Wednesday, June 30, 2010

THE PARABLE OF THE WEDDING BANQUET




Aaron hears the sounds of the motorbike approaching. He has been eagerly waiting for a letter about the project he tendered a few weeks ago. Smiling as he reaches out to take the pile of letters from the surprised postman. “Thank you, Mr. Postman!” Aaron utters quickly. Sitting at the steps to his house, he swiftly tears open the letters. “Bills, bills, bills, Ahhh,” he mutters and then springs up. Jumping with delight, Aaron punches his fist in the air. “Finally, I made it!” While he still prances around, his eyes catch hold of a letter on the ground. “How could I miss this beautiful letter?” he whispers. Tearing it, his eyes begin to widen.


Jimmy looks at his new signboard at the flower shop he owns. Just ten minutes ago, the last customer had bought a large amount of flowers for his new company. For the past few weeks since the shop opened for business, every evening, Jimmy would stare at his shop and smile. Success is indeed sweet for him as he has failed many times in business before. His wife pats on his shoulder and whispers, "Darling, today it is another record sales for us.” Jimmy hugs her and both of them grin, looking at the beautiful designed sign on top of his shop. “Before I forget, Darling, there is a letter for you,” Jimmy’s wife tells him. “Here, see what it says”. Jimmy opens the letter and stares at it with a stunned face. “What’s wrong, Darling?”


Christopher gazes at his wife as she lays there sleeping. His mind flashes back at the time when he had to work doubly hard just to get her attention. The pressures he suffered at the hands of so many other admirers, going after her including some of his close friends. The world stood still on that fateful day when she said, “Yes, I will marry you.” He gives his beautiful wife of two days a kiss on the cheek without waking her up. “I will never trade her with anything in the world,” he whispers to himself. Upon waking up en route to the bathroom, he sees a letter on her dressing table. He takes it and slowly opens the beautiful decorated letter. Reading it, he slumps down onto a chair.


Aaron, Jimmy and Christopher are the adopted sons of Mr. Rodney. He had taken them in to his home when they were orphans at a centre. There were many others he generously offerred a chance to lead normal lives. He now wants them to celebrate the handover of his entire business to his own flesh and blood, Rodney Junior. Rodney Senior wants all his adopted sons and daughters to come home and rejoice with him.


Aaron, Jimmy and Christopher at a restaurant nearby.


Christopher: Have you received the second letter from Uncle Rodney?


Aaron: Yes. I am not going. What is there to celebrate? Absolutely nothing for us.


Jimmy: Everything is Rodney Jr. I am fed up. Did he once talk about giving me a slice of his vast estate?


Aaron: That’s right. I have to work like a dog. Anyway I can’t go as I have just won a tender. I don’t even bother to let him know.


Christopher: I rather spent my time looking at my wife than to see Rodney Junior’s face.


Jimmy: By the way, did you see the news yesterday?


Christopher: What happened? I didn’t as I was busy.


Aaron: I know you are busy with your beautiful wife. It is reported widely that some adopted sons of Uncle had beaten up some servants who came to invite them to go. Now the police are investigating.


Christopher: Whew! I won’t go to that extent. I am jealous but not until you beat people up. Just don’t go. That would break his heart and show him how we feel.


Jimmy: Anyway, my business is starting to pick up. It is also none of my business going there. To go there and just clap for his son, eeiew!


They walk out of the restaurant green with envy and decide not to participate.


The news has reached Mr. Rodney that all his adopted sons and daughters had refused to go back home and celebrate with him and his only flesh and blood. The party needs to go on as foods have been catered and canopies are all set up. He recalls with tears how he treated all of them with dignity and respect and brought them up to live normal lives. In his down trodden state, he decides to listen to his heart one more time. This time, he invites the poor again to his home, those who can’t afford to even survive.


At the party...


Mr. Rodney gestures to the crowd to address them. “Thank you for coming to celebrate the handover of my business to my only son, Rodney Junior. I am saddened by the fact that all those I have treated so well have rejected my invitation to celebrate this occasion. They have spurned my generosity. I invite you here not only to feast and celebrate the occasion. I invite you here to tell you that my son, Rodney Junior will inherit what I do. To invest all my money to help people live normal lives. All of you here today will get a slice of my vast estate. But one thing you must do. To help others enjoy what you have."


At the party, Rodney catches hold of one man without a tag. He has gate-crashed in. By the look on his proud face, he is neither poor nor wanting to share Rodney’s dream. He swiftly calls security and warns him not to come near his house anymore. He is not welcomed at all. Mr. Rodney has learnt his lesson well. Not everyone responds to generosity with generosity. These people don’t deserve even a cent from him.


The parable of the Wedding Banquet is found in Matthew 22:1-14 and one with a difference in Luke 14:15-24.


The crucifixion of Jesus draws near and He lays his cards on the table. The parables get clearer, especially to those who oppose Jesus and what He came to do. The story irks the religious leaders and they know that Jesus is rebuking them. They had treated badly all God’s messengers, right from the Old Testament up to the present time. Not only they reject God’s messengers, they reject even His Son.


However, to those poor and common people, they are delighted to know they are also invited for the banquet. God shows no favouritism, whoever willing will get in. All are invited regardless. But only few choose to go. It sometimes defies the mind.


So, some are angry with Jesus for telling this parable. Some are happy that Jesus mentions the poor, delighted that they are loved and called to participate in the Kingdom of God. But there are also people who are upset with those who refuse to go to the banquet in this parable. Wedding banquets are such joyous occasions. Sometimes even the whole town rejoices and it normally takes a week of celebration. How could anyone refuse to go after being so cordially invited over and over again? The person who sent the invitation is not a commoner for crying out loud. He is the KING! Come on! This is exactly what Jesus wants to accomplish with parables. To introduce radical kingdom living involves telling something radical. A parable that creates tension and at the same time, portrays hope!


To put it in the nutshell, God has sent out an invitation to the world. God’s intense love for mankind brings out the best in Him: sending His only Son to suffer punishment on a cross. You can make excuses or you can outright spurn Him, the decision you make is God’s decision to allow you to participate in the greatest Party in history. The Wedding of God's Only Son!

Have you made the choice?


Next Parable: The Parable of the Ten Virgins
http://psbible.blogspot.com/2010/06/parable-of-wedding-banquet.html

1 comment:

  1. First of all great article!
    I’m interested in linking my blog to yours – if you are interested
    My blog is reflections on the Christ @ http://chasong.blogspot.com
    Do come by and let me know if you are interested
    Keep shining

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