Go therefore to the crossroads and invite to the banquet as many as you can find.'
1. The Jews, as a nation, must be destroyed.
2. The Gentiles, as individuals, must be drawn into the Divine favour. Those Jews had conceived that the Divine favour was held in strict limitations. It belonged exclusively to those who were of Abraham's seed. And this idea had led them to presume; and in their pride they even rejected God's Son. They felt as if they might do as they pleased even with the invitation to the feast. Compare the way in which St. Paul found it necessary to turn away from the Jews, and give free offer of eternal life to the Gentiles.
I. THE GOSPEL IS OFFERED TO THOSE WHO HAVE NO NATURAL CLAIM TO IT. These folk in the highways had no claims of birth, or education, or fitness. They were just men who wanted food; and to them the offer of food was made. The gospel goes beyond all the special claims and rights that men think they have, and just deals with men as men - with men as sinful men; with men as having lost by their sin even their natural rights to the favour of God. It is not until we can give up all confidence in our own merit that we are prepared to hear the gospel message, "Whosoever will, let him come."
II. THE GOSPEL IS OFFERED TO THOSE WHO HAVE NO DISPOSITION TOWARD IT. These folk in the highway, perhaps, had not even heard of the king's marriage feast. If they had, it never entered their heads that they would like to be guests at it. It was no place for such as they were. Some of them were beggars at the wayside. All of them were in their workday clothes. A comfortable meal at home they would enjoy muck more than a grand feast at the palace. It was even needful to use forceful persuasions, and compel them to come in. Still, we are confronted by this difficulty - so many have to be made to want and welcome the gospel; to be taught their need, and to be persuaded that the fulness of Divine provision is really opened to them. The gospel is offered freely to whosoever will, but the work is committed to Christ's servants of making men will to receive the gospel. "We persuade men." - R.T.
But they made light of it.I. WHAT IT IS THAT THE SINNERS MAKE LIGHT OF.
1. Of the messenger who brings them the news that the marriage supper is prepared.
2. These people despise the feast.
3. They make light of the King's Son.
4. They make light also of the King.
5. Thou art making light of the great solemnities of eternity.
II. How IS IT THAT MEN MAKE LIGHT OF IT?
1. When men go to hear and yet do not attend.
2. When they attend to something else with it.
3. Who makes a profession of religion, but does not live up to it.
III. WHY THEY MAKE LIGHT OF IT.
1. Because ignorant.
2. Because of pride.
3. Because they did not believe the messenger.
4. Because they were so worldly.
5. Because altogether thoughtless.
6. Out of sheer presumption.
7. Because of the commonness of the gospel.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)I. THE CAUSES.
5. All these excuses were derived from things that were lawful in themselves.
II. Substantiate THE PROOFS. Must not bring such a charge without the clearest evidence; that you make light of the gospel proved —
1. From your thoughts.
2. From your words.
3. From your actions.
4. From your anxieties.
III. EXPOSE THIS EVIL.
1. Consider the conduct of other beings. The devil, angels, saints do not make light of it.
2. Consider the truth of the subject.
3. The importance of the subject.
4. The guilt you contract.
IV. REJOICE IN THE CURE OF THIS INDEFFERENCE.
(W. Jay.)I. WITH WHOM DO THEY TRIFLE?
II. WITH WHAT DO MEN TRIFLE?
1. With the soul.
2. With Jesus Christ.
3. With eternity.
IV. UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES DO MEN THUS DARE TO TRIFLE?
1. While you thus trifle all beside you are in earnest.
2. While you thus trifle opportunities are passing away.
(T. Raffles, D. D.)I. Life, with the faculties and powers we possess.
II. Time, with the opportunities which it offers.
III. Duty, with self-denial which it involves.
IV. Sin, with the misery which it entails.
V. Salvation, with the joys which it brings.
VI. Death, with the uncertainty which attends it. VII. Judgment, with the solemnity that surrounds it.
(Seeds and Saplings.)I. Men are apt to remember and affectionately think of things they highly esteem; but as for those which they disregard, they can easily forget them, and live daily without a single thought of them.
II. The things that men value will be the theme of frequent conversation.
III. Things only talked about, and not reduced to practice, are made light of.
IV. We take pains and labour to secure the things we value.
V. Things that men highly esteem deeply and tenderly affect them.
VI. Our estimate of things may he discovered by the diligence and earnestness of our endeavours after them.
VII. That which we highly value we think it impossible to buy too dearly.
VIII. Those things we highly value we shall help our friends to obtain.
1. Those who make light of the Saviour, make light of Him who did not make light of them.
2. They make light of matters of the greatest excellency and importance.
3. Consider whose salvation it is you make light of — your own.
4. This sin is aggravated by professing to believe that gospel you make light of.
5. Consider what things those are which you prefer to the neglect of these.
6. Making light of Christ and salvation is a certain evidence of no interest in them.
7. The time is hastening when none will make light of these things.
(President Davies.)1. They made light of their advantages.
2. They made light of their opportunities.
3. They made light of human life.
4. They made light of duty.
5. They made light of sin.
6. They made light of the gospel.
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