Sunday, February 7, 2010

Matt. 22 -- the badly-dressed man

This chapter has a lot going on in it. For example, Matthew, the former tax collector, has yet another story on taxes (see also Matt. 17:21). The enemies of Jesus try again to outwit him, and are handily routed, publicly humiliated.

People of a certain age remember a bumper sticker prevalent during the Vietnam era -- "Suppose they gave a war and nobody came?" This recalls the parable that launches this chapter. The Kingdom of Heaven is like an incredible feast, a party. Strangely enough, the people honored by the first invitation (the Jews) not only snubbed the host, but mistreated the delivery boys. The King did not take this calmly -- and his verdict on first-century Israel was devastating:
Sonra kölelerine şöyle dedi: 'Düğün şöleni hazır, ama çağırdıklarım buna layık değilmiş.
Then / to his slaves / this saying / he said: 'The wedding / feast / is ready, / but / those who were invited / to it / worthy / were not.

It's not safe to snub the King's summons. Even when, especially when, He has invited you to a joyous and exuberant feast.

It's also not safe to try to get in on the gravy train when wearing the colors of a rival gang:[1]
Mat 22:11 "Kral konukları görmeye geldiğinde, orada düğün giysisi giymemiş bir adam gördü.
Mat 22:12 Ona, 'Arkadaş, düğün giysisi giymeden buraya nasıl girdin?' diye sorunca, adamın dili tutuldu.
Mat 22:13 "O zaman kral, uşaklarına, 'Şunun ellerini ayaklarını bağlayın, dışarıya, karanlığa atın!' dedi. 'Orada ağlayış ve diş gıcırtısı olacaktır.'
Mat 22:14 "Çünkü çağrılanlar çok, ama seçilenler azdır."
Modern bureaucrats hold meetings. The oriental potentates had feasts, formal occasions when the servants and subjects would report on conditions in their satrapies, and when the King would set the direction for the Kingdom's forthcoming activities. The King would furnish a rich table, and provide festive robes for the guests. In donning the robe, the guest accepted the King's authority. In feasting at the table, the guest was incorporated, metaphorically, into his body, to serve as his extensions throughout the realm.

It's communion Sunday, I need to get ready for church.

[1] "Color riding" is the tradition of motorcycle gangs, each of which has its own "colors," its emblematic jacket.

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