Chuck Foreman – Teaching / Missions Pastor
Sometimes when it comes to actually, seriously, intentionally following Jesus we’re like the Runaway Bride. We’re excited about the dating, the engagement, the gifts, the fun, the attention—but when it comes to making it all the way down the aisle, to declaring our wedding vows and pledges with a view to a lifetime commitment, we’re not really down for that.
We like what God has to offer—his invitation to the wedding party, or maybe even his invitation to be his bride—as long as it’s on our terms.
Jesus is challenging his audience to take a painful look in the mirror in his parable of The Wedding Banquet, Matthew 22:1-14.
The leaders of Israel loved being God’s “Chosen People.” They were not willing to let go of the power, position and authority granted them by Rome over the own people and they had created their own version of the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus was a threat to their kingdom. We too have created a different version of the Kingdom of Heaven. Once upon a time we accepted the invitation to Heaven, our idea of the Wedding Banquet, but not Jesus’ invitation to the Kingdom of Heaven—on earth! His invitation is to a committed partnership with him of restoring and reconciling this world to him and walking in close community with him.
Jesus said, “Many are invited, but few are chosen.”
Only those who actually attend the wedding banquet they have been invited to, who show up dressed, ready and eager to be part of God’s Community, can be among the chosen. God doesn’t play Eenie Meenie Minie Mo! The Chosen are Chosen because they WANT to be Chosen! They actually show up for the party they’ve been invited to! And unlike the leaders of Israel, they listen to the message and they don’t kill the messenger!
People, this is the Kingdom of Heaven: God, our King, has prepared a wedding feast for his Son and his Bride. That’s us, potentially! WE’RE ALL INVITED! That’s the Good News—the Gospel! Have you accepted the King’s invitation? Are you really going to attend now? Or are you just going to go on about your business comfortable w/your own version of the Kingdom of Heaven?
We like what God has to offer—his invitation to the wedding party, as long as it’s on our terms. The question is, will we actually come to the party, participate in and enjoy all that our King has prepared for us?