by The Rev. Brent Kuhlman
St. Matthew 22:1-14
Absolutely incredible isn’t it?
Who would not want to party at a wedding feast? Especially when King God’s throwing the party. The Good Friday salvation of the world party. The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world party. Feasting on the salvation won by King God’s Son Jesus Christ. Eating the bread which is His Body. Drinking from the chalice of wine that is His Blood.
Yes, the wedding feast of God’s only Son, the Savior Jesus. The Father has splurged! He has spared no expense. Gave His Son into death for your sin. Sacrificed everything. And now He invites you to the feast.
Everything is ready. Enjoy. It’s all for you. Eat and drink. Eat and drink some more. Salvation’s banquet is for you.
And there are those who would rather fast. Diet. “No thanks!” they say. “We’d rather not party with you or your Son.” Others just ignore or “File 13” the King’s invitation. One guy has his fields to tend, chores to do, and fences to mend on his farm. Another has important pending business.
Haven’t you heard? The economy’s tanked! We must give our full attention to saving the farm – saving the business – salvaging our investments – following Warren Buffet’s lead. No time then to be at the Son’s table! Maybe another time. . . . Yeah, right!
And then there are those who are so irritated by the invitation, that they kill the King’s servants for doing their duty.
Absolutely incredible isn’t it? Saying no to the Son’s Good Friday salvation of the world-wedding banquet. Filling time for worship with all kinds of stuff. Everyone has an excuse. No, everyone has millions of excuses. But they all ring hollow compared with the abundant generosity and richness of the Son’s wedding banquet.
Jesus says: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and I will raise him up at the last day.” You’d think people would be mobbing the doors of our congregation to receive such a wedding banquet gift. The medicine of immortality. Offered right here at the Sacrament. But (yawn!) it doesn’t happen.
But the King is persistent. Very persistent. He wants you at his Son’s wedding feast. More servants are sent to gather “as many as they can find.” Even – “the good and the bad.” When Israel wouldn’t come to the feast, the invitation went out to the Gentiles. That’s you and me. And if you won’t come, then the invitation will go out to others.
After all, when God throws a party it is the biggest shindig the world has ever seen. And He doesn’t leave anyone off the invitation list. Jesus died for all. He died for all sin. He leaves no sinner outside of His death. He excludes no sin from His dying.
Now, if you want to stubbornly refuse to feast or remain apathetically indifferent to the Lord’s party of free salvation, then go right ahead. But I warn you. You’ll get what you want. You’ll be left out of the feast and thrown into hell where there’s forevermore weeping and eternal grinding of teeth. And the only person you’ll have to blame is yourself. Don’t blame God. Don’t blame the servants who are sent with His invitation. God’s will is for you to be at His Son’s party.
And so incredibly the King even supplies the clothes for the wedding party’s bash. Wedding garments. Provided most graciously. He clothes His guests with His Son’s perfection. His Son’s righteousness. “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have been clothed with Christ,” Scripture says.
The ticket into the feast is Christ. Being robed in Him and the Good Friday forgiveness He won for you.
But then the King spies someone. He dares to attend without wearing the wedding garment. He comes boasting in himself. “I’m the big cheese! Christ? Who needs Him? I’m just fine on my own!”
No wonder the King is disgusted. Outraged. The bouncers are called. And the man is thrown out.
Then comes the end of the parable: “Many are called but few are chosen.” Not an explanation. Just an observation. In other words, all are invited but few end up at the party. That sure isn’t God’s will. It isn’t the King’s fault.
Brothers and sisters, Jesus died for you. Jesus rose from the dead for you. He has clothed you with His perfection and holiness in Baptism. You are forgiven. The banquet is here. You are the invited and honored guests. Happy eating and drinking. The feast is ready. Come to the feast. The good and the bad. Come and be glad. Greatest and least. Come to the feast.
In the Name of Jesus.
Rev. Brent Kuhlman is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Murdock, Nebraska. Pastor Kuhlman is Vice-President of Higher Things.
Created: October 13th, 2008