Matthew 22:14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
The parable of the wedding banquet is a portrait of divine inspiration. The perspective we gain from seeing the Kingdom of God from the position of the Son of God is always worth consideration. The preparation of a celebration at the end of time is reserved for a select company. The way in which those people have been selected is so contrary to worldly thinking, it causes the most astute observer to pause and take notice.
The Lamb becomes a Lion
Jesus’ ministry seemed to begin quietly and without much attention. As the day of Jesus’ crucifixion began to draw near, He became more bold in His approach. During His ministry He was often more quiet and would caution people to keep a miracle to themselves, but now He came into Jerusalem riding on a donkey with people shouting Hosanna. He went into the synagogue and overturned the money changers, cursed the fig tree, and defiantly rebuked the chief priests and elders for their accusations. The suffering servant who came as meek as a lamb, began to roar like a lion.
As Jesus spoke a parable against the rulers of Israel, He began to establish the parameters for who was worthy of His Kingdom and who will be left out.
Matthew 21:43-44 “Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”
For those who understand, let them see what Jesus was illustrating.
The Rock is unavoidable.
For those who try to set the Rock aside, it becomes a stumbling stone of offense. The frustration of continually tripping over something that keeps getting in the way either forces a person to reconsider it, or curse it.
For others, who try to build their own house and only include the Rock in their plans, it eventually will fall and crush them. The hope for those who think their plans are better is to include Jesus but only in a way that fits their lifestyle and supports their position as master builder.
Any house built by men will fall.
As for the wise, they recognize where their strength is found. The Rock of Christ Jesus becomes the cornerstone by which the rest of their house is supported. It is for these faithful ones that God establishes and perfects, because they trusted in Him.
In what way is the house of the faithful proven?
When the winds of testing come, when the waters of this world crash against it, the house does not fall.
After Jesus rebuked the priests and elders, He turned to the people and began to illustrate who is worthy for His Kingdom—a Kingdom He was establishing and would redeem by His blood very soon.
Matthew 22:1 “And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son,”
The King (the Father), is preparing a celebration for the Son of God (Jesus), a wedding feast that will unite His Son with His bride (church). The celebration is for His Son but He has invited others to partake.
Who is worthy to be present as such a solemn occasion?
Those who respond to the call.
The call to come and partake was not received by many. Matthew 22:5 “But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them.” For some, the work of growing their prosperity became the priority, to others the busyness of life exerted too great of a demand. There have also been those who were so offended at the prospect of abandoning their lifestyles that they became hateful and murdered the King’s servants.
The authority of the King has not been diminished. Just because He gave people the right to turn down His invitation, doesn’t mean there isn’t a consequence for their offense.
The worth of those invited was a test to see how much they loved the King and whether they freely rejoiced with Him. Had He demanded their attendance, He would have been left with many who did not celebrate with Him. The attendees would have proven themselves His enemy and what should have been rejoicing would have defiled the Son and those who chose to be unified with Him.
The attendees who were found acceptable are the ones covered with the wedding garments.
It was the custom in Ancient Near Eastern weddings that the guests would wear a garment that symbolized their respect for the host and the occasion. Often the host would provide a rack of such garments at the entryway for guests who had [not] brought theirs. Not to be wearing a wedding garment, when one could have chosen one on the way in, is a sign of disrespect for both host and occasion.
From the beginning of mankind’s demise, God has provided a covering for sin. Beginning with Adam and Eve, symbolically with Noah’s ark, the incense in the Tabernacle, and transcending throughout history the, Lord has helped mankind in the midst of their shame. The wedding garments were symbolic for the purity of Christ by which God has covered His people. His people have been made acceptable by the blood of Christ.
Revelation 7:9 “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands”
When the fulfillment of time has come, those made acceptable by the blood of the lamb will come before the King.
How are the faithful proven to be acceptable to God?
1 Peter 1:7 “So that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
If you find yourself among the throng of the righteous, count yourself blessed. All praise and glory will be given to the King of kings who redeemed His people and has been proven faithful. It is a good sign if people praise the Lord because of you, you’ve placed your faith in the One who is worthy.
God’s people bring forth the praise of Jesus’ glory. They have been tested and tried, and their faith has sustained them through all of the difficulties of life.
Ephesians 1:11-12 “In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.”
If you are of the body of Christ, then testing and trials will come your way. How will you hold up when that day comes? Is there a limit to your commitment to Christ?
When your faith is tested in the fires of trial, it will either shatter because of the impurities therein, or it will be refined and purified. Everyone associated with Christ must endure the refiner’s fire, but you will find that the burning away of impurity and sin turns into joy.
The coronation of the King will be with those who have endured. Those proven faithful are those whose faith did not buckle—their faith was found in Him. Any measure of trust in the flesh cannot endure. Any remnant of sin must be purified and removed. He will do it if you let Him, He will cleanse you and make you whole. It’s not easy, but it is greatly rewarding.
I hope you will be one of those who endured, if Christ is your strength, you will be there.