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Missed it by that Much

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SBS:  I want to say thanks today.  I’ll have next Sunday to say thanks to all of you and I will, but my wife Cindy and my kids, Charity and Josiah are going to a wedding next week and will not be here.

I want to say thanks to them for putting up with me during these two years and several months; thanks for enduring the Saturdays when I needed to go to my office to work on the sermon; thanks for allowing me time to study when I could have been spending it with you.  You have been the most kind and gracious family that anyone could ever hope for and I love you dearly.  To my dear wife Cindy:  These flowers are to remind you that I have been around the greatest preachers and theologians in the world today, I have stood with many whom the world would call “great” Christians, but I am never more outclassed than when I am with you.  Cindy, Charity, and Josiah, I love you more than you can imagine, thanks for putting up with the strange little man you call your dad.


Weddings are strange things.  Mine was especially strange.  Sometimes students ask me how much they should spend on their wedding and want to know how much I spent on mine. . . . Weddings bring people together who would not otherwise associate.  That was clear at my wedding.  Cindy’s family was really nicely dressed and it looked like many of them wore suits to work everyday.  There were members of my family that didn’t even wear long pants when they went to see their parole officer.


Parable is an allegory: King is God, Son is Jesus, Wedding feast is that great party that will happen when Christ comes back and makes everything new again.

Note that there are three invitations:

    1. The Request 3a
    2. The Refusal 3b  This was a highly unusual action.  To refuse an invitation to the King’s party was tantamount to throwing away a winning lottery ticket.
    1. The request- v. 4-People had no clocks, the food was ready
    2. The ridicule v. 5-they had other things to do (have you ever missed a party?  I was performing at the wrong house once)
    3. The ruthlessness  v 6
    4. The rage v. 7  the King does not wait forever. King was “furious”
    1. The command  vv. 9-go outside the city.  Go to those the Pharisees thought unworthy.
    2. The Crowd  v. 10- “The bad and the good”

Andrew Jackson's inauguration in 1829 was perhaps one of the purest moments of American democracy. As Jackson had run for president as a candidate for the ordinary man, ordinary men from across the country traveled to Washington to see their candidate elected president. They crowded the capital unlike any inauguration before. Fifteen thousand watched as Jackson received the oath of office, and then most observers crammed into the White House through the windows, the doors; they stood on the chairs in muddy boots, they knocked over the white house China cabinet; they found no spittoons and so they    expectorated on the floor (that is the word Dr. Kennedy would have used) all in an effort to observe their house of government. Jackson, with the help of Revolutionary War veterans, had to fight his way through the crowd to get to his carriage after the ceremony. While he had originally planned to greet the well-wishers informally, the throngs grew too large and Jackson fled from the White House to Gadsby's Hotel, where he spent the night. The celebration lasted well into the night at the White House, where Presidential servants had to carry ice cream and tubs of orange juice flavored with rum onto the lawn to attract people out of the mansion.  It took a week to scrub the white house clean after the party.


    1. The Quandary  vv. 11-14- the man without the garment; There is question about whether or not the King gave out the wedding garment.  See Gen 45:22 Joseph gives garments;  Judg 14:12-Sampson gives wedding garments; Esth 6:8 royal robe is brought to Mordichai;  Josephus in Jewish Wars 2.129, 131 speaks of a priest giving clean garments

Zech 3:3-4 

3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel.

4 Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.”

Rev. 19:7-8

7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.


He had almost made it.  He was at the party, he was one of the party goers, he was home free until he saw the king.  One look and the king knew he didn’t belong there.  What was that garment?  There is only one thing that will allow us to stand before the King; the righteousness of Christ.  This parable echoes Proverbs nine.  Wisdom has her feast ready, she has the food hot and the drinks all filled; but then foolishness sits on the other side of the street and calls out also.  One has to decide, will you go with Wisdom or foolishness?

My father told me a story of a minister whom he had known who had a son who had been a prisoner of war in Japan during WWII.  When the war was over he received word that his son was coming home, but that his mind had been damaged irreparably by the torture in the POW camp.  The young man was coming home by boat and as all of the soldiers were coming into the harbor of New York city, the sights and sounds of his old home were too much for that young man.  He jumped over the side of the ship and was drowned.  Just a few minutes away from where he was to meet his father.  He was almost home, but he did not make it.

Don’t let that be you this morning.  I won’t have many chances to tell you this, but there is a great banquet coming.  Be There.  Be there clothed in the righteousness of Christ, for that is our only hope.  Be there.  The king’s invitation stands ready for you today.

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