I received an invitation the other day. Oh, how I wanted to go. But it was for a mid-morning brunch and my poor body is at its worst that early in the day. So, unfortunately, I had to turn it down.
But there’s one invitation of a lifetime I could not resist accepting. And that is…
In the parable of the wedding feast (Matt. 22:1-14), a king prepared a marriage feast for his son. The first invitation in the parable represents the call to the Jewish nation.
According to ancient tradition, two invitations were sent out for a wedding, the first invitation went out long in advance so the host knew how much to prepare. The second summoned everyone to come when all had been readied.
In the Middle East, it was (and 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 all was ready, the second invitation went out.
The king sent his servants to bid those already invited to come to the wedding, telling them, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.” (Matt. 22:4 NKJV)
The king’s table sat in readiness. The meat roasted. The spices prepared. The bread sat piping hot. The jugs of wine overflowed. As the offering of the gospel, the whole banquet of life sat waiting for them.
But those first invited were unwilling to come.
They made light of his 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 the invitation to the Gentiles, which they accepted.
And the wedding hall began filling up.
Invitations are still being sent out. The replies are coming in – some acceptances, some rejections, and some excuses. As the Bridegroom said, “Many are invited, but few are chosen.” (Matt. 22:14 GNT) So many are invited but few RSVP!
As in the parable, the Father says to those who are invited to the marriage of His Son, “All the preparations have been completed. The fatted calf has been sacrificed and all is ready. Come to the wedding!”
All provisions of the covenant of grace have been prepared.
All await your acceptance.
The Bride comes of Her own free will, accepting the invitation and choosing to be betrothed to Christ – or not. “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)
“Blessed (happy, to be envied) are those
who are summoned (invited, called)
to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”
(Rev. 19:9 Ampc)
…and that is the invitation of a lifetime I could not resist. What about you?
Invitation blessings to you…Lynn