Week 3: Entitlement

Review this week's message.

Key Scripture
22 Jesus went on speaking in parables.
Jesus: 2 The kingdom of heaven is like a king whose son was getting married. The king organized a great feast, a huge wedding banquet. 3 He invited everyone he knew. The day of the wedding arrived, and the king sent his servants into town to track down his guests—but when the servants approached them with the king’s message, they refused to come. 4 So the king sent out another batch of servants.
King: Tell those people I’ve invited to come to the wedding banquet! Tell them I have prepared a great feast! Everything is ready! The oxen and fattened cattle have all been butchered, the wine is decanted, and the table is laid out just so.
5 And off the servants went, and they carried the king’s message to the errant guests—who still paid not a whit of attention. One guest headed into his field to work; another sat at his desk to attend to his accounts. 6 The rest of the guests actually turned on the servants, brutalizing them and killing them. 7 When he learned of this, the king was furious. He sent his army to kill the murderers and burn their towns. 8 But there was, of course, still a wedding to celebrate.
King (to his remaining servants): The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited didn’t rise to the occasion. 9 So go into the streets and invite anyone you see; invite everyone you meet.
10 And the servants did just that—they went into the streets and invited everyone they met, rich and poor, good and bad, high and low, sick and well. Everyone who was invited came, and the wedding hall practically burst with guests.
11 The king looked around the wedding party with glee, but he spotted one man who was not dressed appropriately. In fact, he was dressed rather plainly, in clothes not at all fitting for a fine nuptial feast.
King: 12 Kind sir, how did you get in here without a proper suit of wedding clothes?
The man was speechless. He had been invited in off the street, after all! 13 Getting no response, the king told his servants,
King: Tie him up, and throw him out into the outer darkness, where there is weeping and grinding of teeth.
14 For many are invited, but few are chosen.
Matthew 22:1-14 (The Voice)

Start talking.  Find a conversation starter for your group.
  • Have you ever had to turn down an invitation or had someone decline your invitation to something?  What did that feel like?
  • On the other hand, can you think of a time when you were invited to be a part of something as a backup or afterthought?  What did that feel like?

Start thinking. Ask a question to get your group thinking.
  • Why do you think Jesus chose to speak in parables?
  • What do you think this parable means?
  • Who do you identify with most in this story?

Start sharing. Choose a question to create openness.
  • How can we "rise to the occasion" of what God is inviting us to?
  • How can expectation & comparison rob us of joy & gratitude?  
  • What does it mean to be a Christian if we aren't guaranteed things like happiness & satisfaction?  Is there a difference between being happy & being fulfilled?

Start praying.  Be bold and pray with power.
Gracious God, help us to reflect on your goodness.  Remind us of this even in times when it is more difficult to see.  Help us to set aside our selfish desires & expectations in favor of your will.  We trust that you are a God of grace & love who has made us holy in your sight.  Help us to take comfort in this gift when we begin to compare ourselves to others. We are enough...because we are your children.  Amen.

Start doing. Commit to a step and live it out this week.
  • This week's passage is a difficult one.  It seems to go in one direction, but then takes a sharp turn.  Read the passage multiple times this week.  See how it speaks to you differently based on the day you are reading it.  Think about how this parable challenges you or even disturbs you. Take a moment to write your own parable...starting with "The Kingdom of Heaven is like..."