The last parable mentioned here was that grace means we don’t always get what we deserve. A few chapters later (Matthew 22), upon entering Jerusalem Jesus tells a parable about a king who threw a wedding banquet for his son. All the people you might expect to be there turned him down. So he sent out servants to bring in whoever would come. So the servants went out and invited everyone and filled the banquet hall with anyone who would come. Jesus tells this story just after he has entered Jerusalem. If you were to make a list of those one would expect to figure out who the Messiah was, when he would come and what he would do it was the religious leaders of the day. But they rejected Jesus’ invitation. So, gracefully, Jesus extends the invitation to those one would not expect to be at the messianic banquet – both good and bad. Why? Because he is throwing a party and he wants everyone who wants to be there to be there. They don’t deserve to be there. They were not the ones we would expect to be there but they came eagerly when they received the invitation.
If the point of the last parable was that grace means we don’t get what we deserve, the point of this parable is that not everyone who “deserves” to be there will be…in fact none of us deserve to be with God and yet He invites us anyway. Now that is grace at its finest! God is throwing a party and we are invited…not because we were good enough but because God was generous enough to offer the invitation to all.
There are three things I want to mention in closing:
- One thing I love about the parables is that they show us God doesn’t live up to our expectations of what He will and won’t do. He always finds a way to reach beyond what we think is possible and so something amazing.
- God is often more inclusive than we are.
- It is good for us to be reminded that just because we think we are in the “in” group in God’s eyes doesn’t mean we really are. It is possible to attend church every time the doors are open and still have a hard heart. Do we really still desire to be in the presence of the Lord? When He calls are we willing to follow wherever He leads?