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notre dame montreal

 

The Parable of the King's Banquet

 

The Parable of the King's Banquet - Clothes for the Kingdom

Jesus tells of king who holds a super big party. Some people are invited and refuse to go, they make excuses not to have to go and have a great time! So the king opens the invitation flood gates and all and sundry are invited. Sadly one of the newly invited guests doesn’t turn up looking he part and is cast out.

We know what Jesus is speaking about here. The banquet is the coming kingdom. Jesus said that the Jewish people had killed the prophets and those sent by God and now the invitation was extended to everybody.
It is great to know that the kingdom is seen by Jesus as a banquet, a giant party and not something like the Old Bailey, a judgemental courtroom. Jesus is saying how sad it is that people are slow to respond to the generous invitation to come and have a great time.

I want this morning though to look at the very last bit of the parable and it is perhaps the bit we know least about. It is a hard bit and it might have made more sense to the people who heard it at the time than it does to us. However we can draw some interesting thoughts from it which are supported throughout scripture.

I wonder when the last time you were invited to a great celebration event, usually weddings.Gentlemen what is the first thing a woman says when she hears that she is being invited to a wedding ? - Could it be 'I will need a new dress'! It is not just the Mothers of the bride who spend months planning the colours and the hat.

What you wear for functions is important. In fact what you wear is important for all sorts of things. At the woodland burial ground I always say to people if it is wet then please wear wellingtons. They usually look at me as if I have taken leave of my senses. Even when it is raining you can usually guarantee that some of the women will turn up in little black dresses and high heels, wading through puddles.

If you play golf you have to wear those Pringle jumpers and stuff. When I go fishing with people who have not been before I always tell them to imagine that they need to be completely waterproof. Imagine that you are going into the shower at home will you stay dry. Waterproof hat and trousers tucked over wellingtons.

Now the Bible speaks a great deal about what God’s people should wear for their clothing.
In Isaiah Chapter 61 the prophet speaks of the Lord clothing him with the garments of salvation 61 :10 'He has covered me with the robe of righteousness'.

There are a few passages in the New Testament which speak about clothing and how Christians should be dressed.

Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Rom 13:14

All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." 1 Peter 5:5  

Perhaps the most important passage is in Colossians Chapter 3:12-17
As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

As Christians clearly our outward appearance should be characterised by these qualities. The kingdom of Heaven is a future promise but it is also expected to be a present reality. Jesus wants his people to be apparent by their apparel. So today let’s encourage one another to wear the clothes which distinguish us as his disciples.