INTRO: The great kingdom parables of Matthews gospel are very graphic and very instructive. Each teaches something about the kingdom (or, church) of our Lord. The parable to which we have referred with our text is one which tells us some things about the kingdom as compared to a great royal wedding feast. We are given a good bit of information here about the invitees and how they responded to the invitation to this feast. And our emphasis in our study will be primarily devoted to the people whom the king invited. However, we do need to say one or two things of a general nature.
I THE KINGDOM IS LIKE A MARRIAGE FEAST
A. One of the most happy, joyful events of that world was a wedding feast
1. it was an honor to be invited ... especially to a royal wedding feast
2. it was an event in which all would want to participate
B. The church (and the blessings therein) should be a happy, joyful place
1. being a servant of the Lord should not be a chore - onerous
2. so, one of the first great lessons here should be how we view our discipleship, our place at the feast (cf. Rom 14:17)
C. Obviously, God is the King; Jesus is the Son
II THE INVITEES?
A. Mt 22:3 - ...and they would not come
1. in this parable (as in others) the Jews were the first invited
2. the prophets had been telling of the coming of the kingdom -and Messiah
3. but when He came, they rejected Him, refused Him - Jno 1:11 - to refuse such an invitation was, in that world, an insult to the host
B. Mt 22:4-6 - ...but they made light of it
1. Lk 14:18 - And they all...began to make excuse...
2. the invitees just did not see this invitation as being all that important
3. some invitees actually abused the servants who carried the invitation! there can be no doubt this refers to the abuse of some of the prophets
C. The excuses? (from Lukes account - Lk 14:18)
1. the excuse of business comes first - the excuse of interest novelty (the new thing) - the excuse of demands of the home
2. observe that none of these things is wrong in itself
3. but it is so possible that good things can come between us and the Lord! - as one writer put it, To let the good interfere with the best (Mt 13:22)
III SO, THE KING BROADENS HIS INVITATION
A. Mt 22:9,10 - Go ye therefore into the highways...
1. Lukes account suggests two separate groups (Lk 14:21-23)
2. the first group (of the city) may well have been the publicans and sinners upon whom the Pharisees looked with such contempt
3. the second group (from the highways & hedges) suggests the Gentiles
B. These perhaps never thought they could enjoy such a feast!
1. they had been excluded from so much by the religionists of their day
2. suddenly, they are included in great blessings ... the religionists excluded
3. Eph 1:3 - in Christ are all spiritual blessings! rejoice!
IV THE IMPROPERLY DRESSED GUEST
A. Mt 22:11-13 - ...a man which had not on a wedding garment...
1. this man apparently came to the feast having made no preparation
2. he is like a person who comes straight from the field to formal dinner
3. he sticks out like a sore thumb - it is obvious he does not belong
B. When asked about this, He was speechless
1. there was just not an excuse for his effrontery
2. his presence was an insult to the host and the other guests
3. and he was cast out of the feast ... he had no place in the kingdom
C. Now, listen carefully to this reading - Gal 3:27
1. people who have been baptized have been clothed with Christ
2. no one can enjoy the feast who has not been clothed with Christ!
3. one who has not been baptized remains in the dirt, grim and filth of his sin - such have no place in the kingdom
4. in fact, these have only one destination in this condition - outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth
CLOSE: We are invited to share the blessings of the kingdom of heaven ... of Jesus Christ. It is an invitation of grace ... of honor. But we must be wearing Jesus Christ in order to enjoy the blessings of the feast. Have you been baptized into Him?
Cecil A. Hutson
06 June 2004
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)