Invited … Are You Coming?

Matthew 22:2-14  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 5
A certain king planned a marriage for his son. The invitation list included only very special people, and they would be very honored and looking forward to wearing their finest clothes and to being there on time!
Or were they? It depended, I suppose, on what they really thought of that king. If he was unpopular, it would not take much to keep them away.
But why would a king be unpopular? He was certainly rich enough to provide a grand wedding feast. He killed the finest of his cattle for roast beef and veal, and the fanciest desserts were ready, and it was all free. I suppose it was a question of what was more important to those people.
I know of another King who is unpopular. I have heard His name used scornfully every day, even by children. And I have heard Him blamed when things go wrong among ourselves, and His book is seldom read. Do you know that great King? His name is God. He is not wanted, because His holiness interferes with our sin.
When it was time to begin the marriage, the king in our story sent his servants to tell the people who had been invited to “come; for all things are now ready.” An amazing thing happened! Even with a second invitation, none of those honored people took the king’s invitation seriously enough to come. They all had other things to do instead. One went to his farm, and another went to his business. And worse than that, they treated his servants very, very badly.
What would you do, or rather, what are you doing now? God is sending you His invitation while you are reading this story. What other plans are keeping you from coming?
The servants told the king that nobody invited would come; they all had other plans, and he was very angry. But everything was still ready, so he sent his servants out to bring in the poor and the homeless and the beggars, until all the seats for the wedding were filled. It did not matter at all that they were a ragged bunch, for the king made sure that each one was fitted and dressed for the occasion. It is not hard to imagine how pleased and grateful those people would be. The king was pleased too.
Our God is pleased when sinners respond to His invitation to come to Him. He is pleased to pour on us all the love of His heart and the riches of His grace. But God does not forget about those who refuse and despise Him. In our story, the king destroyed those who refused his invitation and treated his servants badly, and he burned up their city. Do you think God cares any differently about those who refuse His invitation and rebel against Him now? There is punishment awaiting them too.
There is one more warning at the end of the story. One of the guests who came did not wear the clothes the king had provided. The king asked him why, and the guest was speechless. The king ordered him to be bound hand and foot and cast into outer darkness. We are often reminded that God is holy, and He is not to be ignored. He can make you ready for His holy presence, but you cannot do this for yourself. God is willing to do it for you, at the expense of the life-blood of His Son. Are you willing?
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:2020Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20)).