Friday, September 05, 2008

Matthew 22

Jesus tells a story in Matthew 22 about a King who threw a wedding feast for His son. On the exact day, He sent out His servants to gather the invited guests.

But they were busy, on their way home from work, eager to stop by the pub for a pint, or kick back at home with the remote.

Disappointed, the Kings said, "Bump 'em," and sent His servants to invite strangers passing on the highway, those who would be honored to sit at the King's table. The servants brought both upstanding citizens as well as the undesirables. Both good and evil.

Among the merriment, the King strolled, observing the guests at His son's party. Suddenly, he saw a man in unfit attire. He wasn't dressed in wedding clothes.

"And he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?' And the man was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' For many are called, but few are chosen."

This guest came to the feast in his own clothes, in other words, his own righteousness. He'd not taken on the garments of his host, his "groom." He wanted to wear his own deeds, works, and self-righteousness.

We cannot come to Jesus in our own religiousness and righteousness. Our entrance to the wedding feast (Rev 19:9) is not based on what we do or what we think, or how we define faith, or right thinking, but how HE defines it.

We live in a culture where "what you believe is what you believe" is a popular, accepted concept. But is what you believe what He believes? It's His wedding feast. He has the final say.

Recently some friends were discussing abortion. One said, "upstanding, moral people are pro-choice, for abortion."

Moral according to whom, to what? From where do they derive their morals? Are you living according to your own righteousness or His?

To be honest, from what I read in the Word, I cannot see me asking Jesus, "So, you're cool with me being for abortion, right? I mean, pregnancy may come at a time when it's just not right for some women."

I imagine He'd not say a word, but turn and show me His whipped, torn and deeply wounded back.

"Ah, yeah, right. Maybe not."

Or, for the one who thinks adultery or sex out of marriage is fine and dandy, or homosexuality. Or adheres to white lies, or subtle cheating.

Look, I know mistakes are made. I've made them. Still do. I know people struggle. But if we are in Christ, we are not alone. We have a GREAT High Priest who prays for us!

We do not give Him and His Cross enough power and faith. He can take our worst situations and some how make them right. Or give us grace to endure.

We cannot show up at the wedding feast in our own works and righteousness. So why do we continually try? We have to put on His garments of faith, salvation and peace. He's given them to us by the Cross.

If you ever doubt His love or availability to you, close your eyes and gaze at the Cross. Don't let lies and doubt win.

1 comment:

Sharon Hayes said...

Thank you Rachel for another good thought provoking devotion.

Love you