Scripture: And again, Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son and sent he servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast…but they would not come.
Again, he sent other servants saying “Tell those who are invited ‘See? I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.’” But they paid no attention and went off—one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest of them seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them.
The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
Then he said to his servants: “The wedding feast is ready but those who were invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many you find” ….(good and bad) the wedding hall was filled with guests.
But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, “Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?” And he was speechless.
Then the king said to the attendants, “Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness…
For many are called but few are chosen.” (excerpts from Matt 22:1-14)
Observation: Every parable has a lesson containing at least one principle to take along. Many have more than one. It is a mistake to latch on to the principle that appeals most to ignoring the others—even if I respond like the disciples, “When are you going to speak in plain language, Lord? These are tough to think through….”
Application: It is unmistakable that this story contains more than one thought about evangelism.
It also contains a shorthand version of the Gospel plan and progression.
- Wedding feast for the Son.
- King invites:
- Generally, Israel. They would not come.
- Specifically, Israel. How? Through the prophets, who some ignored for other pastimes, and the rest killed the prophets.
- Then the world (Gentiles)—good folk and bad.
Then the parable indicates that the last group (Gentiles) favorably responds but with a distinction: “How did you get in here without a wedding garment?”
The invite went out by many. Many, in turn, responded and came to the house where the wedding feast was being held. Upon review by the King, at least one was expelled because he wasn’t dressed in wedding garments, that is, not dressed appropriately to be in the presence of the King and the Bridegroom.
I think the point to take away is that, as a servant, I have a responsibility to invite to the wedding feast. Whether an invitee is acceptable or not is not in my sphere of responsibility or even my ability to discern or evaluate—only the King has that.
When I try to prequalify, I do wrong.
However, I need to be aware that as a servant I am sent. Sometimes specifically sent to some and not to others. The Spirit told Paul to bypass Macedonia for instance and go to the next place. Jonah wanted to bypass Nineveh, but God “convinced” Jonah to obey.
Point? I need to surrender daily to the whisper of the Spirit so I can be, not a scattershot, but pinpointing as much as I am directively aware when it comes to evangelism. How? Pay attention to learning as much about the Gospel in its entirety as I can.
Prayer: Lord God, You know that I struggle with scattershot evangelism for the sake of “notches in the spine of my Bible.” Sometimes it appears evangelism takes centerstage while making disciples are not—even to the point of letting new “converts” fend for themselves. I want to hear your voice, O Lord. Guide my feet to be a worthy servant of Yours; of the Gospel. AMEN.