Focus passage: Matthew 22: 1-14
Time is often our most precious commodity. We receive invitations from friends, family, and the salesman on the phone. We can’t accept them all. Yet, God gives us an invitation that is worth accepting. He wants to shower us with gifts. Those who turn Him down will find themselves wishing that they hadn’t.
From the moment that Adam and Eve sinned, God had invited his people to a banquet of forgiveness and blessing with his son. It was an invitation that people could accept or reject. It would not come with lightning bolts or legions of angels to force you to accept. God repeated the invitation throughout the centuries with prophet after prophet. God wanted so much to restore the relationship that He had with his people in the garden. He wanted to give them help as they lived in a harsh cruel world and hope for an eternity in heaven. The invitation still divides the people of the world. God wants to give the salvation won at the cross and a new life with him, but many will still reject it and God will not force it on anyone. As you listen to the parable anew, ask yourself what you and those you love have done with the invitation offered freely.
Some refused the invitation as they put life ahead of God v.5 Many in Jesus day made light of the invitation. They mocked his call for repentance. They were busy and life was going well. They visited the temple at the appropriate times, but they also had fields to manage and families to raise. Life was to be lived not wasted on Jesus. Jesus still doesn’t get that we live in a 24/7 world hooked up with 4g to the internet and working our way to fame and fortune.
Some grew angry at the thought of needing a new life from God v.6 Some around Jesus grew angry. His teachings were disrupting their world. They didn’t need the new life he offered and they were tired of listening to his invitation. Today people grow weary with the invitation of God. His invitation shows that all religions are not alike. His invitation shows that there is something missing in their lives. People don’t want to hear the truth because it is painful.
The invitation goes out to others who will accept it v.9 Yet the invitation could not be stopped. Jesus would travel through the nation of Judah calling out to those who knew that life was not right. They came by the thousands with their sick and with their questions. Life was not right and they were eager to hear the invitation. The invitation still cannot be stopped because so many realize that they need it. Some are broken while others just want something more than the world can offer
God gives people His righteousness v.10 All who accept the invitation soon realize that the invitation is not based on their righteousness. It is the righteousness of the cross that gives entry to this invitation. His righteousness brings salvation to the disciple and to the thief on the cross. No one enters the banquet because they are good enough. Salvation and this new life are all based on the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross. His resurrection gives us what we have been longing for and could not find.
Many invited, but few accept the call. The invitation for salvation and a new life goes out to the whole world, but few will accept it. Jesus even calls the way to heaven a narrow path. Many are too busy to really accept the full salvation that Jesus offers. Others will cling to their false gods and their false way of life and get tired of God’s invitation. Yet, there will be those who lives are broken enough or wise enough that they will see the beauty of God’s invitation. These are the ones who will succeed in life for they will have everything that they need from a loving God. The question still is what will you do with the invitation and will you share it with others.