Presentation on theme: "Lesson 11 for June 11, 2011. When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus' parables, they knew he was talking about them (Matthew, 21: 45) That."— Presentation transcript:
Lesson 11 for June 11, 2011
When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus' parables, they knew he was talking about them (Matthew, 21: 45) That third parable --the wedding feast-- was addressed to the priests and Pharisees as representative of the people of Israel. We can find the context of this parable in Matthew chapter 21. After the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Jesus cleaned up the temple from traders and taught in it. When the priests and the elders saw that, they questioned His authority. Jesus answered them with several parables: The parable of the two sons and the evil farmers.
THE KING: God the Father. God the Father. THE SON: Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ. THE GUESTS: The people of Israel. The people of Israel. A king was going to celebrate his sons wedding, so he invited many people to that wedding feast. When everything was ready he sent his servants to call those who are invited. The guests had already received and accepted the invitation before they were called to the wedding feast. The people of Israel received the invitation to the wedding constantly through Gods prophets. The parable begins when the servants were sent to remember them that invitation. Thats the call to be part of the wedding feast.
Who are the servants that give that first call to the guests? That first call was carried out through John the Baptist, Jesus and the disciples. The people of Israel rejected that call. In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." (Matthew, 3: 1-2) From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." (Matthew, 4: 17) These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans... As you go, preach this message: `The kingdom of heaven is near.' (Matthew, 10: 5, 7)
Those who are bidden to the feast did not come. The servants were sent out later to say, Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. This was the message borne to the Jewish nation after the crucifixion of Christ; but the nation that claimed to be Gods peculiar people rejected the gospel brought to them in the power of the Holy Spirit. E.G.W. (Christs Object Lessons, cp. 24, pg. 250) When the people of Israel rejected Jesus message, God sent them the apostles and disciples with a second invitation. Many did this in the most scornful manner. Others were so exasperated by the offer of salvation, the offer of pardon for rejecting the Lord of glory, that they turned upon the bearers of the message. There was a great persecution. Acts 8:1. Many both of men and women were thrust into prison, and some of the Lords messengers, as Stephen and James, were put to death. Thus the Jewish people sealed their rejection of Gods mercy
The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city (Matthew, 22: 7) That happened in 70 AD, when the roman army -- commanded by Titus-- entered the city, razed it to the ground and destroyed the Temple. The survivors were scattered about the world and many of them were enslaved and sent to Rome. Jesus announced the consequences of rejecting the message of Salvation to the people of Israel: Jerusalem was going to be completely destroyed and the nation would be scattered.
The wedding banquet was ready and there were no guests (because those who were invited were not worthy), so the king sent his servants to the street corners to invite anyone who were there to the wedding feast. Who received the message of Salvation after the people of Israel definitely rejected it? Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: "We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. For this is what the Lord has commanded us: `I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'" Acts, 13: 46-47
The wedding hall was finally filled with guests after the third call. But it was filled with all sorts of people: good and evil. That huge hall where there is plenty of space for all those who want to hear the message of Salvation is the Church. Some come to enjoy the benefits of the banquet and others come to honor the King who invited them.
Everyone who entered the wedding hall was given a garment. That was a special and expensive gift from the king. When the guests accepted that garment, they showed they respected the host. That special wedding garment is salvation and the character that comes with it, which God offers for nothing. When we submit ourselves to Christ, the heart is united with His heart, the will is merged in His will, the mind becomes one with His mind, the thoughts are brought into captivity to Him; we live His life. This is what it means to be clothed with the garment of His righteousness (E.G.W., Christs Object Lessons, cp. 24, pg. 253)
By the kings examination of the guests at the feast is represented a work of judgment. The guests at the gospel feast are those who profess to serve God, those whose names are written in the book of life. But not all who profess to be Christians are true disciples. Before the final reward is given, it must be decided who are fitted to share the inheritance of the righteous. This decision must be made prior to the second coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven… It is while men are still dwelling upon the earth that the work of investigative judgment takes place in the courts of heaven. The lives of all His professed followers pass in review before God. All are examined according to the record of the books of heaven, and according to his deeds the destiny of each is forever fixed E.G.W. (Christs Object Lessons, cp. 24, pg )
Every guest who did not wear the wedding garment was given a chance to explain his behavior. In the second resurrection --when the New Jerusalem will come down--, those who did not wear Christs garment will face their accusations and will have a chance to defend themselves. Then, every glory of this world, every wealth and fame will look insignificant to them. They will realize that the garments they decided to wear are the flag of their alliance with the first apostate. They will have nothing to defend themselves, just like the man in the parable. But those who have dressed with Christs robe of righteousness will have their reward in the Second Coming: And so we will be with the Lord FOREVER (1 Thessalonians, 4: 17)
The days of our probation are fast closing. The end is near. To us the warning is given, Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. Luke 21:34. Beware lest it find you unready. Take heed lest you be found at the Kings feast without a wedding garment E.G.W. (Christs Object Lessons, cp. 24, pg )