You probably remember being summoned (or sent) to the principal’s office, that is, unless you were like those goody-two-shoes girls that always who were so annoying… oops, that’s a different story. But remember the feeling of dread as you dragged your feet toward that huge oak door with the frosted glass, wondering what terrible consequences lurked on the other side? For a lot of people, including myself not so long ago, when you hear people telling you to “get right with God,” it feels much the same way. God is the terrible “Principal” in the sky, waiting behind His desk with scowling, bushy eyebrows and a switch. Who wants to go through that door?
And yet, Jesus referred to that whole deal as being invited by God to a celebration and a party!
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 his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. – (Matthew 22:1-3 ESV)
In those days there was no better party than a wedding party – lavish food and drink, happy times that lasted for days. And this do is being thrown by a king Who sent personally delivered invitations! So why wouldn’t the people come? They were busy doing their own thing.
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,…
And others were angry about being invited:
…while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them.
Jesus’ story takes a pretty intense turn there – shocking – and yet He wanted to confront people with the heartbreaking contrast between a gracious invitation to the party and the indifference or outright hostility of those who were invited.
People today also decline this invitation because business calls or because they are too busy with life. Some don’t want to go because they don’t understand it is an invite to a party. Others have decided the whole thing is a hoax! They say, “There’s no King and who would want to go to that kind of a party if He did exist?” When those delivering the invitation persist, sometimes they are belittled, roughed up or killed.
If you haven’t read through the rest of this parable in awhile, I encourage you to do so. It raises a number of intriguing questions. Here’s just two: Are you going to the party? If not, what’s your excuse?