Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
This is not the same parable of the feast in Luke 14: 16-24. This parable was told later during Holy Week. The lesson of this parable was probably understood by the Jews in its first part. In the second part it carries a warning for the church of the new covenant. God himself is the king and the feast is the marriage supper of the Lamb described in Revelation 19-20.
From Abraham to Christ, God sent his prophets to call his people of the Old Testament to the great wedding feast.
As our Old Testament reading says (Isaiah 55: 1-9), “To all you thirsty: Come to the waters; and those who have no money, come, buy, and eat. Come, buy, without money and without price, wine and milk. Why do you spend your money on what is not bread, and your work on what is not satisfying? Hear me attentively, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight itself with fat. Incline your ears, and come to me; hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, sure mercies to David. "
Most of the Jews rejected the wedding invitation because of idolatry. Not only for the worship of Canaanite idols, but also to prioritize the things of this life, the pleasures of this world. Some took out their rancor on the messengers, the prophets who called the people to prompt obedience to God before the coming of the Messiah. Having seized them, they treated them with every mark of contempt and finally killed them. These were acts of open rebellion. The refusal to attend the wedding banquet, together with the acts of violence against the servants, constituted acts of grave disobedience, which were justly punished.
In 707 a. C., the ten tribes of the north of Israel were scattered by the earth. In the year 600 a. C., the two southern tribes were taken to Babylon and the temple was destroyed. However, prior to the birth of the Son of David, Dio had not fulfilled his part of the covenant. So, he allowed them to return to the holy land and rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. Then came John the Baptist who was killed. Then came the great Son of God whom they crucified.
"And the others, taking his servants, disgraced them and killed them." Verse 6 of Matthew 22 describes not only the crucifixion of Jesus, but also the persecution of the prophets and apostles.
"And when the king heard it, he was indignant; and sending his armies, he destroyed those murderers, and set his city on fire." Verse 7 describes the terrible destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. by the Romans, described for us by Josephus, the Jewish historian. At that time the Jews were scattered throughout the land. The Arch of Titus, erected in memory of this victory of Rome over Jerusalem, can still be seen in Rome.
However, the prophets also said although the Jews will receive the invitation first, then all nations will receive it. Isaiah says, “Behold, I gave him as a witness to the peoples, as a chief and as a teacher to the nations. Behold, you will call people you did not know, and people who did not know you will run to you; because of the Lord your God and the Holy One of Israel who has honored you. "
Verses 9-10 of Matthew 22 describe the preaching of the gospel among the Gentiles. "Go therefore to the highways, and call as many as you can to the wedding feast. And the servants going out into the highways, they gathered together all that they found, both good and bad; and the wedding ceremony was full of guests."
The expression "the good and the bad" in verse 10 of our text is spoken from the point of view of man. All have sinned and therefore are not approved by God. All are equally sinful. But among people, some show this more than others. All are equally invited by the Lord.
But most other nations have also declined the invitation with weak excuses. They don't have time for the Word of God. They are too busy with the things of this world. And they persecute the messengers of God. It has been said that during the 1900s, the 20th century, more people were persecuted and killed for Jesus' sake than during the nineteen centuries since Christ walked the earth.
Due to the world's opposition to the Gospel of Christ, it can sometimes cost believers something in self-denial to speak to unbelievers of God and Christ, rebuke their evil ways, and show them the only way of salvation. it is a hindering factor. In our epistle today (Ephesians 5: 15-21), Saint Paul says that in order for Christians to maintain the composure necessary for their vocation in this world, the following is necessary: And not be drunk with wine, where there is excess. , but be filled with the Spirit. People who are given excessive alcoholic beverages cannot exercise sound judgment. Rather, believers will strive at all times to be filled with the Spirit of God.
As an excellent aid in reaching and staying in this state, Paul mentions: Singing to one another psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. In the Old Testament Psalms, as they were used in the services of Christians from the earliest times, in hymns or choirs that were intended to be used in public services, in spiritual songs of a more general tone and nature, but very different from worldly lyrics and odes, Christians are to edify one another.
"And when the king came to see the guests, he saw there a man who was not dressed as a wedding, and said to him: Friend, how did you get in here without being dressed as a wedding? But he was speechless. Then the king said to the that served: Tie him hand and foot, take him away and cast him into the outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen. " Verses 11-12 of our text are a severe warning to us. Verse 13 describes God's rejection of the hypocrite, the unrepentant, the person who does not wear the robe of Christ's righteousness. Good and bad, hypocrites and sincere believers, unite in the outer communion known as the visible Church. But the hour of the King's reckoning is approaching.
In ancient times, wedding guests were given suitable robes to wear to the party. In the parable this denotes the righteousness of Christ that a believer has through faith in Jesus. He has provided, through his Son Jesus Christ of his, a wedding garment of spotless righteousness and purity for every sinner who is called to the feast. His mercy and grace are certainly free to all men, but they cannot partake of the meal without first accepting this festive garment to cover the filth and nakedness of their sin. He will expose the deception, if not earlier, then on the great Day of Judgment. And the insult to God's love will be duly punished when every person who puts his trust in his own merits and works is thrown into the dungeon of hell with his eternal torments.
Although the majority of the world has rejected God's Word, those who believe have the promise of eternal life. We trust in the victory of Christ in the last day and because of this, we have the peace that passes all understanding. Amen.
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