'Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.'Matthew 22:9(NASB)
Jesus was the King of the Jews and the promised Messiah, Who had been specifically sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.. and although we are able to see tiny glimpses of the coming dispensation of grace during Christ's earthly ministry.. where the body of Christ, which is the Church.. would bring forth the fruit of the gospel of God - Christ's pre-cross ministry was in general directed towards His chosen people.. Israel.
But spiritual blindness; the hypocrisy of their leaders and disobedience to God's written Word.. would result in Christ's rejection by the nation He loved.. and a gracious invitation being extended to all who would hear His word and accept His free gift of salvation - both Jew and Gentile alike.
As so with the cross only a few days away, Christ sadly delivered three very pointed parables, which would tell of His rejection by His own people; His betrayal and His death, which was shortly to take place. And the bitter consequences of Israel's rejection of God's appointed Messiah would dictate that she would shortly come under God's judgement - for a time.
The parable of the two sons paints a picture of Israel as a disobedient son - for it was not the self-righteous, religious leaders who would enter the kingdom of heaven, but the publicans; prostitutes; sinners and the Gentiles that they so despised.
The parable of the vineyard and the mutinous husbandmen who killed the father's dearly loved son identified Christ as the Stone which the builders rejected. Their hostile rejection of Christ was to become a stumbling stone to Israel - and yet the sobering consequences of which Christ foretold, (where all who reject His authority would be crushed by the stone of judgement,) was insufficient to melt the heart of Israel's rebellions leadership towards their God and Saviour.
The parable of the great king, who invited many guests to his great marriage celebrations was the final illustration in this parabolic trilogy. Although they were the only guests who had been invited to the great king's feast, the people of Israel systematically spurned his invitation.
The lost sheep of the house of Israel had received three long years of Christ's invitation to drink of the waters of life and to eat of the bread that was sent down from heaven. His disciples had been sent out two by two to preach to Israel of the good news that the kingdom had come, and their King was in their midst. And Christ Himself performed many signs and wonders to validate His authenticity. And yet with one voice there were soon to cry out; we will not have this Man to rule over us.. we have no king but Caesar.
Israel's spiritual history is chronicled in these three parables, where rejection of their Messiah is the catalyst that brings Gentiles into the privileged position of becoming a peculiar people and part of a holy nation. For when the wedding banquet was ready, those who were invited were found to be unworthy. And so the king ordered His servants to 'Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast. And so His servants went out into the streets and gathered together all the people that they found.... Those for whom the feast had been prepared had proved themselves to be unworthy and so others were urged to come and eat of the king's bounty.
Though Israel has been set aside for a season, due to their rebellion and rejection of their God and King, their disobedience and failings have enabled whosoever-will to be invited into the Father's presence and receive His heavenly blessings - until that time when the fullness of the gentiles has come in and the spiritual blindness of Israel will be lifted. On that day they will recognise Him Whom they pierced and discover Him to be the their God and Saviour - their Messiah and King.
Heavenly Father, thank You that in Your grace I have been given an opportunity to come into Your kingdom and eat of the spiritual food from heaven and drink of the waters of life that only come by faith in Christ. I am not worthy to gather up the crumbs under Your table and yet in Your grace You have lifted me out of the miry clay; set my feet on the Rock of my salvation and clothed me in the robe of Christ's own righteousness - for His name sake. To Him be all praise and glory, for ever and ever - AMEN.