The Royal Wedding

Jesus told a parable to the chief priests, elders, Pharisees and the common people in a succinct way (Mt 21:23,45). He compared the Kingdom of Heaven to a king who threw a wedding banquet for His Son. He sent out servants to call in all the invitees. But they wouldn’t come. He wistfully sent another round of servants tempting them with some items in the menu. But they cared the less. They went about their own work. Some abused the servants and slaughtered them heartlessly. So the king sent his army and destroyed the thugs and their city.

The king felt let down when no guest turned up for his son’s marriage supper. So he asked his servants to go to the streets and invite anyone they might fi nd. The banquet hall became full. But the king spotted a man without the wedding dress. When questioned about it, he had no answer. The king ordered that he be thrown in darkness. The conclusion of the parable was that many were invited, but only a few were chosen (Mt 22:1-14).

An element of mystery surrounds this story. Let’s try to unravel it. Have in mind that Jesus was talking to the religious Jews who were the prime invitees. When they rejected the offer, their place was given to the non-Jews, people on the streets. The King is God and the Son is Jesus Christ. There is more emphasis on the wedding dinner than on the wedding itself.

Supposing you had received an invitation from Queen Elizabeth to attend Harry - Megan’s wedding, with your friends and relatives, with an offer that the flight charges for all would be taken care of, how would you feel and what would you do? It would take some time for you to believe it is true. Then you will carry the invitation from person to person, to relatives and friends, encouraging them to come along with you. You will keep the invitation card in the show-case and mark the date. You will cancel all your programs on that day, however important they may be. You will be expectantly looking forward to that day.

Guess what the invitation card is? It is the Holy Scriptures. The Jews had the Scriptures and knew about the eternal life and how God had lovingly invited them. Job had accepted the invitation, for he said, "After my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my fl esh I shall see God. I myself will see Him with my own eyes - I and not another" (Job 19:26, 27). Elijah was ready and was taken up. But as for many Jews, God had written for them the great things of His Law, but they considered it written for somebody (Hos 8:12). In short, they did not respect the invitation. Where there is a will, there is a way, isn’t it? So they did not "will" it. It was an act of defi ance.

How would you feel if nobody turned up for your son’s wedding? Sad? Angry? Upset? Your son’s wedding would go on and you would think, "Let them get lost. I care the least for those who have no respect for my invitation." I am yet to hear of a father who sent his servants to the invitees to call them again. Why then do you think the Father sent His servants to call them again after sending the invitation? He had an army. In His anger he could have destroyed them. But no, His love for them wouldn’t permit Him to do it. Oh, how much God loved the Jews! He wanted to fulfi ll His eternal plans through them.

But what was the response? They refused to come. What an insult to the King of kings! Would He destroy them now? His passionate love and enduring mercy pulled Him back from the cruel act. He sent more servants to tell them the menu and tempted them to come. He tried to woo them with cords of love (Hos 11:4). He wanted to "allure" them (Hos 2:14). The greatest King of all the universe stooped down to worms to once again beg them to come. They were given a precious second chance. But they hardened their hearts and would not come.

Our God is a loving God who gives us more than one chance. Let us embrace the opportunities given by Him. He waits patiently. He changed His mind when He wanted to destroy the Israelites in the wilderness. He planned to destroy Nineveh, but when they repented He altered His plan because He is a "gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in loving kindness. One who relents from doing harm" (Jonah 4:2). But not forever. "Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath can fl are up in a moment. Blessed are those who put their trust in Him" (Psa 2:12). How they missed a wonderful chance! When Christ comes the second time, His longsuffering would have run its course.

Jesus said, "In My Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am" (Jn 14:2,3). Nobody has seen, nobody has heard what God has prepared for us. Even if you let your imagination soar you can’t guess what’s in store for us (1 Cor 2:9). We brought a VCD of the Los Angeles Disney Land for our granddaughter. When she and her friends were viewing it, we were overhearing their conversation, "Will it be as big as Periyar Park?," was their discussion. We laughed. That’s all we can think of heaven. Our bird-brain cannot imagine beyond that. We are in for a shocking surprise. The devil has chloroformed us. We must snap out of our stupor, come out of our coma and awake from our apathy. How terrible it will be to keep on seeing what we missed! (Lk 16:23).

The servants are the Old Testament prophets who were killed by the Jews in their long and tangled past. Some went to their fi elds and some to attend to their business. How we too do the same! Evangelists blow into our ears; God’s servants warn us; the Bible screams at us; meetings, TV, Church, Online sermons, Conventions, books. We talk ill of preachers instead of praying for them. We slay them with our tongues. We spread rumours about them. We hear the invitation in the church, TV, songs and media. Yet we do not heed them. Our own works take priority. Oh, how much we sideline things of eternal value to do our own business! We have no time for God because our own business needs our time. From sun up to sun down we have something to do. Our offi ce, our work, our personal matters, our friends, outings, shoppings, holidays, business meetings, mobile! Our crammed schedules outweigh our time with God. For us "our things" are more important than the marriage supper of the Lamb.

So the King sent His army and took them to task for their barbaric act. "O Jerusalem Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! Look, your house is left to you desolate" (Lk 13:34,35). A time will come when the King will say, "That’s enough. I’ve had it." His anger was kindled; He unleashed His wrath; He destroyed those murderers and burned their cities. He rejected the Jews, sent the Roman army and destroyed Jerusalem. Hitler drew the noose around the Jews and killed millions of them.

I was just thinking why they neglected such a golden opportunity to attend a palace wedding. Then I thought may be the protocol was too much for them. Out of curiosity I checked Google to see the Royal Wedding protocols. There were twenty but I chose one that relates to our subject.

The Wedding Dress. You cannot go as you please. There is a dress code. I suppose the servants were sent with the royal wedding dress for each invitee. The invitees were to put off their dirty clothes, have a wash, and put on the wedding garment. Joshua’s filthy clothes were removed. His sin was taken away and he was given rich garments (Zech 3:3-5). We need to fi rst put off our dirty clothes. Our rags described by the authors of the epistles need to come off. The religious Jews could not strip themselves of their selfrighteousness. The Bible recommends that we strip ourselves of the fi lthy clothes of misleading others by telling lies, harboring bitterness against someone in our heart, emotional outbursts resulting in shouting, screaming, harming others, dirty talk, immorality etc., not to mention the loss of ethics in business, out of wed-lock birthrate, substance-abuse, pornography and such things which were not so common in the Biblical era (Eph 4:25,31; Col 3:8; Rom 13:12-14).

We need to take a scrub bath and be washed in the blood of the Lamb. Now we are ready to put on the wedding garment sent by the King. There is the helmet of salvation which we need to wear always as we ride through life (1 Thess 5:8). It is the rule of the new kingdom. Job says that he put on righteousness as his clothing; justice was his robe and turban (Job 29:14; Rev 19:8; Isa 61:10). We need to clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom 13:14). That means anybody seeing us must see Jesus Christ. Humility (1 Pet 5:5), the new self (Col 3:10), and over all these virtues we must put on love which binds them all together in perfect unity (Col 3:12-14). ‘The Bible speaks of putting on love like a garment. It is a cloak we never remove - doing good, meeting needs, shedding offences, showing compassion, projecting friendliness. That’s the uniform of the Christian,’ says Shurtleff.

Now do you understand why they said ‘No’? It was too much for them.

Then the King went ahead with His next strategy. He sent some more of His servants and told them that those He invited did not deserve to come. So He asked them to go to street corners and invite anyone they found. These servants, we may safely assume as the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. They went out into the streets (Acts 5:15) and gathered all the people they could fi nd, both good and bad. The invitation widened their eyes. Their hearts thumped with excitement. "Who me? To the King’s banquet? Oh, this lovely garment! How wonderful! It is hard to put off my old clothes to which I’ve got used to since many years. But I want to come. So give me the wedding garment," was the joyous cry of everyone. They were choked with gratitude. They put off their stinking clothes and had a quick wash in the blood of the Lamb. The bad, the immoral, the unprincipled felt honored to be invited by the King despite their unworthiness. So the hall was bursting at its seams. Jesus said to the Jews, "I tell you the truth, the tax-collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax-collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him" (Mt 21:31,32). The Good News is now for the world! Oh yippee! These people also had their own works to do but they considered the royal invitation a privilege and a giddy expectation rippled through the crowd.

Who was the man without the wedding clothes? These are those who like the Pharisees and Sadducees came to John Baptist to escape the wrath but not willing to change their lifestyle. These are those who worship and eat with us, yet are autumn trees without fruit (Jude 12). These are false disciples (Mt 7:15- 23). Their presence seems initially to honor the Son, but their refusal to wear the wedding garment dishonors Him. Many false disciples appear to honor Jesus by calling Him "Lord" but actually they are hypocrites without true faith and repentance. Only the King was able to pinpoint this fellow. Will you pass the eye of the heart-searching God? "Many" will say on that day, "We prophesied in your name, cast out demons and performed "many" miracles. We ate and drank with You and You taught in our streets" (Mt 7:21-23; Lk 13:26). When the King asked him about his wedding dress he was speechless. He had no excuse to give. What excuse do we have if we neglect so great a salvation after He has sacrifi ced His own Son for us? How boldly he came, hoping all his great works would get him a ticket! He went to eternal doom, to a fi ery cauldron (Mt 8:12). "When we are tempted to think it is hard to deny ourselves, and to crucify fl eshly lusts, we ought to consider how much harder it will be to be forever in the lake that burns with fi re and brimstone," says Bible scholar Mathew Henry.

Jesus concluded the parable saying, "Many are invited, but few are chosen?" Immediately you may wonder, "Am I chosen?" Jesus said, whoever came to Him, He would never cast out. God so loved the "world." The invitation is for all (Jn 12:47). He wants "all men" to be saved (1 Tim 2:4). But the question is, "Do we choose Him?" Mary chose that good part, which would never be taken away from her (Lk 10:42). Jesus said, "Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?" (Jn 6:70). Jesus chose him, but Judas did not choose Jesus. Jesus invites all men and women with outstretched hands, saying, "Come to me all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Mt 11:28). Only a few respond to this call. He takes them into His house and shuts the door. Once inside, He tells them, "I have chosen you before the foundation of the world" (Eph 1:4). The invitees are the called ; the respondents are the chosen!

"Blessed are all those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb" (Rev 19:9). This is the wedding banquet Jesus was talking about. How blessed were the Jews who were invited for this Royal Wedding of the Lamb! They did not realize it and lost it as some of us do today.

"The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes let him take the free gift of the water of life" (Rev 22:17).

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 அனுதின அலங்காரம் (தமிழில்)

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      Apr 09, 2021
    Oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness more...
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 Daily Devotional for Women (English)

  •   367. December 31 Golden Girl
      Dec 31, 2019
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  •   051. Blessed Accident
      Feb 21, 2018
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      Feb 21, 2018
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      Feb 21, 2018
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  •   094 Ant and Worm
      Jun 01, 2016
    An ant was majestically walking along a forest. She saw a worm crawling. The ant told the worm: ?Look at me. I am so brisk and smart. You should be faster and dress up beautifully. You look ugly.? Despising the worm the ant moved along. more...
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 Little Stories for Little Hearts Vol 2

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  •   Introduction
      Jun 06, 2013
    Story Behind The Stories more...
  •   001. Is GOD For Real
      Jun 05, 2013
    There were two scientists. One was a believer in the true God and another was an aetheist more...
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  •   019 - Mala the Great!
      Jun 25, 2015
    7 Dec 1988 Dear Aunty, It?s been 2 months since we were in touch. I?m saturated with ?news? to give you and nearly bursting with curiosity to hear what?s been happening at your end. The last letter you wrote to me was an eye-opener. To more...
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      Jun 25, 2015
    On the day she arrived, she was at my doorstep! ?Hi aunty? ?Oh Mala, how are you?? She shook my hand so long and hard that it ached, and planted a kiss on my cheek - so unusual of her. ?Why didn?t you write aunty?? ?Oh, I knew you?d be coming soon. So more...
  •   021 - What to Do?
      Jun 25, 2015
    7 Jan 1989 Dear Aunty, Christmas holidays were great fun. It was lovely getting in touch with friends and relatives. On New Year?s Day I gleaned thro? my diary- There was so much to thank God for! My friend Esther is in Rajasthan. She wrote asking for g more...
  • Click here for more 

 Family

  •   Creepers Without Support
      Sep 30, 2016
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  •   Mothers,Be Mothers!
      Sep 30, 2016
    Mothers,Be Mothers! In the first chapter of Proverbs we meet the dynamic personality called mother. She is presented not as a wobbly- footed weakling but as one who passes the law. Even inside the home she does not appear as a second class citizen, ra more...
  •   The Mother-in-laws Son!
      Sep 17, 2016
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  • Click here for more 

 Ministry

  •   I am a Missionary!
      Aug 14, 2018
    1. I am a missionary and so I work for God and not for an organisation. Though I am under the discipline of an organisation, whatever I do, I do with the fear of God. God is my Master and so I subject myself to the leaders. I quell any rebellious spirit t more...
  •   Sewer turned Sower!
      Mar 13, 2017
    To understand John chapter 4, we must first understand about the Samaritans. Samaria was between Judea and Galilee so much so any Jew travelling from Galilee to Judea or Judea to Galilee needed to go through it. Many Jews, because of the aversion they ha more...
  •   Afraid of Iron Chariots?
      Jun 29, 2016
    Afraid of Iron Chariots? more...
  • Click here for more 

 Women

  •   Golden Girl
      Aug 27, 2018
    As India basks in the glory of the golden girls who kissed their gold medals in the 2018 Asian Games, let us meditate upon the Golden Girl who glitters in the Scriptures. The Psalmist profiles her in his 45th Psalm: ?At Your right hand is the royal bride more...
  •   Sister Sodom
      Jan 16, 2017
    Sodom is always associated with wicked ''men''. But here God calls her as 'Sister Sodom!' more...
  •   Women,Leaven and Heaven!
      Sep 30, 2016
    Women,Leaven and Heaven! 'The Kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened ' ,said Jesus (Mt 13:33). more...
  • Click here for more 

 Youth

  •   Parties Gone Wild!
      Dec 27, 2020
    Parties Gone Wild! more...
  •   A Teenagers Story
      Oct 04, 2017
    In the Bible we read about many teenagers. One such is David. When we are introduced to him, he is probably fifteen or sixteen, trying his more...
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 General

The Royal Wedding

Jesus told a parable to the chief priests, elders, Pharisees and the common people in a succinct way (Mt 21:23,45). He compared the Kingdom of Heaven to a king who threw a wedding banquet for His Son. He sent out servants to call in all the invitees. But they wouldn’t come. He wistfully sent another round of servants tempting them with some items in the menu. But they cared the less. They went about their own work. Some abused the servants and slaughtered them heartlessly. So the king sent his army and destroyed the thugs and their city.

The king felt let down when no guest turned up for his son’s marriage supper. So he asked his servants to go to the streets and invite anyone they might fi nd. The banquet hall became full. But the king spotted a man without the wedding dress. When questioned about it, he had no answer. The king ordered that he be thrown in darkness. The conclusion of the parable was that many were invited, but only a few were chosen (Mt 22:1-14).

An element of mystery surrounds this story. Let’s try to unravel it. Have in mind that Jesus was talking to the religious Jews who were the prime invitees. When they rejected the offer, their place was given to the non-Jews, people on the streets. The King is God and the Son is Jesus Christ. There is more emphasis on the wedding dinner than on the wedding itself.

Supposing you had received an invitation from Queen Elizabeth to attend Harry - Megan’s wedding, with your friends and relatives, with an offer that the flight charges for all would be taken care of, how would you feel and what would you do? It would take some time for you to believe it is true. Then you will carry the invitation from person to person, to relatives and friends, encouraging them to come along with you. You will keep the invitation card in the show-case and mark the date. You will cancel all your programs on that day, however important they may be. You will be expectantly looking forward to that day.

Guess what the invitation card is? It is the Holy Scriptures. The Jews had the Scriptures and knew about the eternal life and how God had lovingly invited them. Job had accepted the invitation, for he said, "After my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my fl esh I shall see God. I myself will see Him with my own eyes - I and not another" (Job 19:26, 27). Elijah was ready and was taken up. But as for many Jews, God had written for them the great things of His Law, but they considered it written for somebody (Hos 8:12). In short, they did not respect the invitation. Where there is a will, there is a way, isn’t it? So they did not "will" it. It was an act of defi ance.

How would you feel if nobody turned up for your son’s wedding? Sad? Angry? Upset? Your son’s wedding would go on and you would think, "Let them get lost. I care the least for those who have no respect for my invitation." I am yet to hear of a father who sent his servants to the invitees to call them again. Why then do you think the Father sent His servants to call them again after sending the invitation? He had an army. In His anger he could have destroyed them. But no, His love for them wouldn’t permit Him to do it. Oh, how much God loved the Jews! He wanted to fulfi ll His eternal plans through them.

But what was the response? They refused to come. What an insult to the King of kings! Would He destroy them now? His passionate love and enduring mercy pulled Him back from the cruel act. He sent more servants to tell them the menu and tempted them to come. He tried to woo them with cords of love (Hos 11:4). He wanted to "allure" them (Hos 2:14). The greatest King of all the universe stooped down to worms to once again beg them to come. They were given a precious second chance. But they hardened their hearts and would not come.

Our God is a loving God who gives us more than one chance. Let us embrace the opportunities given by Him. He waits patiently. He changed His mind when He wanted to destroy the Israelites in the wilderness. He planned to destroy Nineveh, but when they repented He altered His plan because He is a "gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in loving kindness. One who relents from doing harm" (Jonah 4:2). But not forever. "Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath can fl are up in a moment. Blessed are those who put their trust in Him" (Psa 2:12). How they missed a wonderful chance! When Christ comes the second time, His longsuffering would have run its course.

Jesus said, "In My Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am" (Jn 14:2,3). Nobody has seen, nobody has heard what God has prepared for us. Even if you let your imagination soar you can’t guess what’s in store for us (1 Cor 2:9). We brought a VCD of the Los Angeles Disney Land for our granddaughter. When she and her friends were viewing it, we were overhearing their conversation, "Will it be as big as Periyar Park?," was their discussion. We laughed. That’s all we can think of heaven. Our bird-brain cannot imagine beyond that. We are in for a shocking surprise. The devil has chloroformed us. We must snap out of our stupor, come out of our coma and awake from our apathy. How terrible it will be to keep on seeing what we missed! (Lk 16:23).

The servants are the Old Testament prophets who were killed by the Jews in their long and tangled past. Some went to their fi elds and some to attend to their business. How we too do the same! Evangelists blow into our ears; God’s servants warn us; the Bible screams at us; meetings, TV, Church, Online sermons, Conventions, books. We talk ill of preachers instead of praying for them. We slay them with our tongues. We spread rumours about them. We hear the invitation in the church, TV, songs and media. Yet we do not heed them. Our own works take priority. Oh, how much we sideline things of eternal value to do our own business! We have no time for God because our own business needs our time. From sun up to sun down we have something to do. Our offi ce, our work, our personal matters, our friends, outings, shoppings, holidays, business meetings, mobile! Our crammed schedules outweigh our time with God. For us "our things" are more important than the marriage supper of the Lamb.

So the King sent His army and took them to task for their barbaric act. "O Jerusalem Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! Look, your house is left to you desolate" (Lk 13:34,35). A time will come when the King will say, "That’s enough. I’ve had it." His anger was kindled; He unleashed His wrath; He destroyed those murderers and burned their cities. He rejected the Jews, sent the Roman army and destroyed Jerusalem. Hitler drew the noose around the Jews and killed millions of them.

I was just thinking why they neglected such a golden opportunity to attend a palace wedding. Then I thought may be the protocol was too much for them. Out of curiosity I checked Google to see the Royal Wedding protocols. There were twenty but I chose one that relates to our subject.

The Wedding Dress. You cannot go as you please. There is a dress code. I suppose the servants were sent with the royal wedding dress for each invitee. The invitees were to put off their dirty clothes, have a wash, and put on the wedding garment. Joshua’s filthy clothes were removed. His sin was taken away and he was given rich garments (Zech 3:3-5). We need to fi rst put off our dirty clothes. Our rags described by the authors of the epistles need to come off. The religious Jews could not strip themselves of their selfrighteousness. The Bible recommends that we strip ourselves of the fi lthy clothes of misleading others by telling lies, harboring bitterness against someone in our heart, emotional outbursts resulting in shouting, screaming, harming others, dirty talk, immorality etc., not to mention the loss of ethics in business, out of wed-lock birthrate, substance-abuse, pornography and such things which were not so common in the Biblical era (Eph 4:25,31; Col 3:8; Rom 13:12-14).

We need to take a scrub bath and be washed in the blood of the Lamb. Now we are ready to put on the wedding garment sent by the King. There is the helmet of salvation which we need to wear always as we ride through life (1 Thess 5:8). It is the rule of the new kingdom. Job says that he put on righteousness as his clothing; justice was his robe and turban (Job 29:14; Rev 19:8; Isa 61:10). We need to clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom 13:14). That means anybody seeing us must see Jesus Christ. Humility (1 Pet 5:5), the new self (Col 3:10), and over all these virtues we must put on love which binds them all together in perfect unity (Col 3:12-14). ‘The Bible speaks of putting on love like a garment. It is a cloak we never remove - doing good, meeting needs, shedding offences, showing compassion, projecting friendliness. That’s the uniform of the Christian,’ says Shurtleff.

Now do you understand why they said ‘No’? It was too much for them.

Then the King went ahead with His next strategy. He sent some more of His servants and told them that those He invited did not deserve to come. So He asked them to go to street corners and invite anyone they found. These servants, we may safely assume as the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. They went out into the streets (Acts 5:15) and gathered all the people they could fi nd, both good and bad. The invitation widened their eyes. Their hearts thumped with excitement. "Who me? To the King’s banquet? Oh, this lovely garment! How wonderful! It is hard to put off my old clothes to which I’ve got used to since many years. But I want to come. So give me the wedding garment," was the joyous cry of everyone. They were choked with gratitude. They put off their stinking clothes and had a quick wash in the blood of the Lamb. The bad, the immoral, the unprincipled felt honored to be invited by the King despite their unworthiness. So the hall was bursting at its seams. Jesus said to the Jews, "I tell you the truth, the tax-collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax-collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him" (Mt 21:31,32). The Good News is now for the world! Oh yippee! These people also had their own works to do but they considered the royal invitation a privilege and a giddy expectation rippled through the crowd.

Who was the man without the wedding clothes? These are those who like the Pharisees and Sadducees came to John Baptist to escape the wrath but not willing to change their lifestyle. These are those who worship and eat with us, yet are autumn trees without fruit (Jude 12). These are false disciples (Mt 7:15- 23). Their presence seems initially to honor the Son, but their refusal to wear the wedding garment dishonors Him. Many false disciples appear to honor Jesus by calling Him "Lord" but actually they are hypocrites without true faith and repentance. Only the King was able to pinpoint this fellow. Will you pass the eye of the heart-searching God? "Many" will say on that day, "We prophesied in your name, cast out demons and performed "many" miracles. We ate and drank with You and You taught in our streets" (Mt 7:21-23; Lk 13:26). When the King asked him about his wedding dress he was speechless. He had no excuse to give. What excuse do we have if we neglect so great a salvation after He has sacrifi ced His own Son for us? How boldly he came, hoping all his great works would get him a ticket! He went to eternal doom, to a fi ery cauldron (Mt 8:12). "When we are tempted to think it is hard to deny ourselves, and to crucify fl eshly lusts, we ought to consider how much harder it will be to be forever in the lake that burns with fi re and brimstone," says Bible scholar Mathew Henry.

Jesus concluded the parable saying, "Many are invited, but few are chosen?" Immediately you may wonder, "Am I chosen?" Jesus said, whoever came to Him, He would never cast out. God so loved the "world." The invitation is for all (Jn 12:47). He wants "all men" to be saved (1 Tim 2:4). But the question is, "Do we choose Him?" Mary chose that good part, which would never be taken away from her (Lk 10:42). Jesus said, "Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?" (Jn 6:70). Jesus chose him, but Judas did not choose Jesus. Jesus invites all men and women with outstretched hands, saying, "Come to me all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Mt 11:28). Only a few respond to this call. He takes them into His house and shuts the door. Once inside, He tells them, "I have chosen you before the foundation of the world" (Eph 1:4). The invitees are the called ; the respondents are the chosen!

"Blessed are all those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb" (Rev 19:9). This is the wedding banquet Jesus was talking about. How blessed were the Jews who were invited for this Royal Wedding of the Lamb! They did not realize it and lost it as some of us do today.

"The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes let him take the free gift of the water of life" (Rev 22:17).

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