The Opening Charge: Abiding Importance of the Cross of Christ
The opening charge focused on Matt.22:1-14
There we learnt that there was a King who invited people to the wedding feast of His Son, we noted that the Wedding itself is more important than the wedding feast, none of us would appreciate our wedding reception being full of Guests whilst the wedding programme in church was virtually empty, so whilst the king invited people to the feast his intention was that they come to the whole wedding which culminated in the feast. Even though the king said my fated calf is ready and I have furnished the dinner table he ended by saying “Come to the Wedding” ( KJV and J. Darnby – translations) – Not the Feast but the wedding, not self but the Son.
So the ultimate end of the King was His Son, he wanted to honour the Son, he wanted the Son to get glory and praise from the splendour of the wedding and the appropriately dressed people at the wedding. And so All that the King did it was in view of His intention to honour His Son.
“that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.”
“And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name”
“And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed”
The verses above show us that that is the aim of the Father, For God has inextricably woven His own glory into the glorification of the Son, so the son can say that “Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.”.
The issue is that there are so many distractions, these distractions are not necessarily evil in themselves, though there are some that are evil: look back into the story:
- Evil Distractions:
Matt.22:3 “and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come.”
They would not come, they were distracted from what was the main thing, their hearts were set on other things, so that the very presence of the King was no longer pleasurable to them, it was no longer attractive, it no longer held sway over their life, such is when we are too busy and forget the things of God, such is when we have more time for daily stuff than we have for fellowship with him, such is when his sacrifice on our behalf no longer holds the tenderness of our hearts, such is when we can consider the cross and laugh like the mockers did, such are marks that there has been no saving work in our hearts, or we have backslidden to such a terrible state and need the hand of God once more on our hearts to remove the searing and hardness of sin.
2. Other Distractions:
I cannot call these none evil distractions, because when we consider what the consequences of these distractions have been in our generation, we cannot term them as not evil when they become a distraction. The issue is not that these things are wrong in themselves, but they become wrong when they become a distraction from the main thing. You remember the story of Mary and Martha, the service that Martha was rendering was acceptable, it was a command “a deacon must be given to hospitality”, but in as much as it distracted Martha from the main thing, from the singular thing that was necessary it became evil. Look at the story once more the King said “Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage” (Matt.22:4) – The king speaks about the Dinner, about the Oxen, about the fatlings that have been killed and prepared, the feast has been bountifully furnished – these things are legitimate but He did not call them to the feast but rather to the Marriage (KJV). Even so in Christ there is healing for sickness, there are miracles, there are words of knowledge, prophecy, tongues – all these things are good in themselves but once they take centre stage they are no longer fulfilling the task for which they are sent, they are all sent to Honour the Son, because the Spirit that gives them is sent to Honour the Son (Jn.16:13-15).
But once we are distracted from that for which ought to take central stage, we have lapsed into a form of idolatry, and so we must watch constantly that we are not falling into these other distractions that seem valid that seem nice, but that can lead us astray from the purpose of God – and thus instead of living to His glory we become a dishonour to the One to whom we owe, our life, our breath, our every vey being.