Read Matthew 22

    Like many of you, over the course of my life I have received several invitations to attend various special events. Weddings, banquets, concerts and sporting events make up the bulk of these invitations. None of them though were quite like the one I received from a friend about 30 years ago to go with a group to the Major League Baseball All Star Game at the Houston Astrodome! Of course I said yes and we had the time of our lives. Our seats were on the very front row in right field, oh what a view! The crowd was electric and the game was fantastic. To top every thing off at the end of batting practice, Darryl Strawberry of the New York Mets was walking through the outfield picking up stray balls when he suddenly turned towards the stands and tossed a couple our way! Unbelievably one landed right in my hands, a wonderful souvenir!! A great night all because I said yes to a kind invitation!!

   In Matthew 22 Jesus uses a parable to warn the religious elite of turning down another type of invitation. In his story Jesus uses a wedding banquet as the setting to represent the gathering of all Believers for the great wedding banquet in Heaven!! Many were invited to the wedding in this parable but when it was time to come they all refused to go, even after a second call of invitation! The Master of the banquet then sent his invitation to all others no matter their position or wealth. All who could hear and accepted could attend! Many came and had a grand time, though one tried to sneak in who didn’t belong. Of course he was quickly removed and thrown where those who didn’t accept were sad  and distraught!

   What Jesus wanted the so called “religous” leaders of that day, as well as all people today to know is that there is only one way to attend the grand wedding banquet in Heaven, saying yes to Jesus Christ! All are invited but few will be allowed to attend because they are not willing to give their heart and life to Jesus. Just going through the motions of being a Christian will not work, as seen by the one in the parable who was not clothed in proper wedding attire! Jesus knows who’s heart has been changed by him and who is just “playing church”!

   At the age of 12 I accepted Jesus’ invitation to change my heart, wash away my sin and make me his! My place at the banquet table has been reserved! How about you? This is one invitation I wasn’t about to turn down!!

Today’s author: Kirk McMaster