DAILY DISCIPLINE #177
By Colleen Donahue
For a third time Jesus speaks directly to the Jewish leadership with yet another parable. He is saying things in many ways so that they will not miss His point. He is speaking to a hard and stubborn lot but He wants to break through their thinking and reach their hearts. As you read through the parable (Matthew 21: 1-14) keep in mind that --
the king is God
the son or bridegroom is Jesus
the servants are the prophets and
those who have been invited are the Jews
In Jewish custom it was common for the invitations to be given out ahead of time and then a final summons sent out when everything was ready. So, here's the question for all of us.....
You Are Invited But Will You Come ?
Studies continued from Matthew 22:1-14
Day 1- It's interesting that Jesus compared the kingdom of Heaven to a wedding feast. It was a recognition of a major life event -- a celebration of new beginnings. A wedding feast with family and friends was a time of joy and laughter and abundance. These Jewish leaders had made "religion" heavy and burdensome for themselves and their people. Today many are mistaken in feeling that if they follow Jesus they throw all fun and happiness out the window. We couldn't be more wrong! What was one of the reasons that Jesus came to earth?
Where is ALL joy and fullness to be found?
Day 2- When we are members of God's kingdom, even if our life on earth goes through hardships, what will be true?
Isaiah 58:11 / Psalm 1: 1-3
Day 3- In fact, abundance in all of life is part of God's plan for those in God's kingdom.
Psalm 36:8 / 2 Corinthians 9:8 / Ephesians 3:20 / Philippians 4:19
Day 4- He has promised plenty to all those who come to Him and our obedient to do His will.
Deuteronomy 30:9 / Psalm 132:15 / Proverbs 3:9-10
Day 5- How did the Jews (the Jewish leaders especially) respond to God's invitation?
Matthew 22: 5-6
To be so indifferent at such a special invitation was a great insult. But notice that they had good, valid excuses. Read again
Then read an amplified version of this story in:
Luke 14: 16-19
Day 6- Business cares and daily events of life will always take precedence with worldly men. There will always be good excuses not to respond to God's call. Do you know that God loved His chosen people (the Jews) so much that He literally pleaded with them to turn from their own ways and follow Him?
Proverbs 1: 24-25 / Matthew 23:37 / Romans 10:21
Day 7- God makes His appeal to us today as well, using men and women that are committed to His will.
2 Corinthians 5:20
Day 8- We now see in the middle of this parable a verse that seems a little out of place. Read:
Here is a comment by William Barclay about this verse:
"Let us remember when Matthew was composing his gospel he was doing so some time between A.D. 80 and 90. What had happened during the period between the actual life of Jesus and the composing of the gospel? The answer is -- the destruction of Jerusalem by the armies of Rome. In A.D. 70 Jerusalem was indeed destroyed---the writer of the gospel adds as his comment the terrible things which did in fact happen to the nation which would not take the way of Christ."
Day 9- And so with the great refusal God opens his invitation to anyone who will come.
Matthew 22: 8-10
It was truly an invitation of grace, for these people had no claim on the king and didn't deserve to be invited. The Kingdom of God was now open to Jews and non Jews (Gentiles) and that includes you and I.
Ephesians 3:6 / Acts 28:28
Day 10- So one meaning of this parable is a local meaning of the Jews being invited by God and their refusal to come to God through Christ His Son. But on a wider scale God invites ALL men to partake in a life of joy and satisfaction as members of His kingdom.
Day 11- While it's true that God has invited ALL of us to the wedding feast of his Son, we must also respect Him by putting on "wedding clothes".
Would you go to a friend's wedding in your house dress, farming overalls or work clothes? Of course not! That would be an insult to them. You get your best and brightest clothes on for the occasion. So it is that we respect God's wedding feast when we "change clothes". What does this mean?
Ephesians 4: 22-24
Day 12- What might our old clothes (or nature) look like?
Ephesians 2:1-3 / Ephesians 5:3-5 / 1 Peter 4:3
Day 13- What will our new clothes (or nature) look like?
Ephesians 5: 1-2 / Colossians 3: 12-15
Day 14- In other words, while the Kingdom of God is open to all sinners we cannot go into it expecting to keep on living the life of sin that we came out of. There must be a desire for goodness, purity, and holiness.
2 Corinthians 7:1 / Hebrews 12: 14
Day 15- Our part is to accept God's invitation and then to put on the new clothes offered to us. We cannot change ourselves. Our changed lives are a work of God brought about by our willingness.
Ezekiel 11:19 / 2 Corinthians 5:17 / Galatians 6:15 / Ephesians 4:24 / Colossians 2:11
Day 16- We will not get by with continuing our old life in the Kingdom of Heaven. We will be spotted for what we are and confronted. What will the judgment be for those claiming to be Christians without putting on the Lord Jesus?
Matthew 22: 12-13 / Matthew 13:49 / Matthew 25: 32
Remember: When we speak of the Kingdom of Heaven or the Kingdom of God we are not talking about a place beyond death. We are talking about a kingdom here and now where teh members love and have given allegiance to God and His Son Jesus. It goes beyond geographical borders and even the church, for unfortunately there are many pretenders inside of the church.
Day 17- How does God spot a man without wedding clothes?
Luke 6:46 / Romans 2:21 / Titus 1:16 / James 3:10
Day 18- Jesus now summarizes these two parables with an often quoted verse.
Day 19- The divine call (or invitation) to be a member in the Kingdom of God was given first to Jews and then to everyone else. It has been given to every man and woman which includes you and I.
Isaiah 45:22 / Isaiah 53:1 / John 7:37 / Titus 2:11
Day 20- God's heart is that we'd ALL respond to his invitation of grace and come.
1 Timothy 2:4 / 2 Peter 3:9
Will you say "Yes" to Christ's offer of salvation and "put on the Lord Jesus Christ?"
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