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Read Matthew 22:1–14

‘Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.”’ (vv1– 3)

One of the things we associate with the Christmas celebrations is eating and drinking – a time, if we are so blessed, to celebrate with those we love.

For others, it might be that we cannot be with those we love and care for, perhaps because of work commitments, geographical distance, or loss.

If we are invited to dinner, we of course must accept the invitation in order for the hosts to expect and prepare for us, otherwise we will miss out.

The kingdom of God is no different. Jesus spent a great deal of His ministry, teaching and preaching about the kingdom of God (Mark 1:14–15).

In one of those times, recorded in both Matthew’s and Luke’s Gospel, Jesus told a parable about a king’s wedding banquet.

In this parable the banquet is prepared (v2), the king’s servants are sent out to invite the guests (v3a). Their initial invitation is rejected (v3b), so a further and more urgent appeal is made (v4), only for this too to be rejected (v5).

Later on in the parable, Jesus spells out the consequences for those rejecting the invite, including those who think they can gate crash the banquet on their own terms (v11–14).

Christmas is a time of invitation for all of us, to come to Christ, to worship Him, get to know Him and walk with Him each day.

The invite comes out to us, by God’s grace, year after year. Yet the Scriptures reveal that this will not always be, and that one day the invites will stop – it will be too late (Matt. 25:31–46).

A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, thank You that You have called me to Your banqueting table. Amen.’
AN ACTION TO TAKE: Think about how you might share Christ’s invitation to the ultimate banquet.
SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: 2 Sam. 9:1–13; Matt. 25:31–46; John 2:1–12; Rev. 19:1– 10
Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.