PARABLES DAY 19 - 28 May 2018

Ben Fourie

“Many are invited, but few are chosen” Matthew 22:14

In Matthew 21 and 22 we find two stories, one about a landowner and his vineyard, and the other about a king who planned a great wedding for his son. It will be worth your while to read both narratives as they depict the history of Israel and also how God was going to act in the dispensation of the New Testament. In chapter 21:23 Jesus’ authority was challenged by the members of the Jewish Council that was made up of the elders and the chief priests. They were trying to trap Jesus into saying that He was the Messiah and that his authority was directly from God for then they would have been able to accuse Him of blasphemy and arrest him. Jesus avoided the trap by telling these two stories.

The landowner who planted a vineyard is God who called Israel to be His chosen people. He looked after them by metaphorically building a strong wall around them as well as a watchtower to protect them. At harvest time, the time of the First Covenant, he sent His priests and prophets to get His part of the harvest, but the farmers who rented the vineyard from him, that is Israel, did not listen to their message and even killed some of the priests and prophets. In the end He sent His Son, the time of the Second Covenant, but the farmers saw this as an opportunity to rob Him of everything, so they killed the Son.

In the second narrative, we read about the king who planned a grand wedding for his son. He invited all the important guests i.e. His chosen people, but they were not interested, they just carried on with their everyday lives. In Matthew 22:8 we then hear the final verdict on those who were once the chosen people: “My wedding feast is ready, but the people I invited did not deserve it.” That now made it possible for the servants to go out into the streets to invite the good and the bad, the poor, the crippled, the disabled and the blind, yes also you and me. In God’s eyes, everyone is worthy of sitting at His table. The wedding venue becomes crowded with everyone set free by Jesus Himself in this New Covenant and the wedding feast can begin.

Prayer: Thank you God that I am also invited, although I am so often spiritually blind and disabled. Amen

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