He . . . has exalted those who were humble. He has filled the hungry with good things.
In act 1 of the parable of the marriage feast, the king sent out invitations to his son’s wedding, but the guests were unwilling to come. The king would have been justified in calling off the party. But he wanted to honor his son, so he came up with an idea. Act 2 of the parable begins in Matthew 22:8: “He said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.’ Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests” (vv. 8-10). In Luke’s account of this parable, the king’s slave went out into the highways and byways and brought in “the poor and crippled and blind and lame”–those who were considered the dregs of society (14:21).
It was unthinkable that these people were the ones who would enter the king’s palace. But it made for a much more exciting party. Had those who were first invited actually come to the wedding party, it would have been nothing special for them. Those people had been to the palace before. They would not have been impressed with the meal. In fact, they probably would have found something to criticize. “Serving white wine with lamb? How tasteless!” But imagine what it was like when people off the streets walked into the king’s palace for the first time, staring around with their mouths wide open. At the table they were so hungry, they probably pushed aside the knives and forks and started shoving the food in their mouths with their hands. They were so hungry and so relieved to be there.
Had the first group come to the wedding banquet, it would have been no big deal. But when the dregs of society came to the king’s palace, it was an event that would be talked about for years to come. In the same way, Charles Spurgeon said, “When the Lord saved some of us by his grace, it was no common event. When he brought us great sinners to his feet, and washed us, and clothed us, and fed us, and made us his own, it was a wonder to be talked of forever and ever.”
Jesus’s point was very simple: the first group neglected or rejected the king’s invitation because they felt they had no need to come to the banquet. They felt like they were satisfied. The second group accepted the king’s invitation because they were hungry for something. What a great lesson for all of us! Those who accept God’s invitation of salvation are those who recognize their need before God.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Kingdom Of God Is A Party” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Wedding Was Furnished with Guests,” May 6, 1888, The Spurgeon Center, https://www.spurgeon.org/resource-library/sermons/the-wedding-was-furnished-with-guests/#flipbook/.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org