You’re invited! Have you RSVPed?
“…for the promise is…for as many as
“our Lord invites and bids come to Himself.”
Acts 2:39 Ampc
Our digging into the traditional Hebrew betrothal brings us to a parable told by Jesus.
In The Parable of the Wedding Feast (Matt. 22:1-14), a king prepared a marriage feast for his son. This parable is somewhat different as the Church Bride is not mentioned. However, the meaning is no less important.
The first invitation in the parable represents the call to the Jewish nation. When refused, the second invitation went out to the Gentiles.
According to ancient tradition, two invitations were sent out for a wedding, the first went out long in advance so the host knew how much food and wine to prepare. The second one summoned everyone to come when all had been readied.
It was (and still is) an extreme insult to accept an invitation and then not show up after all the preparations had been made, which sometimes resulted in a fight.
When everything was ready, all were summoned.
The king sent his servants to bid those already invited to come to the wedding, telling them, “Look, everything is on the table, the prime rib is ready for carving. Come to the feast!” (Matt. 22:4b Msg)
The king’s table sat in readiness. The meat roasted. The bread sat piping hot. The jugs of wine overflowed.
But those first invited made excuses.
They made light of the king’s invitation, making excuses and having no regard for it. Some even seized the king’s servants and killed them. The king was furious and retaliated.
Then, he told his servants, “The guests I invited aren’t worthy of the honor.” (Matt. 22:8 NLT) So, he sent the servants out, saying, “Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find…Compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” (Matt. 22:9 NIV, Luke 14:23 NKJV)
The second invitation represents those who accepted.
And the wedding hall began filling up.
When the king went to greet his guests, he spotted a man without a wedding garment. When the king asked him how he got in, the man had no answer.
The king told his servants to bind the man and cast him into outer darkness.
Jesus added, “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matt 22:14 NKJV)
Why the harsh treatment? Because the custom of many countries in that day was to wear long, white robes at public festivals, weddings, and other occasions. Royalty and the wealthy made every provision for those invited to a wedding, including the free gift of wedding garments.
Refusing to accept or wear one of these garments was not only the highest insult and disrespect, but, in some countries, it was also worthy of punishment.
Rather than wear the garment provided for him, this man presumptuously entered in his own attire, without honor for the king. And was thrown out.
You’ve been invited. What are you wearing?
The King provided us with our free gift of a wedding garment. Jesus paid the great price to purchase that royal garment for us. We cannot enter the wedding feast without it.
Those who think they are part of heaven’s wedding feast, yet try to enter by their own righteousness and works, will not see the glory of heaven. Remember, Jesus said, “Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:20 NIV)
Invitations still go out. Replies still come in – some acceptances, some excuses, and some rejections.
Many are invited but few RSVP! “And this includes you, called of Jesus Christ and invited [as you are] to belong to Him.” (Rom. 1:6 Ampc)
Gently, He invites, “Come.” Tenderly, He calls, “Come.” And the Spirit, the Friend of the Bridegroom woos, “Come!”
“So, friends, confirm God’s invitation to you, His choice of you. Don’t put it off; do it now. Do this, and you’ll have your life on a firm footing.” (2 Peter 1:10 Msg)
You’re invited! Have you RSVPed?
May your wedding garment always be pristine…Lynn
If you’d like to follow the series:
Come…I will show you the Bride
The Bride of Choice
The Price of the Bride
Two bound together as one
that which is written
Being Called by That Name
What is the Bridegroom’s Gift?
And the Bridegroom Departed
The Bride Needed Cleansing
The Bride’s Veil of Holiness
In Expectation of the Bride’s Snatching Away
What Happens Under the Huppah?