One cannot measure the goodness of our God!
King James Version (KJV)
“22 And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,
2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,
3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.
4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.
5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:
6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.
7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.
9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.
10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.
11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”
I can still remember the first time I heard this story. I wondered why this poor guy who apparently didn’t have proper clothes was being thrown out. Afterall, I thought, they invited anyone who would come to partake of the feast once the original invitees rejected the invitation.
Ah, but the tradition at that place and time was for the guests to be given proper robes to wear and thus these who were at the feast were truly, in some cases to be sure and likely many cases, enjoying a feast as they never had before and with those robes on, it was rather a level playing field, was it not?
In public school I sometimes felt out-of-place if my family couldn’t afford to provide fancy designer jeans for me to wear but only “no name” jeans which were just as functional but not as “trendy” and popular. When I went to a Christian school with uniforms, none of us stood out as the “different” one for our attire.
So, what does all this tell us about Jesus? What’s up with this ousted wedding guest? Clearly, he rejected the provided robe and insulted his host greatly, thus he was evicted from the feast. Jesus came to us in human form in such amazing love for us. We are flawed yet He suffered our punishment. We are wrapped in His love and our troubles are His troubles. Our flaws and faults and weakness mean nothing when we invite Him as our personal Lord and Savior. We are robed and reflect His love and all the rest is gone away. Our sins forgiven and eternal life won for us. We simply choose to be robed in Him and He takes on all the rest. He, in fact, already have given us this gift. We simply must accept it.
Are you going to the wedding feast? Don’t worry about your faded slacks, your patched and worn cotton dress. Your robe is waiting.
In John 6 we read that Jesus said “no one can come to me unless the Father draws him” and at first glance this can be startling. Perhaps it never startled you, but it did me. However, after meditating on it and just being with Him, I came to find that words which sounded as though they were excluding were actually giving me life, ETERNAL life!
We are perhaps, at this moment (well, I am) singing a familiar song in our hearts. This song brings tears to my eyes and sends my heart and soul soaring! For, you see, we were drawn in. We love Him because He first loved us! How amazing is it that with all my flaws and constant mistakes . . . my hurts, my weakness, my stumbling, He chose me for His own? Life is amazing not because I got it right, but because He transforms it, transforms me, and most of all draws me close and loves me!
We are all familiar with Saul who killed followers of Jesus, and did so legally . . . was even well thought of for having done so. What happened to him in the familiar life change moment though? In order for him to really see and know Jesus in his heart and soul, his eyes were blinded. When he truly saw Jesus, his sight was restored in body, mind, and spirit and what followed was AMAZING. Paul’s Epistles are my most favorite books of the Bible. The inspiration which I get from them . . . they blow me away and make me want to be more and more a servant of the King of Kings at each re-read.
I’ve been in a life change season for quite long while, it seems to me. There are some big “Lord, you know I love you” needs on my list which are still on the list. Oddly enough, vision problems and provision concerns and a bit of isolation are part of the “help me Lord” list. I know His love and presence and I am learning more each day. I have found living in Him to be amazing, but different from just “knowing about Him.” Wouldn’t change my relationship status with Him for anything, but boy has it been tricky to learn not to plan things way ahead. Jesus is with me in the present . . . regrets of the past and panic about a future which might not even be His plan? No! Don’t do it. Try not to. Humans, or this one, has to try more than once to catch on sometimes.
So, sometimes I feel slammed in a good way and sometimes I see the Light and the Truth in such a powerful way that it takes my breath away. Often times I feel like the tiny child learning to walk. Seems the moment they manage a couple of steps without landing on their tiny bottoms, they take to running at a speed that amazes their adults. Yup, often ends up being a rescue mission for Mom, Dad, Aunt Martha, etc., too as wee one discovers getting too far ahead on the path can be a mistake. We rescue them and for a time they stay in step with us, until another moment when they think “I got this! I’m cool.” The cycle continues. Same with me and Jesus. He keeps bringing me back in step with Him too.
As for me, I’ve struggled with an eye sight issue for over four years now and when my retinologist told me yesterday, after yet another procedure was performed on my eye, that this can keep on happening. . . . wasn’t what I wanted to hear. There’s no telling when or if these procedures will arrest the problem . . . REALLY wasn’t what I wanted to hear. The bank statement came today. My eye sight was strong enough today to see how clearly the transactions and balance reflected the duration of my financial provision weakness . . .
So, am I like Saul/Paul and thus all this is part of the plan the Lord has for me? Is it just “one of those things” that happen in life? Know what? Whether the human got herself into the situation by her own “fault” or whether it’s His plan doesn’t change the end result. He is with me and He uses all things and redeems us! Yesterday I couldn’t see at all well. Today I can see better. He was with me then. He is with me now. There hasn’t been one time in my life when I fell that He wasn’t there to lift me up and lead me.
I like to think that like Paul, I too could be in prison . . . broken, bleeding, hungry, alone, yet still write such joy filled letters of a beautiful life in Christ. I’m not sure mine would come close to what Paul’s are and I sure hope I don’t have to find out, but how amazing it is to know that REGARDLESS of what messes we wind up in during our earthly life, He is with us in them and lovingly leading us through them!