Archive for June 3rd, 2017

Matthew 22

Matthew 22 begins with Jesus telling a parable about the king who invites a number of people to the wedding feast for his son.  They were all ‘too busy’ to attend, so since it was prepared, he sends his servants out to bring anyone who would to come fill the seats.  “The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find”.  They gathered a bunch of people, some good, some not.  But they accomplished their charge and filled the wedding hall.

The king is going around to greet his guests and comes across one who wasn’t wearing the ceremonial wedding garment he had been provided.  “Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment”?  It was a requirement in those days to wear the appropriate attire that was usually provided.  This person chose not to do that, and the king promptly had him removed.  Jesus uses it to make the point “For many are called, but few are chosen”.  This is a picture of God’s offer to give us eternal life, but there are some requirements and standards.

Some refuse to come, and others who do come refuse to submit to the norms of the kingdom and are therefore rejected.  The truth is that not everyone will enter heaven.  And God’s not apologetic about that.  There are:

  • those indifferent to the gospel
  • those antagonistic against the gospel
  • those unchanged by the gospel

None of them enjoyed the king’s feast.  Lots of people struggle with that truth – that a loving God might possibly not let everyone into heaven.  That’s true even if they show up and want to enter.  God’s got a requirement – perfect obedience to His law or grace that will cover the sin of falling short.

Jesus goes on to answer one of the most important questions the Pharisees ever ask him.  “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law”?  Jesus summarizes the entire Old Testament in two statements: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And  a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets”.  There you have it – the entirety of the Old Testament law and prophecy summarized into two verses that define what we are to life like.  God first, others second, self…..sort of made the list at the very end.  We tend to get that backward.  Is God first in your life?  And those in your patch next?  By the way, who is your neighbor???   Another question for another day.

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