Easter Devotional – March 25

Matthew 22:1-14

Parable of the Marriage Feast

Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come. Again he sent out other slaves saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast.”’ But they paid no attention and went their way, one to his own farm, another to his business, and the rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them. But the king was enraged, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and set their city on fire. Then 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.’ 10 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.

11 “But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, 12 and he *said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”

If the President of the United States sent a messenger to invite you to a wedding feast, would you decline and then go back to work, or even worse, would you kill his messenger? That is insanity. Yet that is the story Jesus tells. An invitation is sent out, it gets violently refused by those on the first guest list (Israel)…to which God reacts quite violently (burning a city would imply violence). Jesus sends a second invitation to the whole world knowing that He’ll get all kinds of guests from all walks of life. When His invitation is accepted, our old garments and way of life are removed and replaced with new garments and life that reflect Jesus. In short, our lives are transformed! I pray that no one tries to answer the invitation while neglecting the life change Jesus brings…that story doesn’t end well.

Have you accepted the invitation to join God’s Kingdom? Do you sometimes forget whose invitation you’ve accepted and carry on business as usual rather than clothing yourself in your new way of life in Jesus?

Prayer: Almighty God, help me to joyously accept Your invitation and give me the wisdom, strength and courage to put off my old clothes and put on Your righteousness.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

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