The Kingdom of Heaven is Like..
In Matthew 22:1-14 Jesus tells a parable about the kingdom of Heaven.
Here's a few of my reflections on this passage as a read through it this morning.
1: The Kingdom of Heaven is always prepared and ready and overflowing. Our Father in Heaven has all of the preparations ready, abundantly. Note verse 4 "See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding." Jesus never lacks. The Kingdom of God never lacks. "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not lack or be in want or need." (Psalm 23:1)
2: Both good and bad are invited to the wedding (Kingdom of Heaven). Heaven's invite list has nothing to do with morality. It says the wedding hall was filled with guests both good and bad. verse 11: "they found both bad and good. and the wedding hall was filled with guests."
3. Entering the Kingdom of Heaven requires two things: 1: you have to "just come" 2: where the right clothes. Our good deeds don't get us through the door and our bad deeds don't keep us out. What matters is the clothing. Getting the clothing right. The gospel (good news) is all about Jesus and His blood. Being drenched in the blood of Jesus, is our covering, our clothes. Faith in the blood.
4. Many are called but few are chosen: What a fascinating statement Jesus makes in verse 14. Based off the context here the first group were "called" but didn't "come" to the wedding feast. They were too busy with their farms and businesses, and they "made light" of the Kingdom of Heaven invitation (verse 5). The second guy "came" to the wedding feast but didn't get the clothes right and was thrown out of the party for failing to dress properly.
5. Jesus was speaking to Israel: As beautiful as this parable is and yes I can see the gospel in it and glean insight from it. But it's very important to keep full parable in context that Jesus was speaking to the nation of Israel and what was currently taking place in their day. The prostitutes and sinners were "entering the kingdom of heaven" before the teachers of the law and religious institution of the day. Israel was renown for rejecting the prophets sent by God to guide them toward the benefits of The Kingdom of Heaven and living in communion of God, the Rock of Israel. Jesus references them in verse 6 here. Jesus was giving stark warnings of what would happen to the nation of Israel if they fail to recognize and receive Him as the Messiah. God, the Rock of Israel, sent His own Son to Israel, believing the best for the nation of Israel to "listen to His Son", but instead they seized him, flogged and beat Him, and crucified Him. Jesus out of compassion and truth was communicating His best and giving clear warnings about what would happen if they rejected Him. Verse 7, unfortunately did take place in 70 AD in Israel when Nero invaded.