a royal wedding.   It is not a run of the mill meal deal.   It is get out the china the crystal the silver and the gold.   Only the finest food would be served.  There would be prestigious fellowship and company.   There will be plenty to eat.   Did you ever read about Solomon’s table for his palace in the Old Testament?   Every day for Solomon’s table they used 560 bushels of grain 30 head of cattle 100 sheep and goats plus a bunch of other food.  God will not be out done by Solomon.    

    It was a huge honor to be invited.  Normally at a kings wedding feast not everyone can come.   It would be for the upper class.   It was a great honor to be invited.   The king the supreme authority is doing the inviting.   The greatest power in the land is giving the invitation.   It is the highest authority and power who was inviting.   The king wants a big party for his son.   This is not a $100.00 wedding folks.   This is more like a trillion dollar wedding.  It is worth the effort to go.  It is the event of all events.   Some things you do not want to miss out on.   I did not want to miss my son’s weddings.   It meant a lot to Sally and I to be there.  The heavenly father’s table is something you do not want to miss.   This is going to be a real party. 

     It is also great obligation to come to such an invitation.  It is a serious offense to spurn the king’s invitation.  In those days you could lose your head for not coming.   I do not think that Jesus is soft stepping in this parable.  There was a pre invitation.  This is like sending people with gold embossed cards.  The mail would not be trusted.   It would be hand delivered.    The servants were sent to invite. Steps were taken so that folks would know this was a serious invitation.   Who are the servants in this passage?   You and I are the servants.  It was a great honor and a great responsibility to go and invite.   The job was not to be taken lightly.   It was NOT well I will go and invite if feel like it but to tell you the truth it is too hot today and I have stuff to do.   No it was not like that.   This is a big deal wedding and it is worth your time to invite others.   As you go share Jesus.   As you live your life witness.  Share the truth and share the invitation.  The king of Kings invites.   This is the hottest deal ever.  We can invite people to this marriage.   What will it gain a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?  

     To refuse was terrible insult.    Who would do such a thing?   Preposterous    Some were coldly indifferent. They went on their way.   They had their self serving endeavors.  They did not have time for the Kings son.   It’s all about me attitude.   Many ignored the invitation.  They just did not respond.    Others were more aggressive.   The king’s servants were mistreated.  The messengers were ill treated.  That is not a smart idea.   To mistreat the servant is to mistreat the king.  Some servants were killed.   Rejection of the Kings servant’s is to reject Him and rebel against him.  There are issues and people you do not want to go out of your way to aggravate.  I read once that an army was going to Egypt to conquer it and Rome sent a small group with an official letter saying no do not invade Egypt.   The army could have destroyed the small group but it turned around because the power of Rome was behind the document. 

     These people insulted the king.   You do not mistreat my people the king says because you will incur my wrath.   You mistreat my people you mistreat me.  There a price to pay for that.  The king was enraged.   The king is furious.  He sends his army and kills the murderers and burned the city.  In AD 70 Jerusalem was leveled by the Romans. Some of the Jews received Jesus but as a nation Jesus was rejected. What more could God do for them?    But in the broader view Hell is real.   Hebrews tells us it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.   Revelation 6 tells us that the kings and rulers of the world will pray for the mountains to fall on them to hide them from God’s face.  Don’t mess with the king. 

      It is the heavenly father who is inviting folks.   Our heavenly father invites us.  He invites the world.  He sent his son not to condemn the world but to save it.  He is delighted with wedding.  There are garments of righteousness and holiness.  God is the host he is throwing the party. He is pulling out all the stops.   There will be garments of praise.     He hurts his heart aches with those that refuse.  He is heartbroken if we fail to attend.   The angels rejoice when one receives Jesus.  It is a big deal in heaven for each one who would chose Jesus.   So in the parable the one city rejects.

      So what does the king do?   He sends more invitations. Go into the highways and byways.   Invite everybody you can.    This will be a well attended event.  Bring anyone who will come.   Invite anyone who will come.  His wedding is open to all.  Who did Jesus minister to?   Jesus talked about prostitutes and tax collectors the out casts and the hated would come.    What would a tax collector be like today?   Who in our society would you liken a tax collector to?   Perhaps a lawyer or an evil Politian or an IRS agent.    I think the scripture at one point calls those that attend honored guests.  These people off the street are honored guests.  You mean a prostitute is honored?  You mean that the prostitute will come before some religious leaders?   You mean the street people are honored?    That means us also.  That means you.  Do you treat your brother in church as an honored guest?   Do you treat your sister in church as an honored guest?  

     These parables were tough for the Jews they believed the kingdom of heaven was exclusively for them. In Matthew 21:31 Jesus tells them tax collectors and prostitutes are entering before you.   Boy that must have hurt them.  The gospel goes to the world and to the gentiles.   Go into the highways and get anybody.  It almost like the king saying get any warm body.   Rescue the perishing   It is a holy calling a commandment    It is a great privilege to share the gospel.    Jesus said take the grave clothes off Lazarus.   Unwrap the grave clothes from the lost.  Let the blindness fall.   

 

   We do not have forever to do this.  Heb 1:2   II Tim 3:1 on   Matt 24: 1 – 14 

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