I’ve read the parable of the wedding feast more times than I can remember. When we become so familiar with a passage, it’s easy to lose its significance. We must always guard against a casual reading of the Bible. Every word has the power to impact our lives. After all, it is the very Word of God. We should always read with reverence and awe. When we do, God reveals fresh insight and application of His story.
This happened in my recent reading of the parable of the wedding feast. I’d always perceived those who refused to come to the feast as the Pharisees and the nation of Israel. All those who claimed to love God but refused to see Him in their midst. As is too often the case, I identify who Jesus was talking to while conveniently leaving myself out of that audience.
While I believe the primary target of the parable were the people of Israel, tucked right in the early part of the story are some statements that should make us all pause and realize the relevance of the story in our lives. If you aren’t familiar with the parable of the wedding feast, take a moment to read it now in Matthew 22:1-14.
It’s the story of God preparing Heaven so He can lavish His glory and kindness on those whom He has called. But when He invites them in, they make excuses and even kill some of His messengers. It is in their excuses that most of us will find ourselves.
The excuses the people give for not coming all revolve around being too busy with their personal affairs. Having too much to do with their jobs or businesses, time for God became less and less of a priority. Can you relate? We spend most of our waking hours at our place of work (mentally if not physically). Whether or not we do it intentionally, our tendency is to place our careers at the center of our lives.
We place this block of time to do our work in the best hours of our day and then try to fit everything else, including God, around the margins. Do we think God will tolerate being marginalized? I think we find the answer in the parable of the wedding feast. If we marginalize God in our lives on earth, He will shut us out of eternity with Him.
When those who profess to love God do not demonstrate that love in their lives, we are in danger of being shut out of Heaven. God has gifted us with His grace and is calling us to come to Him. And yet, we are too busy and consumed with the cares of this world to respond to His invitation. This should be a wake-up call not only for those who reject His invitation outright but also for those who receive His calling with joy but refuse to drop everything and run to Him.
God will not be marginalized. He is calling and inviting us to come and enjoy His presence. Our response must be one of immediate action. When God calls, we go. Where He leads, we follow. We need to put Jesus at the center of our lives, give Him the best hours of ours day, and put everything else in the margins. Failure to do so may find us shut out from the great banquet of eternity dining in the presence of our Father and King. Don’t be left outside. Accept His invitation and run to Him today.