What does God’s tough love mean for you?

Key Scripture

Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.
“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.’
“But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.
“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless.
“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.’
“For many are invited, but few are chosen.”

Matthew 22:1 - 14
A story of invitations
  • Invitation refused

  • Invitation violently opposed

  • Invitation given

Invitation Refused:
  • The powerful king Jesus is talking about is God.

  • Over many years God has used prophets to come to the banquet, but his people have refused.

  • They are turning down the offer of grace.

Invitation violently opposed:
  • Who refuses an invitation to that? Who says no to a King?

  • Some go about their business as if they’ve never received the invitation.

  • Jesus is using this story to look back at his time on earth.

Invitation given:
  • Because some refuse to come, he now turns to others.

  • Jesus came into the world, to seek and save those that were lost.

Important Takeaway

“Perverse and foolish oft I strayed, but yet in love he sought me. And on his shoulder gently laid, and home rejoicing brought me”

“But there was a difference between this wide-open invitation and the message so many want to hear today. We want to hear that everyone is all right exactly as they are; that God loves us as we are and doesn't want us to change. People often say this when they want to justify particular types of behaviour, but the argument doesn't work. When the blind and lame came to Jesus, he didn't say, 'You're all right as you are.' He healed them. They wouldn't have been satisfied with anything less. When the prostitutes and extortioners came to Jesus (or, for that matter, to John the Baptist), he didn't say, 'You're all right as you are'. His love reached them where they were, but his love refused to let them stay as they were. Love wants the best for the beloved.”

N.T. Wright

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Galatians 5: 22 - 25
  • We have come as we are, but have we stayed as we are?

  • Are we prepared spiritually for Jesus to return?

  • If we think about how God meets us where we are, how he invites us all in, how he loves us too much to leave us as we are, what does God’s tough love mean for you?

  • How does God want to work in your life?

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