"Invited to Be Blest!" Matthew 22:1-14

October 22, 2023
Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

The Twentieth Sunday After Trinity 22-October-2023 Sermon Text: Matthew 22:1-14 Sermon Theme: Invited To Be Blest! by Rev. Nathan J. Rusert I. The King Has Prepared All YOU! (Vs.1-4) II. Rejecting the King Is Death!(vs.5-7) III. The King’s Mercy Seeks To Gather All To The Feast! (Vs.8-10) IV. Holding Onto Our Rags of Sin Brings Hell.(vs.11-14)

Episode Notes

The Twentieth Sunday After Trinity                         22-October-2023
Sermon Text: Matthew 22:1-14
Sermon Theme: Invited To Be Blest!  by Rev. Nathan J. Rusert
I. The King Has Prepared All YOU! (Vs.1-4) II. Rejecting the King Is Death!(vs.5-7) III. The King’s Mercy Seeks To Gather All To The Feast! (Vs.8-10) IV. Holding Onto Our Rags of Sin Brings Hell.(vs.11-14)

I.N.R.I. Are you ready for Thanksgiving? Many of us haven’t given this holiday centered around gathering together to feast much thought. It’s a month away, why worry? There are those of you who have already been preparing, especially if you are hosting thanksgiving at your home this year. You’ve been preparing. Asking who is going to make it, watching for turkeys to go on sale, planning out your menu, maybe even starting to sketch in on which days in November that you will clean, bake, cook, and happily receive family from afar to spend the holiday in our home.
    There is a lot of planning and preparation that goes into every meal in a home, but especially the greater feasting holidays of Easter, Christmas, thanksgiving, birthdays, anniversaries, and especially weddings. We invite family and friends into our feasting festivities that we might bless them with the food we’ve prepared. We gather them that they might be blessed by the mutual bond of God’s love that knits us together in His great family.
      Every family has traditions when it comes to feasting. Normally pumpkin pie isn’t served first. Newlyweds coming into their spouses family have to respectfully learn the family traditions. This morning our narrative service has been explaining to us the traditions of the Divine Service. These are not German or Lutheran traditions, they are the way the family of Christ has gathered to the feast since the days of the Apostles. It is good to ponder why we do what we do. God the Holy Spirit instructs us this morning through the pen of St. Paul to be wise understanding the will of the Lord. How? “Eph 5:19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,” He pictures the Church in your Home. Father, mother, children sitting at table - speaking, singing, praying God’s Word to encourage and strengthen each other. Then joining together in giving thanks - making every meal thanksgiving. Use your hymnal for your daily family devotions - sing hymns - open up the liturgy - look up the Bible passages and ask the Holy Spirit - “What does this mean?” Cherish the Words God the Father speaks to you in Christ Jesus as He tenderly invites you by the Holy Spirit to believe He is your True Father and you are His True children - “Invited To Be Blest!
I. The King Has Prepared All YOU! (Vs.1-4) II. Rejecting the King Is Death!(vs.5-7) III. The King’s Mercy Seeks To Gather All To The Feast! (Vs.8-10) IV. Holding Onto Our Rags of Sin Brings Hell.(vs.11-14)
I. Tuesday of Holy Week. Jesus teaches in the Temple. In three days He will lay down His life as the sinless spotless Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world by His flesh and blood. Listen to Him! (Vs1-2) The Kingdom of Heaven is present. We don’t make God’s Kingdom come. It comes indeed by itself, without our prayer, without war in Israel. It is present coming only through the flesh and blood of the King’s only begotten Son - Jesus. The present war in Israel isn’t the coming of Christ’s Kingdom - It has come in Jesus - it is found not in a geographic location, but where the Word of God is taught in its truth and purity. It is present as God the Holy Spirit calls us to repentance through the Law and faith through the Gospel to lead holy lives conforming us to the image of Christ Jesus. Nor is this war mean now are the end times - the Church has lived in the end times for the past two millennia by faith in the King’s Son who rules all human history - not by setting times and dates for His return in glory.
    The Kingdom of Heaven is found where Christ’s Word is preached truly and His sacraments are administered rightly. Dr. Luther wrote, “Therefore whenever you hear of the kingdom of heaven, you should not merely gaze up to heaven, but look around you upon the earth and seek it among the people, in the whole world, where the Gospel is taught and Christ is believed in, and the Sacraments are properly used. The “kingdom of heaven,” in plain language, is the kingdom of Christ and the kingdom of the Gospel and of faith.”
    What does Jesus teach us of the Kingdom of Heaven present here among us? Listen! (Vs.3) Behold the humble King! He prepared His dinner to share with His guests. He slaughtered the best of the herd to feast upon. He cooked and prepared it all. He sends out His servants with His invitation. He had done all! Prepared all! Come! Feast! Celebrate! Rejoice at wedding feast! His Son’s marriage reunites the King with all of His creation! They are not willing. He is persistent! (Vs.4) Come! He literally is begging them to be His honored guests! How can they reject Him?
II. You prepared your thanksgiving feast. Invited family and friends. The turkey, potatoes, gravy, corn, pies are all cooked. The table is set - still no one shows up? How would you feel? Sad? What if you sent out your husband and sons - and those invited just laughed at the invitation? They wanted to go bargain shopping instead? Would you get a bit irked? Angry? Worse what if they murdered your sons, for interrupting their drunken debauchery? What would you do?
    God the Father did all. His love didn’t pass by any detail. The wedding of His only begotten Son is ready! What happens?(vs.5)
The King invites you into His House every Sunday? Do you laugh at His invitation? Mock the Divine Service? Laugh at the hymns sung? Or are you too busy with doing your own works? Off to your farms and business to do something that really brings life - not sitting in His House for His Feast? Or do you get angry at the called and ordained messengers whom He sends to you? (Vs. 6) The world and the worldly minded treat faithful pastors just as they treated Jesus - with contempt, hatred, persecution, and even death.
    Heed the Holy Spirit’s warning! Gal 6:7-8 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. (8) For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. Listen to Jesus! (Vs.7) God is loving, but He is also just. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hand of the living God. Are you ignorant of history? 70 A.D. Crucified, Risen, Enthroned King Jesus allowed the Roman armies to destroy Jerusalem, its temple, and burn up the city. They did not know the things that made for their peace - the flesh and blood of Jesus. To reject God’s gracious invitation is to choose the path of death and destruction for self, family, cultures, and nations.
III. Behold the merciful King! He does not storm away from sinful humanity because of the hardheartedness of Abraham’s blood descendants. (Vs. 8-10) Those invited were not worthy, for they trusted only in their blood lines and not in the blood of Christ. True children of Abraham are those who trust in Jesus as their Messiah. They are not born of flesh and blood, or by personal decisions, or by their own reason or strength, but by the will of God - through the Holy Spirit blessing them with Gospel breathed and sustained faith.
    From Jerusalem the King sends forth word of the King’s Son’s great wedding feast. The Holy Spirit is given and the Word inviting sinners to new life flows from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth. Paul becomes the missionary to us gentiles inviting us into the wedding. You are here for you’ve been invited to the wedding. Reach out to others and invite them, ‘Come!” “All is Ready!” “This feast is for you!”
      Both bad and good gather in Christ’s Church. We may know their past and present failings - or the good things they do to help others - but we don’t know their hearts. The King does! He is coming soon to reveal every heart. We may fool others with a godly show, you’ll never fool Him! Repent! Throw all your sins upon Him - stand naked before your Creator confessing that you are a “poor miserable sinner” - Let Him clothe with His the rich robes of His perfect Life - His perfect keeping of the Ten Commandments - His total trust in the Father’s Will - His perfect righteousness!
IV.   Today, stop holding onto the filthy stinking rags of your sins! Listen to Jesus! (Vs. 11-12) Judgment Day will come! The King comes. He knows your heart. The gracious King freely provided new festival robes for all who attended the wedding of His Son. They were theirs to keep. There was no excuse for the man to cling to his rags. He is speechless. He has rejected the King’s gracious gift and dishonored His Son! (Vs.13-14) Clinging to the rags of our sin earns us hell - the wages of sin. Cast out into outer darkness, to eternally hate God, and hate all other human beings - alone in solitary suffering for eternity.
      Many are called - the Gospel goes out to all the world. Few listen to it by the power of the Holy Spirit - many reject God the Holy Spirit by shutting their ears to the preaching of the Gospel. How can you be prepared for the eternal feast? Rejoice in the King’s gifts to you in Christ Jesus. Daily wash in your baptism - by the power of the Holy Spirit drown your old sinful self - and rise made new again by the Holy Spirit through forgiveness to live a new life - of faith in Christ and love towards your fellow mankind running in the path of His Commandments. Daily confess your sins - receive absolution - forgiveness from the pastor as from Christ Himself - know Jesus is present freeing you to live forgiven. Come to His Supper now! Prepare - not just disciplining your body with fasting, showering and putting on the best clothing you have - but by faith in His Word, “Given and shed FOR YOU for the forgiveness of your sins!” “...the words "for you" require all hearts to believe.” Know this well! The Feast is prepared! The Kingdom of Heaven is among us in Christ’s Word preached, baptism poured, absolution proclaimed, and His feast served FOR YOU! You are “Invited to be blest! “ Amen.


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