August 18, 2016 - Indiscriminate Love

Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and the elders of the people in parables saying,
“The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who gave a wedding feast for his son.
He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast,
but they refused to come.

A second time he sent other servants, saying,
‘Tell those invited: “Behold, I have prepared my banquet,
my calves and fattened cattle are killed,
and everything is ready; come to the feast.’
Some ignored the invitation and went away,
one to his farm, another to his business.

Then the king said to his servants, ‘The feast is ready,
but those who were invited were not worthy to come.
Go out, therefore, into the main roads
and invite to the feast whomever you find.’
The servants went out into the streets
and gathered all they found, bad and good alike,
and the hall was filled with guests.

Matthew 22:1

A certain man made a great supper, and he invited many people. He sent out his servant at supper time to tell those who were invited, ‘Come, for everything is ready now.’ They all as one began to make excuses.

The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please have me excused.’  Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I must go try them out. Please have me excused.’
Another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I can’t come.’

The servant came, and told his lord these things. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor, maimed, blind, and lame.’  The servant said, ‘Lord, it is done as you commanded, and there is still room.’
The lord said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 

Luke 14:16-23

Matthew’s parable of the wedding feast includes a discordant verse at the end about a wedding guest who failed to wear the appropriate wedding garment and is rejected.  Biblical scholars generally agree that this was a separate story haphazardly attached to the first.

Here, I have reproduced Matthew’s story without the last verse and also Luke’s corresponding story.  Note how meeting a moral standard is not a prerequisite for receiving an invitation.  The “good and the bad alike” are invited.  Those who the theology of the day assumed were sinners and cursed by God – the poor, maimed, blind, and lame – even those with no relationship to the Master at all - are to be compelled to join the feast.  This is a message of totally indiscriminate and universal salvation.  You need serve no purpose nor achieve any goal to receive God’s love.