“For many are called, but few are chosen.”  Matthew 22:14

Sermon Summary for Sunday, October 15th, 2017 | Respectfully Submitted by Brenda Worley

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At this point in the gospel, Jesus has already faced off with the Sadducees, scribes and elders of the church.  He uses the parable of the wedding feast to face down the Pharisees.   We find this parable recorded in 22nd chapter of Matthew.  Scholars believe that the author of Matthew was possibly a Jewish Rabbi.  The followers of Christ in this time were getting anxious because they thought that Jesus would return immediately.  This disappointment coupled with the violence against them had caused many to give up.

Speaking to the Pharisees, Jesus compares the kingdom of heaven to the kingdom in the parable.  This is a harsh parable in which the King is giving a wedding feast for his son and has invited many to attend.  The King sent his slaves to call them, but they did not attend.  He sent his slaves again to tell the invited guests of the great wedding banquet that awaited them.  Still they did not choose to attend and, in fact, killed the King’s slaves.  This enraged the King and he sent troops to destroy the murders.  Finally, he sent his slaves into the streets to invite everyone to the wedding banquet.  They all came, but one guest did not dress in the appropriate wedding robe.  When questioned by the King, the guest had no reply.  The King had his attendants “throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

This parable certainly parallels how mankind has responded to God’s call to the feast.  He sent prophets and sages and they were killed and destroyed.  He sent his son and we crucified him.  He wanted everyone to meet his son and greet him in love, especially the leaders of the Church.  However, they wanted everything to stay the same and they rejected Jesus.

How does this apply to us today?  Surely, we are struck by the persistence with which our Creator pursues us.  He comes to us time and time again asking us to take up his work here on Earth.  We have a feast every Sunday, but it is not enough to show up and do the same old things.  We must clothe ourselves in the robes of love, belonging, and celebration.  Visitors should witness us love each other and enjoy the feast.  Often, we wear the robes of self-absorption, jealousy, envy, and noncommitment.  We must work in the kingdom to share and participate in the party.  Donning the robes of forgiveness, goodness, joy, and peace will make us right guests to share the good news of the feast.