by Bob Wickizer

Get Dressed and Be Fully Christian
Bob Wickizer
Exodus 32:1-14; Psalm 106:1-6,19-23; Philippians 4:1-9; Matthew 22:1-14
October 9, 2005

They say that half of the secret to life is just showing up. Apparently in Matthew's community less than forty years after the resurrection, there were quite a number of people who thought they were the chosen ones and all they needed to do was show up. In fact, many in this crowd thought that because they were chosen or "called" as the Gospel says, that they could live in any manner they wanted. This led to discipline and morale problems in that early church the same way it does today.

The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wants to give a wedding banquet for his son. This is a Middle Eastern kingdom where people are used to a wedding feast that can last for a week or more. People stayed and partied literally until the wine ran out. The purpose of such feasting was to show loyalty and gratitude to the king and to honor the wedding couple. In the ancient cultures of the Middle East people knew that their loyalty and fidelity to the king would literally ensure their survival.

But this particular time the people had become independent in their outlook on life. They no longer valued what their king did for them so when all the most important people of the kingdom were invited to the wedding they began to give lame excuses. The orthodox patriarch would be out of town for an international church meeting. The catholic archbishop was being summoned to Rome for an important meeting. The Anglican primate was too caught up in church politics to tear himself free for such a long banquet. The Protestant church leaders all declined the invitation because after all the King had not come forward to accept Jesus into his heart in front of so many Muslims, Jews, Bahais, Hindus and other faiths.

And on and on it went with every religion, tribe and nation. All the important people were just too busy to attend ...

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