THE WEEK OF TRINITY XX – SATURDAY
LESSON: ACTS 5:1‒11
“Everything is ready; come to the marriage feast.” Matthew 22:4
“Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment? Matthew 22:12
In order to provide guests for the marriage feast, the king’s servants must never cease to continue with their proclamation, inviting all whom they meet to come to the marriage feast. The king wants a full table at this feast. The most important, holy, and mighty people who were invited first would not come. As Luke tells the parable, the king then sent out his servants to invite “the poor and maimed and blind and lame” (Luke 14:21). These are the heathen, who were not numbered among God’s chosen people, had nothing about which to become presumptuous, and were quite glad to accept the invitation extended to them.
On inspecting the guests, the king found a scoundrel amongst the crowd, sitting at the table, whom he quickly recognized and condemned. He did not have a wedding garment. He had not come to this marriage out of any feeling of respect, but to disgrace the bridegroom and the king who had invited him. By this man is indicated those who are numbered among true Christians, who hear the Gospel and are to be found in the external fellowship of the Church but who merely make a pretense of accepting the Gospel in hypocrisy.
Here we see that the Church on earth, considered according to its external fellowship, is a congregation of such as hear the true teaching of the Gospel of Christ, and believe and confess it. They also have the Holy Spirit who sanctifies them and works in them through the Word and Sacrament. Among these, however, there are still to be found some false Christians and hypocrites.
PRAYER: Lord God, You have told us very clearly in Your Word that only the pure in heart will see You. Give us such singleness of heart and mind that we may always serve You in spirit and truth, without any hypocrisy, in and through Christ our Savior. Amen.