Worship Service – October 18, 2020

Scripture Reading:

Proverbs 15: 6-24

Sunday October 18 2020

Welcome, our message this week, we find in, the Gospel of Matthew 22:1-14 and the Gospel of Luke 14:15-24. I invite you to open your Bibles and follow along, as I read.

Matthew 22:1-14

The Parable of the Wedding Banquet

(1)Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying:
(2)”The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.
(3)He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.
(4)”Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’
(5)”But they paid no attention and went off–one to his field, another to his business.
(6)The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them.
(7)The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
(8)”Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come.
(9)Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.
(10)So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.
(11)”But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes.
(12)’Friend,’ he asked, ‘how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless.
(13)”Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
(14)”For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
There is a similar parable we find in Luke 14:15-24. The parable of the great banquet. This time though we find Jesus, telling this parable at the table of Nicodemus. Unlike the parable of the wedding banquet, where He refers to a king preparing a banquet, He tells us in Luke 14:16 that a certain man was preparing a banquet. This could be any of us.
Let’s read together this parable.

Luke 14:15-24

The Parable of the Great Banquet

(15)When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”
(16)Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests.
(17)At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’
(18)”But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’
(19)”Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’
(20)”Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’
(21)”The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’
(22)” ‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’
(23)”Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.
(24)I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’
Have you ever noticed how often food and drink are mentioned in the New Testament? How about banquets and weddings? Jesus even called the church, his bride!
In Luke’s account of the parable, Jesus reminds us that, ”The kingdom of God” is like a banquet, but the people invited make excuses so that they do not have to participate. The excuses given show that these are people for whom material goods and family take priority. Their rejection at this point is extremely rude because they have already accepted the initial invitation . Jesus is probably referring to the religious leaders here; we need to remember that he is eating in a Pharisee’s house. The master responds in verse 21 by inviting, ”the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame. ”Those of the lower class from the town. Luke’s concern for the poor and handicapped continues. Even after those from the lower class are brought to the banquet, there is still room for more, so the master sends his servant to the countryside so that his “house will be full” (14:23). This seems to be a clear reference to the Gentile mission. The phrase “compel them to come in” does not imply that some will enter the kingdom against their will. In Palestine people politely refused an invitation until they were persuaded to accept (Gen. 19:3). The point of the parable is that people may talk sentimentally about the blessings of the kingdom (14:15), but in reality many do not want to accept the invitation. Those who refuse the invitation will never enter the kingdom (14:24).
The parable in Matthew 22:1–14 is likely also intended for the Jewish leadership, though the ending is not specific to them as it is in, Matthew 21:31–32, 45. God’s kingdom is likened to a wedding banquet held by a king for his son. Those invited refuse to come, even killing the king’s servants who bring the invitation. In response, the king sends his army to destroy these murderers and burn their city with a possible reference to the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70. Since the original guests refuse the king’s invitation, he opens the banquet to anyone his servants can find, “the bad as well as the good” (22:10). Jesus’s parable up to this point emphasizes the refusing of God’s kingdom invitation and the judgment that will fall on those who reject that invitation, as the Jewish leadership has been doing. The final scene of the parable strikes closer to home. A man who is at the banquet is discovered without the proper wedding garments and thrown out. This scene warns those who have responded to the kingdom invitation, offered by Jesus, of judgment if they do not, dress properly, in other words bear fruit. They will be tied hand and foot and thrown outside into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Make note, “Weeping and gnashing of teeth”. This was a common image for judgment in Matthew;(8:12; 13:42, 50; 24:51; 25:30). Though the wedding garment is an ambiguous image, in context it seems best interpreted along an ethical line, since both good and bad enter the parable’s banquet (22:10) and since the previous two parables emphasize ethical behavior in; (Matthew 21:28-43).
So, I don’t believe he is telling us that we will lose our salvation, but that we will lose the blessings God has in store for us. There are consequences, for our decisions. If we don’t dress ourselves in the righteousness that God provides. We need to clothe ourselves in righteousness as Job did. Job’s final words to his friends;(Job 29:14)“I put on righteousness, and it clothed me.”
We need to dress for success. Be clothed in righteousness.
Our message this week I’ve titled :


Years ago I remember a banquet that Bonne had prepared for Thanksgiving. I don’t remember how many people were invited, or attended.  I’m ,almost certain that most all of our family members, from the area, were invited. I do remember that when my mother showed up she was dressed like she was going to a grand ball. Seeing that Thanksgiving was during hunting season, when Bonne’s father showed up he was in full hunting attire. Looking as though he just came out of the woods, weapons included. It seem to be very odd for two people to dress so differently, as our guests commented ,for a banquet. Still, all were well fed and had a great time.
My mom showed up dressed to show respect to Bonne, and her labors and to make her children proud. Bonne‘s dad showed up dressed to show that he had prepared for life’s adventures to come, before and after the feast. Both were dressed for success.
The kingdom of heaven is like that, says Jesus. All who will come are invited. No one is left out. The kingdom is like a family gathering, like a wedding feast.
Shouldn’t we see the kingdom life as a feast? Just think what happens when you accept Christ’s invitation to the wedding feast, and are dressed for success, clothed in righteousness!


You are what you wear. ”Job coaches taut this phrase continually to prospective job applicants, letting them know that “dressing for success” can make or break and interview. You need to show people not only who you are but what you’re capable of. What you wear expresses something about your character and your initiative.
The sad thing about most people today is not that they have problems, but that they forget to live. They hide in fear, especially during this pandemic and if they show up to the banquet they don’t dress for success. They miss the blessings God has prepared.
One morning this week I was flipping through the channels on the TV and came across a morning talk show, where the host was in his pajamas. Looking like he just got out of bed. And I had to ask myself, who in their right mind would watch somebody so unprepared to be seen in public? He definitely was not dress for success.
In a cartoon by Charles Schulz, Lucy tells Charlie Brown that she’s decided to begin a new hobby. Charlie Brown commends her decision, saying how important it is to accomplish something meaningful with your life. In response Lucy says something like this, “Accomplish something? I thought all we were supposed to do was keep busy!”
There are many of us who are keeping very busy. We are not accomplishing very much. We are like an octopus on roller skates. We are here, then we are there, ultimately we are all over the place, but we are not getting anywhere specific. We pursue many pleasures, but find little that brings us lasting happiness. We missed the banquet, and if we do come, we don’t dress for success. We’re too busy to prepare ourselves for the banquet.
In a story I read recently, it told about a man who went into a bus station in Athens, Georgia to buy a ticket to Greenville, South Carolina. As he paid for his ticket, the clerk said, “The bus is a bit behind schedule. Have a seat, and it will be along shortly.” As the man sat down, he noticed one of those novelty machines that purports to tell you everything about yourself. He thought it might be interesting, so he pumped in a quarter. The machine whirred and buzzed a bit, and out came a slip of paper: “Your name is Bill Jones, you are 35 years old, you’re from Athens, Georgia, and you are waiting for a bus to Greenville, South Carolina.” “That’s amazing,” the man thought. “I wonder if it can do it again.”
Another quarter went in. More buzzing and whirring. Another slip of paper: “Your name is Bill Jones, you are 35 years of age, you are from Athens, Georgia, and you are waiting for a bus to Greenville, South Carolina.”
Now the man was really baffled. “I wonder if the machine can see me,” he thought. So he turned around, with his back to the machine, pumped in a third quarter, and waited. A few seconds later, the same message appeared: Your name is Bill Jones, you are 35 years of age, you’re from Athens, Georgia, and you are waiting for a bus to Greenville, South Carolina.”
Well, the man had about had it. He looked across the street, and spotted a drug store. Quickly, he walked out of the station and over to the store. At the novelty counter, he bought one of those glasses with the big nose and mustache attached. He bought a set of false ears. He bought a cape. Finally, he bought a cane and gave himself a limp. Even his own mother would not have known him.
He hobbled out of the drug store, back across the street, and back into the bus station. One more time, he marched up to the machine, and put in a fourth quarter. The machine buzzed and whirred, and spit out the message. “Your name is Bill Jones, you are 35 years of age, you are from Athens, Georgia, and while you were fooling around, you missed the bus to Greenville, South Carolina.”
We can miss the bus, messing around, keeping busy. That’s what our Scripture lessons are all about. That’s not the image Jesus used, but the truth is the same. Jesus’ image is that of a banquet, that none of us should miss. I remind you that “one of the most powerful images for the Kingdom of God in the New Testament is that of a great feast, a banquet. Jesus used and lived the image often.
In Matthew’s version of this parable ,there is an addendum!


That should not be surprising. Where would homeless people find proper clothing for a wedding feast? Why was the king so upset with this one man? Imagine now that you, as Lord of the House, are giving a very special banquet, for a very special guest. It’s a very important occasion. All staff are required to dress in their best uniforms. But one man comes in an dishonors the event and the host by showing up in scruffy pants and a dirty shirt. The event meant so little to him that he couldn’t even be bothered to dress for the role he needed to carry out.
We not only need to pretend our loyalty to God, or just show up at the venue, but we need to “dress” for the part!  We need to put on clothing that indicates the kind of character inside, at least the kind of intent we have to follow through.
To understand Jesus’ parable, we don’t need to take it literally. This is not about God chastising someone for not wearing a lavish enough suit or a fancy enough dress befitting a wedding guest. This is about God looking to see that those invited into God’s presence are honored enough and repentitive enough to enter into the kingdom of God, clothing themselves in righteousness. The Bible teaches us all who enter in must pay submission and respect not only to the Father, but also to the Son.
Scholars tell us that in Jesus’ time, kings often gave their guests fine robes to wear during their visit. The king was not rejecting this person because he had worn the wrong clothes. The king would have willingly supplied the right clothes for his guest. Evidently, though, the guest had not felt it necessary to accept the king’s offer of fine robes. He had chosen to stay in his own common clothes instead.
So it is with us. We want to enjoy the feast, but we do not want to put on the new garment God has for us, the garment of a purpose for our lives, the garment of love for all people, the garment of personal responsibility, the garment of a new walk with God. We have on the wrong apparel to enjoy the feast, and we never discover all that God has laid up for us.
In closing ,I’d like to remind you of what Jesus told Nicodemus, how he was to “dress for success in Luke 14:12-14. “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
In Revelations 19:7-9 John writes; ”Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”
Dress for success. Dress yourself in righteousness that God has provided , the garment of a purpose for our lives, the garment of love for all people, the garment of personal responsibility, the garment of a new walk with God, through Christ death on the cross! So that we may have forgiveness of our sins and life everlasting. And not be ashamed of what we’re wearing in the presence of others and in the presence of God.
In His Service,
Pastor Joe.
Listen To Audio: Sermon 20201018
Listen To Audio: Service 10182020


Pastor Joe is available at the church every Thursday 2-4pm if you need to speak with him. Contact Numbers: 570-465-7303 or his cell 570-267-4570

Loose Change Offering, (coins & bills), today goes to Kenya/Rev. Malaho.

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Session meets Tuesday, October 20 at 10:00am!

Men’s Action Group Wednesday, October 21st at 8:00am!

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