Saturday, May 5, 2012
Stupidity with Eternal Consequences
Matt. 22:1 ¶ Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying:
Matt. 22:2 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son.
Matt. 22:3 He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come.
Matt. 22:4 Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.’
Matt. 22:5 But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business,
Matt. 22:6 while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them.
Matt. 22:7 The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.
Matt. 22:8 Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy.
Matt. 22:9 Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.’
Matt. 22:10 Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.
Yesterday we read about King David's envoys who were treated so poorly. Today Jesus tells a similar story, but he's talking about his very own Father. He has sent out envoys over and over again to invite people to come to an incredible banquet! But the people are too preoccupied with their farm (or maybe weekend retreat) and their work. They don't have time to appreciate the fact that they've been invited to the King's table.
While some simply continue doing the normal things they've always done in life, there are others who go out of their way to mistreat the envoys of the King. They mistreat and then kill them.
The people who had been invited were the people who would have thought that they SHOULD be invited - but didn't respond to the incredible invitation. Instead, the King told his people to go and to gather all the people that they could find and bring them to the table.
Self-centeredness keeps these people from enjoying all that God has for them in life. They are too preoccupied with their own dealings, whether it be their work, their recreation, or their self-absorption. Their pride gets the best of them and they refuse to respond to the kind and generous invitation of the Father. Just like the princes of Hunan, these people mistreat the Father's envoys. Their self-centeredness leads them to making stupid decisions which will now have eternal consequences. Those who do not come to the marriage supper of the lamb will be left to the place of weeping and gnashing of teeth.
I'm not sure why the people in this parable didn't recognize what was really happening. It was the King sending out the invitation, and they didn't respond. But aren't we just as crazy these days? God, the Creator, the King of all things is constantly sending out invitations to us on a daily basis, wanting us to be his holy people. He is willing to provide absolutely everything that we need to be all that he created us to be, and yet, we are often too preoccupied with the things of life to respond. I have too much work to do -- or I have all these toys for which I must care!
Don't do anything stupid! The kingdom is spread before each and every single one of us and we are invited to come and partake and live in that kingdom.
Lord, please help me to keep my eyes open to the work of your kingdom and not be so busy that I don't see what's really happening. Amen.