Wedding Invitations (Part 2.) ‘Look who’s not coming to Dinner, too!’
Everybody was slaughtered by the end of the first half of Jesus’ wedding banquet story (Matthew 22). The second half starts very well for all the ‘last-minute fresh-list’ invitees, but turns violet in the middle for one inappropriately dressed man, and ends with a generic warning designed to leave everyone worried – that’s if they haven’t been listening. Today’s cries for soft soap doesn’t wash in Jesus’ story sermons. They plunge you deep into the bleaching waters of truth and bring you up to be wrung out and hung out to dry. At just about that point in time when that gentile guy that was listening to Jesus story heard Jesus say that the gentiles are welcome at God’s table, he was force into rumination: 1. “What are the proper garments to be worn?” 2. “If that guy who got dealt to by the king got through the door wearing the wrong clothes, how can I be sure that I’m even wearing the right clothes? 3. “Am I one of the chosen few?” and 4. “Why can’t Jesus just speak in plain English?”
His questions need kingdom answers: 1. The gentiles, along with the Christian Jews, would clothe themselves with Christ in baptism (Gal.3:27); 2. Fake Christians called, ‘Weeds’ will grow among the saints, ‘wheat.’ Looking the part but thrown into the fire at harvest (Mt.13); 3. All must work out their salvation with fear and trembling (Phil.2:12). The devil is deceptive and entices all to sin if allowed; and 4. Jesus did speak plainly. But if you didn’t listen with ‘ears that hear’ (Mt.13:43), you missed it completely. The man tied hand and foot and cast into eternal misery was spiritually deaf. Anyone can know God and his plan of salvation. Seek the Kingdom of Christ and, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him (Matthew 13:11-12).
Refusing to come when invited, being found inappropriately dressed, and thus, finding yourself called but not chosen, all equals the same thing: Listen to Jesus’ call and you will dine at the Son’s wedding banquet, refuse to listen to Jesus’ call and you will face eternal damnation. The same rules apply for both Jew and gentile. Get on the right side of this lest someone says of you: ‘Look who’s not coming to Dinner, too!’