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“But they paid no attention and went their way, one to his own farm, another to his business” (Matthew 22:5).
Whether it’s the indifference of those invited to the wedding feast, or their preoccupation with other things, it is but an indication of how easily any of us can be distracted by the less important and the excuses we offer for ignoring the things of God. If something is really important to us, we will find a way. If not, we will find an excuse. There is no such thing as procrastination; there is only priorities and non-priorities. Check your list today and see what’s really important.
“And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come” (Matthew 22:3).
In the Parable of the Marriage Feast, the offering of God’s salvation is depicted by a king who actively labors for the benefit for those who would be part of the wedding feast. Out of his giving, preparing, and sending the keynote theme is one of invitation—the idea of responding to his call (v.3,8,9,14). The unwillingness of those invited to attend, is depicted by a verb tense that indicates an action that is continual and ongoing. They repeatedly rejected his invitation. Even those of us least informed in matters of protocol know that the only appropriate response to the invitation of a king is acceptance and attendance.
“As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts…” (1 Chronicles 28:9).
Eliminating laziness, procrastination, destructive habits, and the accompanying negative emotions of life is best accomplished when faith is the driving influence upon the mind—the place where choices and decisions are made. Faith in Christ brings forth the transforming work of the Holy Spirit; empowering us as free-will moral beings to exercise the discipline necessary to be victors instead of victims. For areas of life where we are not disciplined it is only because we have decided to not be. The mind of faith chooses to impose itself upon the human condition.
“All the words which the Lord has spoken we will do” (Exodus 24:3).
This was the collective cry of the Hebrews upon hearing from Moses the guidelines that would regulate their covenant with God. Verbal assent is a start but, in the end, the greater expectation and the truest test of belief is to be seen in our doing.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40).
God’s governing Law has both vertical and horizontal dimensions; responsibilities to God and to one another. We cannot choose to focus on one at the exclusion of the other. It is a symbiotic relationship; each is incomplete with out the other. If you are serious about you and Him, it will effect you and me.
“The Pharisees went out and immediately began conspiring with the Herodians against Him, as to how they might destroy Him” (Mark 3:6).
While the Pharisees and Herodians opposed one another, they were united in their efforts to silence Jesus. Such is the history of those portending to be the people of God; the inevitable stoning and killing of any prophetic voice disruptive to their self-satisfied and affluent existence. Herein lies the difference between faith and religion—Faith hungers for the Truth that will transform and inform its life, while religion is content with the lies that keep it comfortable.
“When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them” (Matthew 21:45).
Since knowledge and understanding carries with it the burden of responsibility, there truly is a bliss of ignorance. The tragedy of those ensconced in long-held religious practices, characterized by the chief priests and the Pharisees, is that they understand the parables told by Jesus, see themselves within them and, yet, refuse to let go of the religious traditions that hold them hostage. In the absence of transformation and renewal, understanding becomes the indictment.