“The Wedding and the Guests”

“They made light of it.” What an extra-ordinary statement! How contrary to all human ideas! Whoever heard of such a thing as a host, having furnished the wedding breakfast, finding difficulty in securing guests for the occasion? Does not experience show that the difficulty, if any, arises not from the lack of guests, but from the lack of a wedding feast suitable to the occasion! Amongst men there is not much difficulty in getting guests for your dinner; the difficulty rather lies in getting dinner for your guests.

Let us then, reader, refer for a moment to the parable (Matt. 22:1-14) where this remarkable expression occurs, “A certain king . . . made a marriage (wedding feast) for his son.” Carefully consider this. God’s delight is to glorify His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is bent upon honouring the One who took the lowest place in death—the death of the cross. Even now He has highly exalted Him, and decreed that to Him every knee shall bow, and that every tongue shall confess that He is Lord.

Secondly it says, “I have prepared my dinner.” The gospel feast is ready, thank God, ready long ago. When was it prepared? When the risen Saviour took His seat on His Father’s throne. God has done all the preparing. All the cost has fallen upon Him; and now how about the invited—the guests? Alas! we read, “They made light of it.” Sad history of man.

“God beseeching—man refusing
To be made for ever glad.”

What a story! Man prefers his farm or merchandise to God’s bright courts of joy. Doubtless this was literally fulfilled in the history of the Jews. But what of the gracious Host? Does this rude reception chill His heart is the door for ever barred against wicked man? Ah no! with loving hand you festal door is flung wide open. All are invited. The vilest is welcomed. The wedding is furnished with guests.

And has this no voice for you, unsaved reader? The very fact of your being unsaved shows that you have made light of God’s offer, and—this is the serious charge—thereby insulted the Son, whom God is bent upon honouring. You may not have openly derided the gospel, but you have neglected it, and what is that but making light of it—it has no weight with you.

If it have weight with you now, I entreat you. Ah! who can tell how much it cost God to prepare so great a salvation? It cost Him the delight of His heart—“Heaven’s beloved One.” It cost Him the choicest and most precious gift that heaven or earth has ever known—it cost Him “Jesus” Yes, the Lord Jesus became man, went to the cross, and there suffered the Just for the unjust. He was there made sin, and bore its judgment, that we might receive the forgiveness of sins, and be found no longer in Adam, but in Christ, the risen and glorified Man. What love! And after this—after God has proved His love in such a magnificent way—can you go on in cold indifference to it all? Oh that the very thought of it may melt your heart.

But what of the last four verses? Unconverted professor, here’s a solemn word for you. You may not outwardly make light of God’s invitation. To all appearance you may be a Christian, diligent in all religious matters. Clad in the garb of your own righteousness you may defy the scrutiny of the most experienced eye. But you have not Christ—the wedding garment; and a moment is coming when you will be read through and through, your mouth stopped, and your judgment pronounced. “Cast him into outer darkness,” said the king, “there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Searched by that piercing eye. Silenced by that withering word. Damned by that awful sentence.

One other word of warning. “The wedding was furnished with guests.” God will have His house filled. If you refuse, then another will reap a benefit out of your folly by stepping in and taking your place. That door will not always be open wide. Ere long the Master of the house will rise up and shut to the door (Luke 13:25). The Lord Jesus may come ere your pulse throbs again, and the door close, and close for ever. Fellow-traveller, on the road to eternity, I beseech you to be reconciled to God. May you have grace to take the low place of being the sinner, lost and hell-deserving; thus will your title be sure to the hell-deserving sinner’s Saviour; and has He not said, “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).

F.B.Hole

Tidings of Life and Peace 1893, p. 145