And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into the outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen. Matthew, Chapter 22, verses 1-14.
I guess I’m on a party theme. This passage is about a wedding, but when I went to explain this, the thought in my mind is to compare it to a surprise birthday party for your boss.
This is a black tie affair and you’ve sent out invitations to all your co-workers, asking them to R.S.V.P. It’s several days before the party, but only a few people have called to say they are coming. You have reserved this big banquet hall and have paid for the caterers. Getting nervous, you call the people who haven’t responded. Well, you get one lame excuse after another. You overhear a couple of co-workers in the restroom saying that they are going to a golf tournament that day, but they told you they had a sick family member. You decide very quickly that you can do without friends like that, but your boss will be embarrassed if the banquet hall is almost empty. You don’t want him to be humiliated, so you think of a plan, fast!
You decide to go invite the people who work in the stock room and the mail room. They hardly ever interact with your boss, but it’s better than having an empty banquet hall. You give them the invitations, with directions to the banquet hall and busy yourself with all the last minute preparations. Now you can relax, because you know the banquet hall will be full of people. You start to realize that these lower status people are more dependable and more deserving than your so-called friends who gave you lame excuses.
On the day of the surprise party you welcome all the loyal stock room and mail room workers. You thank them for coming and tell them where to hide to surprise the boss. Just then, some guy comes in dressed in khaki shorts and a Polo shirt. You ask him what he could have been thinking about when he decided to come dressed like that. You tell him to leave, because he’s not welcome at this black tie affair. Those who put some effort in and did what they were supposed to were welcome regardless of their financial or social standing. You don’t want a freeloader who doesn’t even put the effort into properly getting ready for the party.
Well, sometimes I’m a “Freeloader Christian,” too. Jesus asks all of us to put some effort into being one of His chosen few. He even gave His own life for us, so we could be invited to His party in heaven on the Last Day. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have qualified for an invitation of that magnitude. Some of us will do our part, although we can never truly earn admission to such a swanky affair. Jesus did that for us. We have a free ride on His coat tails, provided we aren’t being an ungrateful freeloader.
Well, Jesus calls each and every one of us, but how many of us come up with reasons why we can’t go to church, why we are too busy to pray or too embarrassed to let others know that we are Christian? Well, if we don’t respond when He calls us, He will invite others to take our place in Heaven with Him. That’s not what I want!
Here is a related passage:
*Then said He unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. So that servant came, and showed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as you hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out unto the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper. Luke, Chapter 14, verses 16-24.
Because this an example of how I’ve applied these Bible passages to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passages.