Monday, October 16, 2017

Matthew 22:1-14

Jesus responded to the efforts of the religious leaders to throttle him by telling yet another set of parables. He said, 2 “Think of the emerging regime headquartered in heaven as being like a king who prepared a huge wedding party for his son. 3 He then sent his servants to fetch the invited guests. But -- surprise! They refused to come. 4 So the king sent yet another team of servants to gather the invited guests -- this time with even more instructions. ‘Make sure you tell them, “Look, the food is all ready. The meat is on the table -- prime rib and tri-tip. Don’t dilly dally, the party is starting!”’ 5 But many invitees couldn’t be bothered and drifted off to tend to their fields or businesses. 6 Some of the people became abusive and began knocking the servant-messengers around -- until they were dead. (Go figure! How is it that a people so honored by their king with an invitation to a great event with a great meal would be so clueless as to dishonor him? What were they thinking?)

7 “Predictably, the king was livid. Seething with anger he sent his soldiers to wipe those thugs from the face of the earth. They even burned their city to the ground.

8 “Then the king instructed his servants to extend the invitation to those who are unworthy of an invite. ‘After all, the worthy have blown me off. The wedding party is ready, so 9 go find some street people and druggies who live in the seedier parts of town. Invite them all -- everyone you can find -- to the wedding party.’

10 “So the servants moved out to cover the ghettos and the streets. And they gathered everyone they could find, both the evil and the good. Finally, the wedding party was full of guests. 11 However, when the king walked into the crowded room and panned the guests, he noticed that there was a man dressed inappropriately for a wedding party. 12 So the king said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here dressed like that?’ But the clueless man was also speechless. 13 Then the king instructed his servants, ‘Tie this guy up and dispatch him to the darkness of hell where people weep and grind their teeth.’

14 “Many people are invited, but ‘the chosen’ are those few who respond appropriately.”