Wedding Invitations (Part 1.) ‘Look who’s not coming to Dinner.’
Jesus told a story about a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son (Matthew 22). Palace couriers hand-delivered invitations to those on the guest list, but they refused to attend. To make sure that everyone on the list knew that everything was cooked and ready, he dispatched a second wave of messengers. Again, the guests ignored the invitation and went about their business; some taking the time to mistreat and kill the messengers. The king’s rage went forth relentlessly. Immediately, he dispatched his armies to kill them and to burn their city. Thus, was the demise of those who abused his kind invitation.
Forty years later, in AD70 the Roman general, Titus, rewrote in blood the prophetic message encased in this simple tale. He destroyed the city of Jerusalem and put its occupants to the sword. Jesus often cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” His ‘Parable of the Wedding Banquet’ had fallen on deaf ears. The characters in the story would have been obvious at the time. The King: God; The Son: Jesus; The Messengers: The prophets, apostles and preachers; The Guests: The Jews; and Matthew 24 would clarify the likely identity of The Army. That famous, eccentric prophet from the Judean countryside, John the baptizer, had not been backward in coming forward in proclaiming Jesus as the Bridegroom, and his role as Best Man. He told them: “He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full” (Jn.3:29).
The Jews were the chosen people of God. Sadly, the vast majority of these, The Children of Promise, refused to accept Jesus as The Son of God. He who had come to claim His bride—the church. The gospel was “for the Jew first” (Rom.1:16). The Special Guests – names embossed on that Heavenly Wedding List – refused His invitation. Tragically, ‘Look who’s not coming to Dinner.’