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“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.”—Matthew 22:8-10 (NIV)
Yesterday, we began looking at the Parable of the Wedding Feast in which Jesus illustrates the history of Israel and its refusal to follow God and acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah. The king in the parable had invited guests to celebrate his son’s wedding, but they refused to attend. They even killed the servants who delivered the invitation. The king represents God, the wedding feast represents the Millennial Kingdom, the son represents Jesus, and the servants represent God’s prophets.
The striking point I see in today’s selection from this parable is God’s desire and persistence to FILL His kingdom without prevention. The initial refusal of Israel did not deter Him. He didn’t wallow in rejection but extended the invitation to His kingdom to the Gentile nations. Jesus tells us that the king’s servants gathered all the people they could find—good or bad—and the hall was filled.
We can all learn a lesson from the Lord here on not getting deterred when people we present the gospel to decline the invitation. It’s not because they can’t but because they won’t. The guests who were invited were far too busy with their work and personal business to attend the banquet. Speaking for myself, it took several invitations for me to surrender my plans, my ambitions, my life and turn to follow Jesus. But my sister, who helped lead me to Christ, was not deterred. She continued to speak truth, warn me, and present to me who Jesus is so I could really know Him.
I marvel at God’s patient persistence and His love for all people. Both the prophet Ezekiel and the apostle Peter wrote that God wants no man to perish. He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked; He desires that all would turn from their ways, follow Him, and live with Him (Ezekiel 33:11, 2 Peter 3:9). Did you see that? God loves the good and the bad. Who do you know who might fit that bill? God loves that person, and He wants you to share your testimony and the Gospel of Christ.
Please, don’t be discouraged if no one responds. The king in the parable broadened his guest list, just as God did when He grafted in and adopted the Gentile nations. His goal is to FILL His kingdom, and we are the servants He has chosen to help make that happen.
DIG: How is God’s grace demonstrated in this section of the parable?
DISCOVER: Have you shared the gospel with someone who has not yet responded? Are you hesitant to share again because you feel rejected?
DO: Remember, Jesus was also rejected, but He continued to teach and preach—and does so to this day through us! So, continue to be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading and tell people—the good, the bad, and even the wicked—of God’s invitation of grace.
Lisa Supp lives in Utah and has served within the CCFL Web and Prayer Ministry since 2011. She also volunteers as an editor on the CCFL Prayer Wall and is a writer on the Communications Team. Retired from teaching, Lisa and her husband Ron volunteer at their local Calvary Chapel and share a passion for Scripture, apologetics, and education.