November 20, 2022 - Matthew 22
I have so often taught from the stories of the Herodians and Sadducees and Pharisees approaching Jesus in order, not to follow him, but in attempts to expose him as a less than trustworthy teacher. Their efforts failed and, in the end, they were silenced by Jesus. Who could have guessed?
The opening verses of the chapter, though, continue Jesus’ teaching on the kingdom of heaven. He tells a parable in which the king, time and again, invites guests to his banquet. Time and again, though, people refuse the invitation. Who in the world would turn down such an invitation to dine at the king’s table with him?! Of course, still today, people refuse the invitation of Jesus to dine with him, to take his light yoke, to receive life, and to gain heaven. Nothing much has changed.
Well, the king was, how shall I put it, “king!” And, as king, he would have his way; so he said to his servants, “’Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests” (22:9-10). And so it will be! What a banquet that will be!
Come, sinners, to the gospel feast;
Let every soul be Jesus’ guest;
Ye need not one be left behind,
For God hath bidden all mankind.
Come, all ye souls by sin oppressed,
Ye restless wanderers after rest;
Ye poor, and maimed, and halt, and blind,
In Christ a hearty welcome find. -- Charles Wesley (1747)