New Testament passage for Sunday, February 2, 2014: Matthew 22:1-33
And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: 2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, 3 and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; ... Matthew 22:1-2 (NJKV)
Jesus loved to tell stories. He used those stories to illustrate life-lessons about the Kingdom of God. It might be a story about losing something valuable or about earning wages. It might be about farming or fishing. It always spoke to real-life situations with an eternal perspective.
His parable (story) about the Wedding Feast shows us some important truths about God's heart.
1. The center of God's plan is a LOVE RELATIONSHIP. The climax of history is a marriage! From the beginning, God has sought to gather a BRIDE for His Son. God is by nature a redeemer, a father, a lover. He wants a love relationship with you.
2. God invites all kinds of people to this wedding. He invites "both bad and good" (Matt. 21:10). Religion requires that men measure up; that they be good enough before they come. But God invites all men to come as they are and be MADE good enough. He invites you and me to His table.
3. God wants His house full. There may be many who refuse to come. But that does not deter our Father. He sends out more and more invitations. He will not relent until the house is full! He sends us to invite any and every man and woman to come into His Kingdom.
4. All He requires is the right clothing. The guests may be both bad and good, but they must be clothed properly. The only thing God requires is that we be clothed with the righteousness of Christ. Nothing else matters. This suit of clothing comes by faith. It is a gift (Eph. 2:8-9).
We can "put on" His clothing by believing and confessing the His work on our behalf. Such is the wonderful news of Christ's Kingdom. And each of us can come right now.