Acts of Generosity
15 April 2012
· Key passage: Matt. 22:1-14 – Parable of the Wedding Feast
· Parable = story with a message and application.
· V1 “Jesus answered” =spoke in response to something that had gone before.
· Gospel Mathew presents – Jesus as King of Jews and offer of Kingdom and rejection of King and Kingdom.
· Context: Math 21:43 The Kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing fruit of it.
· Because of Israel’s rejection and the failure to bring forth fruit the Kingdom is offered to a separate distinct nation who will bring forth fruit.
· 1 Pet.2:9-10 “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation …”
· Gal.3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek … for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
2. The Wedding Invitation: Math.22:1-14
(a) Prophetic Aspect of the Parable
· The time span covers 2000 years – past, present and future.
· The parable reveals Jesus as - Bridegroom – love, desire, covenant
King – supernatural power, ruling
Judge – Justice, call people to account
· These three aspects of Jesus are seen in Mt.22, Mt.25 and Rev.19-20.
(b) The Invitation to Israel (Past)
· Vs.2-4 “He sent out his servants to call those that were invited to the wedding”.
· The message of the Kingdom – “You are invited to a wedding”.
· God calls us to a - Marriage covenant – intimacy
(c) The Response of Israel (Past)
· Vs.5-6 “They made light of it”. = without care or interest.
· Vs.3 “”They would not come”. = active resistance lit “to determine”.
· The rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully and killed them. E.g. prophets, John the Baptist; Jesus; James, Stephen.
(d) The Kings Response (Past)
· Vs7 “When the King heard about it he was furious and he sent out his armies…”
· AD70 – Jerusalem overthrown and burnt by Titus – 2 million Jews – half were killed.
· Rev.19:2 End time global war when the King will deal with his enemies.
· God’s desire is that we be rooted in love – He will judge all that opposes love.
(e) The Invitation to the Gentiles (Present)
· Vs8-10 “Therefore go into the highways and as many as you find invite to the wedding”.
· “Highway” = routes out of Jerusalem to nations beyond Israel.
· The servants are commanded to go and extend the invitation to the world.
· Mt.28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of the nations …”
· Acts 1:8 “… you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria and to the end of the earth”.
· God desires his feast be filled with guests.\People respond to the free invitation – the free gift of God.
(f) The Necessity of Preparation
· Vs11-12 “…he saw there a man who did not have on a wedding garment…”
(i) This will take place in the future – when we appear before the Lord.
(ii) The man did not have a wedding garment
(iii)This was a deliberate choice on his part
NOT=3361=’me’ deliberate intention
(iv) The man knew a wedding garment was required – he needed to prepare for the wedding.
(g) The Wedding Garment – Acts of Generosity
· Rev.9:7-8 the marriage supper of the lamb – the same event as Mt.22.
· “Made herself ready” – Ready =2090= to make all the necessary preparations.
· Vs8 “The fine linen is the righteousness acts of the saints”.
(i) Righteousness = 1343 = to have right standing before God
We are given this as a free gift not by works of any kind.
· Rom. 5:17-18 “..the gift of righteousness”
· Eph.2:8-9 “By grace you are saved through faith”
· Note vs. 10 Works that God has prepared for us to do.
(ii) Righteousness = 1345 = Olikaioma = righteous acts
NB OT equivalent = Tsedagah = acts of kindness and generosity (because we are God’s people).
Each believer is responsible to prepare for our meeting with the Lord.
Each believer is expected to “let their light shine” with acts of generosity.
· Mt.6:1 “Charitable deeds” = dikaioma = righteous acts.
· Act 10:2 “Give alms generously” memorial before God.
· Jam.1:26-27 Pure and undefiled religion – visit orphans and widows in their trouble.
· Titus 3:8 “…those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works” 3:14 “Let our people learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs that they may not be unfruitful”.
· Titus 2:14 – zealous for good works (zealous – burning with passion)
(h) Appearing without a Wedding Garment
(i) The man was a believer – person who had been called and made a response.
· Book of Revelation warns believers about ensuring have proper garments.
· Rev. 16:15 “…blessed is he who watches and keeps his garments”
· Rev. 3:18 “Counsel you to buy of me .. white raiment that you may be clothed”
· This is a message to the church to believers to overcome not be overcome.
· Overcomer is clothed – person overcome is unclothed.
(ii) Outer Darkness
· This is not hell.
· This is the darkness outside the limits of a lighted place.
· The Wedding is a place of light and celebration – outside is darkness and regret.
· Many called, few chosen.
· Called = invited; chosen = selected from those invited.
· Rev.17:14 “…those with him are called and chosen and faithful.
(i) The Example of Esther (Esther 2:12-17)
· The woman chose clothing of own desire.
· Esther submitted to Hegai (The Holy Spirit) and obtained favour with man and God.