This is part two of a series based upon the Parable of the Marriage Feast in Matthew 22:1-14. Each part stands alone with the other parts supplementing and adding to the whole.
Just like so many other Scriptures that we have looked at in the past, this Passage is so incredibly rich. It just seems like almost every word is oozing with rich, deep meaning. And so to clarify what is being said, we’ll be looking at various Scriptures, concepts, and precepts that are expressed throughout all of the Bible, but primarily throughout the renewed covenant (N/T).
Today I would like to invite you to examine verses 4 & 5 with me.
As I mentioned yesterday, when you’re looking through the Bible and you see red print, pay special attention because these are words that Yeshua Himself is speaking. I know that most of us know that but it seems that we forget.
Rich with pride
In Matthew 19:24 Yeshua says that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.
In this Scripture, “rich” does not only mean financial wealth. In fact, it may not even be referring to that at all. One thing is for sure though; we can definitely read this to say that it is easier for a humble person to enter into the Kingdom of God than a proud person. When a person is prideful they see themselves as “rich”. Perhaps not financially but, either way, it can be very, very difficult for them to humble themselves before anyone.
As we consider today’s Scriptures, this is exactly what we see; a lot of pride. So for context, let’s begin at verse two.
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son. And he sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding, and they would not come.”
The Parable of the Wedding Dinner / Marriage Feast
Of course, we’re talking about the Kingdom of God, which includes everything as we discussed yesterday. The Son being, of course, Yeshua, and the King being Yahweh God, the Father.
In verse 3, the Father sent forth His servants, His messengers to call on those who had already been invited to the wedding: But they would not come. The same thing happened again in verse 4.
4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:
Jewish Marriage Tradition
Traditionally, in Jewish families, it is the Father of the groom who determines the right time for the wedding. When the time comes, the Father says, Okay, I think you’re ready, go ahead and go get your bride.
Well, that’s exactly what’s happening here, the father says to the son. Okay, it’s time. Send your messengers out and gather your people together because it’s time for the marriage feast.
Invitations to the feast not valued
We see the response to the invitations in verse five: The people made light of it and went their own separate ways. Have you ever told God that you were not interested? I am ashamed to say that I have. I have repented of that and I am so thankful for God’s mercy and grace.
Okay so let’s jump ahead a bit in our story. Remember, the father had instructed the son to start the process for the wedding feast.
The marriage dinner.
The son sent out his messengers twice, but no-one was interested in the wedding feast. So the father said to just go out and invite everyone he saw: The room ended up being packed. However, one of those people who came were not as attentive as they could have been.
Just as we sometimes have not been as attentive to the red letters as we should have, this person was not as attentive to the King’s banquet as he should have been.
Even the robe was provided
In situations like this it was an established tradition for the host to provide a robe to wear for anyone who needed it.
In verse 11 we see that the King noticed a certain man who was not wearing his robe.
The king walked up to the man and said (v. 12): “Friend, why is it that you are walking around without your robe on?”
The man didn’t have an answer to the King’s question and so we read in v. 13 that it didn’t go well for him.
The man had responded to the invitation but he didn’t take the occasion seriously. The Bible refers to this kind of behavior as “lukewarm”. He was apathetic. He seemed uncaring, prideful.
In Revelation 3:16 Yeshua said that if you are lukewarm “I’ll spew you out of my mouth”. The man who didn’t wear his robe was lukewarm and it didn’t go well for him.
Many are called, but few
are chosen respond with excellence So it’s in this context that we go down to verse 14 and read that “many are called, but few are chosen”.
Verse 14 is very interesting. The passion translation offers a very interesting version of this verse. It says “For everyone is invited to enter in, but few respond in excellence”.
Everyone is invited to enter in. But if you respond in excellence, you will be addressed accordingly: Excellence not in performance but in heart.
I believe that God is telling us here that if we respond to His invitation with a humble heart towards Him, then we can be guaranteed a place at the great Marriage supper.
How do you respond?
For me, I don’t want there to be any confusion as to where I stand. I want God, and everyone else to know that I am on His team.
Maybe my shoes are a little scuffed. Maybe I have a smudge on my nose from when I was cleaning underneath the refrigerator. Maybe I’m responding just as I am. Regardless of the exact circumstance, everyone will know that I am doing the best that I know how.
I pray That’s the case for you today. Say no to apathy. Say no to apathetic responses. Say no to mediocracy.
Wear that robe that’s been provided for you. Yahweh God has a great feast planned for you.
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