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All are invited

Matthew 22:1-14

Pastor David Ernst

Twentieth Sunday after Trinity
Epiphany Lutheran Mission of La Caramuca  
Barinas, Venezuela

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Sun, Oct 14, 2018 

Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

At that time of our Lord, a wedding feast would last a week or more, with plenty of food and drink. In our text for today, the feast is not a common feast, but the wedding of the king's son. Who would reject an invitation to the wedding of a prince? Look at the obsession with the weddings of the royal family of England in all parts of the world.

How strange, then, our text. "And he sent his servants to call the guests to the wedding, but they would not come." He sent other servants again, saying, Say to the guests, I have prepared my food, my bulls and fattened animals have been killed. and everything is ready, come to the wedding, but they took it very lightly, and went away, one to his farm, and the other to his business. " And worse,"and the others, taking their servants, they insulted and killed them. "

In a sense, this is the story of the people of Israel. God made a covenant with them to be His people among whom the Savior of the world would be born. But they always forgot the covenant and when God sent his prophets to call them to repentance, they killed them. Therefore, Jerusalem and its temple were destroyed, as the Lord prophesied.

When Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament, He made a new covenant with all nations. Most of the first guests rejected the invitation. Nevertheless, "he said to his servants: the wedding feast is indeed prepared; but those who were invited were not worthy. Go, then, to the exits of the roads, and call to the wedding all you find. And the servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all that they found, both bad and good; and the weddings were full of guests. " The bad and good means the invitation is for all people, no matter their history.

Because Jesus paid the price for all our sins on the cross. And the invitation is for the heavenly celebration, the culmination of the plan of salvation in eternal life. God sent His messengers with this invitation, first, the apostles, then the ministers of His church. But the same pattern is found. Most people have other priorities. And there is persecution of the church stronger than ever in all parts of the world, because unbelievers do not want to hear of their sins and the need of the Savior.

So, this text is a warning for us too. Let's live in the season of grace, but the time of judgment will come soon. In that hour, there is no other opportunity to repent.

There is more. "And when the king came to see the guests, he saw there a man who was not wearing a wedding garment." It was also the custom for the host to provide wedding dress for all those who did not have it. So, the man without a wedding robe means that he did not enter through the door, that is, into the faith we receive at baptism. We gather every Sunday in the adoration that anticipates the heavenly feast, some accepting the invitation to worship, but not covered with the blood of Christ in faith, therefore, "the king said to those who served: Bind him hand and foot, take him and cast him into the outer darkness, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, for many are called, but few are chosen. "

Of course, the Father wants the salvation of all. But He knows those who will reject the invitation and who will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This is for our consolation. If we remain in the Word and the sacraments, the promise is eternal life belongs to us now. In this we have the peace that surpasses all understanding. Amen.

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