Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)
Jesus always loves His people. Without ceasing, He reveals the hidden treasures of the Kingdom of Heaven to His people. When Jesus was on earth, day and night, Jesus welcomed whoever came to him, and gladly shared the truth while pouring His love. Jesus preached to 5000 people who followed Him to wilderness to hear Jesus’ message of the truth. Jesus loved them, and gave earthly food also in the middle of the wilderness. They were fully satisfied with the earthly food. Most of all, their hearts were completely filled with Jesus’ love and truth.
One day Nicodemus, one Jewish teacher, who came to Jesus at night to avoid other Jewish people. Jesus gladly met Nicodemus, and lovingly heard him. Then Jesus told him about the truth of “born again.” Nicodemus struggled to understand about born again, and asked “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” Indeed, Nicodemus did not truly appreciate what belonged to earth remained on earth and perished all together, but things belonged to Heaven would last forever. Thus, Jesus meant born again for the kingdom of Heaven, but Nicodemus thought that born again physically for this world. One who born again through the faith of Jesus Christ, the Savior, thus, does not belong to earth, but to the kingdom of Heaven. Jesus revealed the ultimate truth to Nicodemus by telling:
For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
Yes, whoever believes in Jesus will have eternal life and belong to the kingdom of Heaven through the process of born-again by the power of the Holy Spirit. Thus, we should not resist, but believe Jesus by accepting Him as our own Savior. With Jesus, we inherit the kingdom of Heaven also. Jesus has opened up the heavenly gate and invited everyone so that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life.
Is there any other invitations more precious than this? No. Absolutely not. Therefore, any one hears this message should not resist, and open heart and receive Jesus as the Savior.
Jesus told a parable to the people surrounding Him and listening to His message:
The Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a king who prepared a great wedding feast for his son. When the banquet was ready, he sent his servants to notify those who were invited. But they all refused to come!
There was a king who prepared a great wedding feast for his son’s wedding. He sent his servants to those who were invited, but nobody responded. None came.
For the king, it was a big surprise. With a big disappointment, the king carefully thought through why nobody came. He questioned to himself about the servants who were initially sent out. They might not have had a correct attitude by not being polite enough or even upsetting those who were invited. The invited people might not have had received a correct message about the king’s best prepared banquet. Thus, the invited guests’ interests were not provoked enough for them to come the banquet, again which was the biggest and best ever throughout his reign. In the end, the king was really frustrated.
Then the king decided to send other servants. For this time, the king carefully educated them so that they were fully equipped with an excellent manner and a wonderfully attractive message about the banquet that was specifically prepared for his son’s wedding and for the people invited. The king made sure for his servants to clearly tell the banquet was the biggest and best ever throughout his reign. Then the servants were sent out. Yes, they were very polite and well mannered. They convey the best message of the king clearly. “The feast has been prepared. The bulls and fattened cattle have been killed, and everything is ready. Come to the banquet.”
Indeed, those who were invited actually heard the message of the king and the king’s personal invitation. However, the outcome was not what was expected. Rather than positively responding to the invitation, they started making excuses.
One said, “I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me.” Another said, “I have just bought five Paris of oxen, and I want to try them out. Please excuse me.” Another said, “I have must married, so I can’t come.”
One by one gave one’s own excuse. Each one had one’s own business, and it was more important than, the King’s invitation to the best and biggest banquet ever. Although the best banquet was waiting for them, they did not know because their ears were deaf and their hearts were dull. Thus, they continued their ways, which made them feel good.
This is not a just parable. This is actually happening at present time and in our world now. What is the most valuable thing in this world? We all believers know the answer — the most precious one is the gift of God, which is the Salvation from God. This is bigger and greater than anything else on earth. Why? Everything on earth will perish and eventually fade away by turning into dust. How is dust good for us? Although we hold on tight the thing of this world because we value most in our heart, the thing will not last and turn into dust. Like a morning fog disappearing when sun rises, what we value most on earth will be quickly fading away. What’s the reason why we get up early and work late till night to have the things on earth? The true wisdom says now. What comes from God lasts forever, but the things on earth fade away sooner than we expect.
The servants returned and told the king what they had said. The king was furious and said, ‘Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’
He decided to give up with the people whom originally invited, and to invite completely new people to fill his son’s wedding banquet hall. Because the banquet was ready, the king quickly gave an order to his servants,
‘The wedding feast is ready, and the guests I invited aren’t worthy of the honor. Now go out to the street corners and invite everyone you see. (Matthew 22:9b)
So the servants quickly went out and talked people who they could find, good and bad alike. Not like the former group of people initially invited, all of them responded and followed the servant to the banquet hall. As the savants brought in everyone, the banquet hall was full with guests. None of those whom were initially invited was in the banquet hall, and could not get even the smallest tastes of the best banquet ever. They completely missed the goodness and riches of the king’s banquet.
The king, then, saw the wedding banquet hall, and was filled with guests. He became content, and he personally come down to met the quests. Then he suddenly noticed a man who wasn’t wearing the proper clothes for a wedding. ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how is it that you are here without wedding clothes?’ But the man had nothing to say before the king. It was the king’s banquet, but he did not give a bare minimum respect to the king’s banquet. This meant he did give no honor and no respect to the king himself.
Then the king was not really happy about what was happening. Also the king could not let the irresectable guest mixed with the other good quests who gave a proper respect to the king with full of gratitude about the king in their heart. Then the king said to his servants, ‘Bind his hands and feet and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ The irresectable guest was immediately taken from the banquet hall and thrown outside to darkness. On the other hand, the king and the guests together enjoyed the biggest and best banquet ever in the king reign.
Then Jesus concluded his parable:
“For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14)
What does the above parable tell us? First, we should not refuse to God’s invitation to the best gift from God, which is eternal life. Second, it is easy to say “yes” to the invitation to the kingdom of Heaven, but not all of them will actually receive the gift of God in their hearts. Just saying “yes” by mouth is not enough. What God, our true King, wants is our true faith in Him.
What is the true faith in Him? Truly believing God. Yes, God is not visible, and we cannot touch Him with our own hands. Therefore, it makes us struggle to believe God. However, let’s say if we could see and touch God with our own eyes and hands, what’s the reason that we need faith in God? We don’t need faith because we see and touch God like a pebble. Nobody needs faith to believe the existence of a pebble because we can physically hold it in our hand.
On the other hand, our truth faith in God transcends all understanding and makes us truly believe God and His existence although we cannot physically see and touch with our eyes and hands. This is the true faith. This true faith also makes us grow in Him by fixing our eyes on Jesus Christ, who is pioneer and finisher, and following the footsteps of Jesus Christ. Through the journey with Jesus Christ, we continue growing and having a deeper relationship with God. The Holy Spirit who lives in us constantly protects and guides us toward God while remaining in our true faith in God for the rest of our lives on earth till seeing Him face to face. This is our hope and faith in Him. Praise God, whose wisdom is unfathomable, and His love endures forever!
“Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world. (Revelation 3:10)