The Feast

From my Kingdom of Heaven Study

Matthew 22:1-14

Some of my very favorite times are spent with family around the dinner table. Whether it is a cozy weeknight meal or a big gathering with family, little can top the completeness of good food and spending time with those I love.

It makes me smile that more than once, we are told that in Heaven we will “feast.”  In this passage, the kingdom of Heaven itself is compared to a feast that a King gives for his son.  What a joyous occasion!  And who will be joining the King in this celebration?

First, this passage says that those who were invited first reject the King, his Son, and the feast.  We must accept this truth that simply an invitation does not secure admittance.

Second, after those who were invited rejected the invitation, the King’s servants went into the streets to gather all whom they found, “both bad and good.”  It matters not what we were before we were invited into the Kingdom. It matters what we do with the invitation.

Which brings me to the final point. When the King came to look at his wedding guests, he saw that there was one with no wedding garment. To this the King replied, “Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness.  In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  (v.13)

What is the wedding garment?  From what I’ve read, it represents the salvation that we gain through accepting the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins. In Isaiah 61:10 it says, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself as a priest with a beautiful headdress, as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”  Other passages point to an outer garment being the “righteous deeds of the saints.” (Revelation 16:15)

A quick aside in this parable:  those that the King’s servants summoned from the streets most likely did not have these garments or the means to attain these garments.  So these garments were given by the King himself.  The people only had to accept the wedding garment provided by the King.

In the same way, we have no means to attaining our own salvation. We only have to accept what has been offered us: the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ for sins that would separate us from God for eternity.

If we do not, we will be as the guest without the wedding garment.

Christians, what does this mean in the context of kingdom living?  We must remember that we have done nothing to attain our own salvation. We only have to accept it.  It also means that we must face the real fact that for those without Christ’s salvation, there will be no Kingdom of God.  There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  This is a reality.

We need to get real about those we come in contact with on a daily basis who are only moments away from an eternity without God. An eternity of suffering beyond our imagination.

The enemy blinds us into the busyness of the here and now.  I know this is a battle I face daily.  We must look to our King so we can do his Kingdom work before the feast, when it will be too late for many.

Father, open my eyes to those around me who need to hear of your gift of salvation.  Open their eyes to their need and the reality of their future destruction if they do not choose to clothe themselves with your salvation.

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