- Nothing is more important to God, to Christ and to His people, than God’s eternal purpose of love to glorify Himself in Christ by the marriage of His Son to His people (2 Tim. 1:9; Eph. 1:4; 3:11). It was because the Lord Jesus Christ loved the Church, His Bride, those given to Him by God the Father in eternal election, that He gave Himself for them as a sacrifice to God, a sacrifice to God's great delight, by which Christ made them holy and blameless before God in love (Gen. 2:22-23; John 3:27-36; 10:29; Eph. 1:4; 5:2; Isa. 53:10; Heb. 10:5-18).
- The Gospel is a feast to which all men are called to come, eat and drink. The Gospel is a feast because in it Christ is set forth crucified for our eternal salvation and life. God prepared this feast. When Christ fulfilled God's will, the feast was made ready. In all of the OT sacrifices, God directed us to the one sacrifice of His Son. When Christ offered Himself to God, He finished the work God gave Him to do. All things were then made ready, fully prepared. The oxen and fatlings killed in the parable correspond to all of the OT sacrifices that were fulfilled in the death of Christ (Heb. 1:3; 9:26; Heb. 10:1-19).
The Gospel is a feast of fat things because Christ is held up to the view of dying sinners, whose souls are hungry and thirsty (Isa. 25:6; Isa. 55:1-3; John 4:10; 6:35-58; 7:37-38; Rev. 22:17). They find in Christ an overflowing, incomprehensible abundance of mercy and grace and blessings from God.
The Gospel declares the riches of God's grace. As the King in the parable provided all things, so God the Father, of His own will and at His own expense, provided all things for His people in Christ (Eph. 1:6,9,18; 2:7; 3:6-21).
Christ crucified for the salvation and eternal glory of His people is the feast to which all men are outwardly called, and to which God’s elect are inwardly and effectually called (John 6:44-45). All of God's people live upon Christ and will eternally drink and eat of Him, now by faith, and when we see Him, by sight (1 John 1:1-2; Rev. 7:17; 22:1-4,17).
- It is God who has provided all things for us in Christ. We have nothing. In ourselves we are only sinners. We have no understanding. We have no righteousness. We have no faith. We are blind, beggars, naked, hungry, miserable, wretched, and even dead in our sins (Rev. 3:17; Eph. 2:1-3). We are not to bring, nor to even imagine that we are to bring, anything. But we are to come and look to Christ and call upon Him for all. What do you need of all that God requires of you? What do you lack in yourself? Whatever it is, God has provided it in Christ! God has nothing for men and receives nothing from men outside of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. He has provided all in Him (Col. 2:9-10). There is not only no lack in Christ, but there is an abundance in Him that cannot be exhausted (Eph. 3:8; Col. 2:3; 2 Pet. 1:3).
What one thing would give you assurance before God? If you think or look to find it in yourself, you will never rest or joy in Christ. We can only be assured of God’s love and our eternal salvation as we see that Christ and Him crucified is all of our salvation, apart from and in spite of all that we are in ourselves (Luke 2:30; Isa. 45:22; 65:1; John 1:29; 3:14-15; Matt. 11:28-30; Heb. 12:2; Rom. 3:20; Gal. 2:21).
- All men by nature disregard, disrespect and show contempt for God the King and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. In our unbelief, we do not believe God's testimony of Himself (Rom. 1:18-28). We do not believe God's testimony of ourselves (Rom. 3:9-20; Rev. 3:17; Isa. 64:6; Ps. 14:2-3; Gen. 6:5; Eccl. 7:20,29; Rom. 8:7; 7:24). We do not believe God's testimony of His Son (John 1:10-11). Our unbelief is the root of all sin (John 16:8-11; Heb. 3:12-19; 4:1-11). Therefore, the first work of the Spirit of God is to convince us of our sin because we do not believe on His Son (John 16:8-11; 20:28,31).
- The man who went to his farm delighted more in his own work, the sweat of his brow, and the fruit of his own works as did Cain who brought an offering of his own work to the Lord. The man who went to his merchandise loved the world and the things of the world and had no interest in the King, His Son, the Son's Bride or His marriage and the feast (1 John 2:15-17).
- The Jews envied, hated and crucified the Lord of glory, the Prince of Life. But this also was the will of God (Acts 2:23; 4:27-28; Isa. 6:9-12). Willful unbelief is evidence of God leaving a man to himself. Though God bears long with the reprobate, He will judge them (Rom. 9:22). When Jesus gave the three parables in Matt. 21:28-32; Matt. 21:33-46 and 22:1-14, the Jews, rather than taking counsel from Him how they might be turned from their unbelief, took counsel among themselves how they might entrap, take and kill Him (Matt. 22:15-ff).
- Jesus drew the main teaching of this parable when He said, "Many are called, but few are chosen." Unless the Lord reserved to Himself a remnant, a seed, a Bride, a people for His Son out of this world, none would be saved (Isa. 1:9; 6:13; Rom. 9:29).
- In the face of unbelief, God's grace shines forth. In spite of our sin, Christ saved us from our sins and will save us to the uttermost by Himself (Rom. 5:6-11; Heb. 7:25). Rulers and elders and scribes and outwardly moral men proved themselves unworthy of eternal life, while greedy, cheating tax-collectors and openly immoral harlots believed the glad tidings that John the Baptist, the servant of God, preached: “Behold the Lamb of God” (John 1:29; Matt. 21:32)! When the murderous husbandmen killed the Son, it fulfilled God's purpose to save His people by offering Him up under the weight of their sins in an answer of full satisfaction and delight to His justice (Matt. 21:38-39; Acts 2:23; Gen. 50:20; Isa. 53:10; Eph. 5:2). When those murderous husbandmen killed God's Son, the Gospel was taken from the nation of Israel and given to the Church, that chosen, holy nation (1 Pet. 2:9; Matt. 21:38-43). When those first called refused to come and killed God's servants, the prophets and apostles and finally God's own Son (Matt. 22:6; 23:34-35), then the Gospel was sent by Christ's apostles throughout the world to gather in His elect from every nation under heaven (Rom. 11:11-15; Rev. 5:9; Mark 16:15).
- We will appear before God in the Day of Judgment. Many will attempt to appear, that is, to give a defense by their own righteousness (Matt. 7:21-23). But we must appear before God in the righteousness of Christ alone or we will be eternally cast into hell (Matt. 22:11-13; Isa. 61:10; 1 Cor. 1:30; Jer. 23:5-6; 33:16; 1 Cor. 1:30; Col. 2:9-10; 2 Cor. 5:21; 2 Pet. 1:1; Ps. 71:16). Christ must answer for us or we will have no answer (Rom. 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2). All who attempt to come any other way will be put to shame in the nakedness of their sin and self-righteousness (Acts 4:11-12; John 6:14; Rom. 10:1-4; Matt. 7:21-23; Rom. 10:11).
- The righteousness of Christ is a gift given to all of God’s elect (Rom. 5:17,19; Rev. 19:8; Isa. 61:10). It is not something we put on ourselves. God credits it to us. God-given faith (Acts 13:48; Eph. 2:8-9; Acts 16:14) enables us to see and rest in Christ's righteousness made ours by God's sovereign act of electing, redeeming grace (2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Cor. 1:30-31).
- Preaching the Gospel to all men and commanding all men to repent and believe the Gospel is compared in the parable to the call of the King’s servants to all to come to the feast (Acts 17:24; Mark 16:15; Matt. 28:18-20).
- More than merely an outward, external call is required to bring men to life and faith in Christ (to the feast), and to clothe them in Christ's righteousness (having on a wedding garment).
- We wear the wedding garment of Christ's righteousness as a covering because Christ established everlasting righteousness for us outside of our personal experience, outside of our contributions of any kind, without any works on our part. Christ established everlasting righteousness for His people before they believed, before they heard the Gospel (Heb. 10:14-18). We put Christ on by faith (Eph. 4:24; Rom. 13:14). But our righteousness is not our faith, but Christ's finished work. His work was accomplished in history, outside of our personal history. Our standing before God is Him as He fulfilled and magnified God’s law (Isa. 42:6) and answered God’s justice (Gal. 3:13; John 3:14-15; 2 Cor. 5:21). All who look to Christ have been called internally (John 6:37-40; 44-45). All who refuse to come, who refuse to submit to His righteousness (Rom. 10:1-3), who reject the call to come to Christ in the Gospel, who come uncovered before the King in their own rags, have only been called outwardly and externally called (John 6:44-45; 37-40; 16:8-11; Acts 2:21,39; 1 Cor. 1:2; Rom. 10:13; Joel 2:32).
- It is God’s inward call of grace, by His Spirit, that gives life and faith (John 3:8,14-15; Eph. 2:1-4, 8-9; John 6:44-45, 63; 2 Cor. 3:3,6; 6:17; 12:13).
- Many are called, but few are chosen. The foundation and spring of all blessings is God’s eternal election of His people in Christ (Eph. 1:4; 2 Thess. 2:13-14; Luke 10:20; Php. 4:3; Rev. 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:15; 21:27; 22:19)
Jesus gave a parable in Matthew 22:1-14 that condemns unbelieving Jews (vv. 1-8) and unbelieving Gentiles (vv. 11-13) while extolling the wisdom, grace and love of God to His people in Christ. There are several lessons we can learn from this parable.
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Pastor Rick Warta