I’ve been a photographer for about 20 years now and I cannot count the number of weddings that I’ve been to. They’ve ranged in their variety from outdoor to indoor, from casual to formal, but all have a few things in common… 1) They are a celebration of the joining of a man and a woman into one life, two families into one… i.e., a unity where there was once division. 2) They are surrounded by joy and happiness with great celebration. 3) People get ready to attend the wedding, in that they don’t wear their usual clothes. It’s above the normal routine. 4) It costs the families sacrificial amounts of their finances (and often time) in order to put on this event. 5) They invite all of the people who mean the most to them.
If a close family member was getting married in your family and you were invited, would you consider not going? Of course not! You’d want your family member to know how much you cared about them so you’d do everything in your power, including re-arranging your schedule, to make sure you were there and ready to go when it started (and not in your pj’s!). And, don’t forget your gift!
Jesus uses the familiar symbolism of this wedding celebration to represent how it is when we are invited by Him and how He feels when we reject His invitation to come.
“And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, 2 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, 3 and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. 4 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.”’ 5 But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, 6 while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. 7 The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. 8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9 Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ 10 And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11 “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. 12 And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22: 1-14
It is a very serious thing to reject the invitation to the wedding of Jesus. Those who disregard the invitation, are indifferent to it, or who show up to it not ready will suffer by being cast into outer darkness where there is suffering and weeping.
The funny thing about this wedding that Jesus describes, is that the actual date hadn’t been communicated yet. Back when He used this analogy, by Jewish custom, the wedding announcement went out, but the actual date wasn’t on it yet, so it was like a “Save The Date.” You had to be ready to go at any time because you didn’t want to miss it when the final announcement came. It was more of a spur of the moment event which was determined by when the family finished their preparations and were ready to allow people to come in. This put you on a watch waiting for this several-day celebration.
You don’t want to miss this wedding! Are you planning on going? Have you set aside time on your calendar to go? Will you be prepared and ready to attend? What will you give to attend this one-time event?
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” John 3:16-18
“…Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” Revelation 19:9
Father God, Thank you for the invitation to your Son’s wedding. We are eternally grateful that you’ve even considered us on your guest list. Help us to be prepared for it when the time comes for the celebration. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.