Matthew 22:1-14 The Message
Jesus responded by telling still more stories. “God’s kingdom,” he said, “is like a king who threw a wedding banquet for his son. He sent out servants to call in all the invited guests. And they wouldn’t come!
“He sent out another round of servants, instructing them to tell the guests, ‘Look, everything is on the table, the prime rib is ready for carving. Come to the feast!’
“They only shrugged their shoulders and went off, one to weed his garden, another to work in his shop. The rest, with nothing better to do, beat up on the messengers and then killed them. The king was outraged and sent his soldiers to destroy those thugs and level their city.
“Then he told his servants, ‘We have a wedding banquet all prepared but no guests. The ones I invited weren’t up to it. Go out into the busiest intersections in town and invite anyone you find to the banquet.’ The servants went out on the streets and rounded up everyone they laid eyes on, good and bad, regardless. And so the banquet was on—every place filled.
“When the king entered and looked over the scene, he spotted a man who wasn’t properly dressed. He said to him, ‘Friend, how dare you come in here looking like that!’ The man was speechless. Then the king told his servants, ‘Get him out of here—fast. Tie him up and ship him to hell. And make sure he doesn’t get back in.’
“That’s what I mean when I say, ‘Many get invited; only a few make it.'”
“Look, everything is on the table, the prime rib is ready for carving. Come to the feast!” Will we heed his invitation, or do our petty trifles keep us to occupied? For those who heed, the feast is pure abundance—the eternal experience of grace. We’ve certainly tasted of the banquet, but our journeys thus far are only appetizers of the all-consuming Glory that awaits.
Thee, King of saints, we praise
For this our living bread,
Nourish’d by Thy preserving grace,
And at Thy table fed;
Who in these lower parts
Of Thy great kingdom feast
We feel the earnest in our hearts
Of our eternal rest.
Yet still an higher seat
We in Thy kingdom claim,
Who here begin by faith to eat
The supper of the Lamb:
That glorious heavenly prize
We surely shall attain,
And in the palace of the skies
With Thee for ever reign.
—Charles and John Wesley
Hymns on the Lord’s Supper # 97