Sermon + Just Wear It

Pastor Brian Campbell’s sermon from the October 11 Covenant Lutheran Church at Home service, the fourth in the “Parables and Stories of the Kin-dom” sermon series.

He used the Gospel lesson, Matthew 22.1-14, the Parable of the Wedding Banquet as the bases for his message about being blessed in order to be a blessing to those in need of being blessed. He presented the beginning of parable as being restatements of the prior parables in his confrontation with the chief priests and elders during Holy Week. The end of the parable is directed to Jesus’ disciples, of old and of now, and is a cautionary tale of not responding to God’s gift of grace, or a wedding robe or a face mask.

90 Second Sermon Summary for October 11 2020
October 11 2020 Sermon Video from Church at Home
October 11 2020 Sermon Audio from St Mark

May we learn from God’s words & stories, working to bring the Kin-dom here to Earth. AMEN.

  • I spent a chunk of my time this week with other pastor’s on Zoom calls, and a lot of pastors were struggling with this lesson because “God seems too mean.”
    • They felt that to Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. [A] is too severe of a punishment for someone just invited to a banquet but didn’t wear with the proper attire.
      • They believe those aren’t the actions of a loving and merciful God.
      • I believe they haven’t been paying attention to the whole story.
    • This is the third parable in a row that Jesus is telling against the chief priests, elders and the Pharisees of the Temple in Jerusalem.
      • Jesus is telling these parables because the chief priests and elders have questioned his authority. This is the during what we call Holy Week, the last week of Jesus’ life. The chief priests and elders want to know why he is doing what he has done, in his ministry, but especially in his entry into Jerusalem with the Triumphal Entry we celebrate on Palm Sunday, and with his chasing the moneylenders and exchangers out of the Temple.
      • They challenged who Jesus was to do these things, and now he challenges theirf authority, accusing them of not doing what they are supposed to have been doing.
      • With each parable, Jesus condemns the behavior of the chief priests, elders and the Pharisees and how they have not done what they should have been doing.
        • The parable we hear today is no different.
  • Jesus says the kin-dom of heaven, the time when God brings everyone in the family of God together will be like a wedding celebration, when we gather to rejoice the family is growing in size, with the hope it will grow even more in the future.
    • A wedding banquet is an event that people would have marked on their calendars far in advance, especially if the king is the host of the celebration.
    • At the beginning of the parable, it restates the previous two parables.
    • When the king’s servants come to call the invited, they ignore the summons.
      • Some were invited, RSVP’d that they were coming but then no showed.
        • After telling the Parable of the Two Sons, Jesus compares the son who doesn’t work in the vineyard after saying he would to the leaders of Israel who said they would follow God’s law and God’s commands, but didn’t.
        • The guests who no showed for the wedding are the leaders who say they honor and follow God, but they do not do what God wanted them to do .
    • When summoned again, some find better things to do, while others abuse and kill the messengers.
      • Some who were invited were resentful of the king and those who served the king and took this opportunity to abuse, torture and kill the king’s servants.
        • They are the wicked tenants from the parable about them, who reject and attack the king’s messengers, the prophets, venturing as far as killing them for calling them to answer God’s call and not letting them do what they want when they want.
        • They suffer the fate the Temple leaders said was deserved that we heard last Sunday, They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time. [B]
      • The king then directs his slaves and servants to find others to come to the wedding banquet because those who were originally invited have proven not to be worthy.
        • Those who are going to be invited are the ones whom the chief priests, Temple leaders and Pharisees had rejected and chased out of “good society;” they are the prostitutes and tax collectors.
        • Jesus told those challenging him, Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him. [C]
          • The sinners who believed in the message that John the Baptizer proclaimed;
            The sinners who believed in the message that Jesus is proclaiming will go to the wedding banquet, into the Kin-dom of God because they, unlike the Temple leaders and ruler believed in what was told to them by John and Jesus, and they did the good things they were told to do.
        • The tax collectors and the prostitutes, sinners, those who have stayed away, strayed away, walked away and been chased away are those who are found on the main streets, and are gathered to come to the wedding banquet, both good and bad.
      • Everything until the king enters the banquet retells and reframes the other parables Jesus tells against the Temple leaders, the chief priests Pharisees, and the elders.
  • With the king entering the banquet, Jesus begins to address the new church, his disciples of then and now.
    • I think updating the parable helps to make this part more understandable.
  • When the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a face mask, and he said to him, ‘Friend, what are you doing in here without a face mask? We gave them out to everyone as they came in.’
    • And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Since he does not want to show love to his neighbor by wearing a mask for their benefit, remove him from the Kin-dom. Have him go into the outer darkness, a place where those who reject my lovingkindness dwell, and can cry and grind their teeth.’ [D]
    • In Jesus’ time, the proper attire, a wedding robe, would have been provided for the guests so they didn’t look dirty from the travel. They especially would have been provided for guests just pulled in off of the street.
    • You wouldn’t have to do anything  for the wedding robe, but accept it and wear it.
    • Just like we don’t do anything to earn God’s grace, love, mercy and forgiveness.
      • However, we should use those blessings to produce good fruit and be a blessing to others.
      • That is what God had called upon the children of Abraham to do and what God is calling for when Jesus says, Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. [E]
    • The Kin-dom of God has been given to those who believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, who was crucified, died and was raised so that all who believe in Him are claimed as Children of God, forgiven in their Creator’s eyes, and who will be called from their tombs when Jesus returns again in a day that is surely coming.
      • In response to this gift of grace, we are to wear what has been given to us.
      • In response to this gift of grace, we are to do what has been asked of us.
      • And should we not want to follow God’s ways, we, like the others in this description of the Kin-dom of Heaven, will be invited to leave, and live outside of God’s love.
    • God calls many, unfortunately, few chose to follow.
      • Wear the robe God has given you and do the things God has asked of you.
      • Live a life in response to the gift of grace given to you.
      • Be a blessing to those who need to be blessed.


[A]    Matthew 22.13.

[B]     Matthew 21.41.

[C]    Matthew 21.31-32.

[D]    A revised telling of Matthew 22.11-13.

[E]     Matthew 21.43.

Leave a Reply