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24 October:       The Wedding Feast:   Mtt 22:1-14  &  ( Lk 14:16-24 )  COMBINED

 

     Jesus spoke to them again in parables saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast(banquet) for his son. And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come.”

     “Again, he sent out other slaves saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, I have prepared my dinner and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast.”

     “But they paid no attention and went their way, one to his farm, another to his business, (They all alike began to make excuses. The first one said, ‘I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it’. Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out.’ Another said, ‘I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come.”) The rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them.”

     “But the king was enraged, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and set their city on fire.”  Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the feast.”

     “Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered together all they found, both evil and good. (And the slave reported, ‘Master, what you commanded has been done and still there is room. And the master said to the slave, “Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled.’ Bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame; for I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste of my dinner.)” 

     When the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ and the man was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.’”

Jesus spoke to them again in parables saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast(banquet) for his son. And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come.”

     “Again, he sent out other slaves saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, I have prepared my dinner and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast.”

When you look at this parable one of the points is that God is preparing a feast and sending out invitations to people who are then notified when the banquet is ready. Initially this banquet consisted of the Garden of Eden but when sin wrecked that situation God set out on a new plan.

  1. God’s Plan: You can see the first indication of this plan when the serpent is told that he will bruise the heel of Eve’s offspring but that He will crush the serpent’s head.
    1. John 3:16 tells us God has provided for a way to obtain eternal life.
    2. Eph 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith; it is the gift of God.
    3. Rom 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…”

 

    1. James 1:12 “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
    2. I Peter 5:4 “And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.”
    3. Rev 2:10 “… Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

 

    1. John 14: 2,3 “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”

 

“Again, he sent out other slaves saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, I have prepared my dinner and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast.”

     “But they paid no attention and went their way, one to his farm, another to his business, (They all alike began to make excuses. The first one said, ‘I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it’. Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out.’ Another said, ‘I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come.”) The rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them.”

 

  1. We Have the Choice to Accept or Decline:
    1. ACCEPT:    Rom 10:9 “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
    2. ACCEPT:     Joshua 24:25 “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lod, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve ….but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
    3. DECLINED:   John 12:42,43 “Nevertheless, many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.”
    4. DECLINED:   I Thess 4:1, 8 “Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God and that you excel still more.”  …  “So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.
    5. DECLINED:   Rom 1:24,26,28 “And God gave them over to their depraved minds…”
    6. DECLINED:   Mark 7:6,8, 13 “And He said to them, ‘Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, (teaching as doctrines the precepts of men) neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men…. Thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that.’” Now realize, these traditions are spring-boarding off of Scripture – but they are expanding in ways which God did not prescribe and holding THEIR teachings over and above God’s words.

“But they paid no attention and went their way,    one to his farm,    another to his business, another said, ‘I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come.” The rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them.”

a. One to his farm  --  earthly possessions, materialistic accumulations, wealth (one of the “weeds” that the seeds fell into was the deceitfulness of wealth)

b. Another to his business  --  seeking to assure himself of his success in the future; rich man with his barns and the other “weed” regarding the worries of the world /  Sermon on Mount

c. Family first  --  Jewish law allowed for 1st year of marriage for man to be excused from duty; Two verses later after this parable =  Lk 14:26 “If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.”  First Great Commandment? God first above all else!!!

  1. Consequences of Rejecting God’s Word and His Salvation Plan:      “Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered together all they found, both evil and good. (And the slave reported, ‘Master, what you commanded has been done and still there is room. And the master said to the slave, “Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled. Bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame; for I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste of my dinner.)” 
    1. John 12:48 “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.”
    2. II Thess 1:7,8 “…when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.”
    3. Heb 10:26-31 “If we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there is no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgement and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. …     “Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.  How much more severe punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has regard as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? …   “For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.’ And again, “The Lord will judge His people.’” It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hand of the living God.”
    4. Why do you think Jesus talks about hell more than anyone else in the Bible?   Matt 5:22,29,30   8:12    10:28,  12,:32     13:42,49,50     18:8,9    23:33   25:30,41,46     Lk 13:28   16:23       Forewarned is forearmed!!!    He warns us because He does not want us to go there!!!

Why does Jesus make this message of damnation so prominent in His message?  John 3:16, 17 gives us a good answer to this question:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believe in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”

So the final question that arises is:

Do we understand that we have been invited to the eternal banquet and have we made a decision as to which kingdom we want to be a part of?

 

 

10 October: Which Son Are You?

 

Mt 21:28 “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’ And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went. The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he did not go. ‘Which of the two did the will of his father?’ They said, ‘the first.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterwards so as to believe him.’”

  1. What was the expectation or command to the son/children?  That he go to work.
    1. In last week’s parable those who said “Lord, Lord” had two choices: either do what He says or refuse to obey. Each decision had eternal consequences.
    2. Why do you think the sinners responded to John/Jesus but the religious leaders did not? When they heard their messages, the sinners knew their status/condemnation and did not want to remain as they were.
    3. One of the first steps in an addict’s life is the admittance of their problem. Actually, it is the first step in any sinner’s life – thief, liar, adulterer, etc.
      1. Rom 7:21 “I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good.”
      2. Rom 12:2 “and do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
      3. Rom 12:6-8 “Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”
      4. Remember the parable of the sheep’s/goats? Some clothed, some fed and some visited. In the 5/2/1 talent parable each had a variety of opportunities to grow. Failure was in the “not even trying.”
  2. What was the expectation of Jesus (and John) to their audience?          To repent of their worldly living and turn to Godly living.
    1. Now obviously not every sinner that heard Jesus/John repented. But those who did become disciples of Jesus/John were predominately obvious sinners.
    2. Why did the religious leaders have trouble accepting them?
      1. Historically we have said because Jesus did not come as the type of Messiah that they expected – General of an army on a white stallion coming to re-establish the kingdom of Israel.
      2. But just as problematic for them was the fact that they did not merge in with and accommodate the leaders in their glorified roles.
      3. Mt 23:5-12 “ But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men…. They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greeting in the market places and being call Rabbi by men.  But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher; and you are all brothers…. Do not be called Leaders; for One is your Leader, that is Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.”   
      4.  Mt 20:26-28 “It is not this way among you (lording it over one another like Gentiles) but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” (Foot washing)   
      5. Phil 2:5-7 “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, … emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men (even to the point of death).”   
  3. What was the double failure of those who are listening to Jesus? Not believing, repenting and accepting Jesus as the Messiah
  1. John 21:32 “For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterwards so as to believe him.’”
  2. Mt 23:13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.”
  3. John 12:42;43 “Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.”
  1. What should be the response of these Jewish leaders?
    1. Phil 2:12,13 “So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (and His good name).
    2. Acts 26:19,20 “So, King Agrippa, I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision, but kept declaring both to those in Damascus first, and also … even the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.”
    3. Mt 3:7,8 “But when John saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, ‘You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance”.  In many instances those religious leaders did not see the need to repent. They saw themselves as leaders, not common sinners. The idea that ‘ALL HAVE SINNED AND FALLEN SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD” is a foreign idea.                           Just as there was a message of repentance for them there is also a message for us:
      1. I Peter 2:9  “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for Do’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light
      2. I Pe 2:12 “Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that … because of your good deeds, as they observe them, they may glorify God…”
      3. Mt 5:16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see  your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
  2. So, the question that now arises is are we going to be the son who goes out and does the will of the Father?  John 6:40 “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” 
  3. Are we going to believe and obey and go to work????