Matthew 22:1-14 – The Feast

Read Matthew 22:1-14

We’re pretty excited because we have a wedding in our family coming up next Spring. The “Save the Date” notices have gone out. That’s an old tradition that has been catching on again in recent years. I’m guessing that’s what was happening in today’s reading. The wedding feast day had arrived, and those who had received the “save the date” notices had decided other things were more important. Life happens and sometimes gets in the way of our plans. Their decision to ignore the invitation resulted in their not being worthy or deserving of the honor any longer.

Because Jesus is using this as an illustration of the Kingdom of God, we should take note to understand. Especially if we want to have an invitation to that wedding feast ourselves. Are we going to respond with indifference figuring our attendance doesn’t really make any difference, or are we going to be ready to drop everything at the last minute and dress up in our finest clothes and be ready?

Many were called but failed to respond. They rejected the king’s messengers. The feast will go on with or without them. The plan changes and all are invited, the good and the bad. That’s a beautiful picture of God’s grace. God is inviting us all, not just those “chosen,” the people of Israel. We, too, can have a place at the table God has prepared for us.

I was a little perplexed by what Jesus said about the man who didn’t dress properly. He came to the wedding feast, but he did not show the respect expected by the king. He did not conform. The text said that good and bad were filling the banquet hall. Why did this one man get singled out? Perhaps it was the fact he had nothing to say? Perhaps it was because he showed no respect? What do you think?

Isn’t the point here God’s call to salvation? He wants us all to be with him in eternity. Unfortunately, not everyone will accept his invitation. Ultimately, those who have a seat at this feast will be those obedient to God, those who have listened to his call on their lives, those who have been looking forward to this day of celebration.

What do you make of Jesus’ concluding words, “For many are called, but few are chosen.” I had to visit one of David’s commentaries. Being “called” would mean taking up the initial invitation. Being “chosen” would mean persevering to the end. So, we should not assume our salvation is “in the bag.” We should look on this call as a blessing that shapes our very life.

Let’s pray. Lord, thank you for calling me to be your daughter. I look forward to each and every opportunity to know you more and grow closer to you. I am not frightened by these words but encouraged to live my life so that I am chosen. Forgive me when I do things that displease you. Help me to share your message with others so that they, too, can look forward to the day of the wedding feast with you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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