Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Another Final Lesson

Luke 19:41-42, 44 (MSG)
When the city came into view, He wept over it.  “If you had only recognized this day, and everything that was good for you!  But now it’s too late…. because you didn’t recognize and welcome God’s personal visit.”

Matthew recounts another parable Jesus told in His final days - another critical, last minute lesson.  Remember, Jesus was at the end of His ministry and didn’t have time to sugarcoat His message.

It was a story about a King’s wedding reception for His Son.  Yes, capital K and capital S.  The customary save the date notices had been sent, then messengers spread the word that the banquet was ready.  “But [those invited] paid no attention and went off – one to his field, another to his business.”  Others abused and killed the messengers.  The King decided those who were too preoccupied with their day-to-day lives to celebrate with Him didn’t deserve the festivities.  The King killed them.  Ouch!

Because He had a wonderful party prepared, the King sent new messengers to gather up anyone and everyone they could find.  As was the custom, the King provided party clothes to all the guests because many, especially in this situation, couldn’t dress appropriately on their own.  The ballroom was packed with all sorts of people!

But the King noticed a man in street clothes who apparently had refused to change.  The Host, who had freely offered the appropriate attire, was insulted.  The man was speechless when asked “Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?”  The King threw him out and ordered severe punishment.  Ouch again!

What’s the take-away message?

God offers an undeserved invitation to undeserving people- anyone and everyone.  In addition, He freely, graciously provides the righteousness required to stand in His presence by forgiving our sins.  Some of us are too busy.  Others are too stubborn to change our ways.  God doesn't appear to be particularly understanding of our excuses.

Today’s scripture tells us Jesus wept about the choices His people made.  Consider reading the story again. You have been invited!  How have you RSVP’d?

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