Jesus did much of His teaching by the use of parables. In using parables, He laid out a physical, easy to understand illustration of things people were knowledgeable of, to teach a spiritual truth that they may well have been having trouble understanding. Matthew records one such parable (Matt. 22:1-14) which is often called the parable of the marriage feast.
In the parable the certain king is God, the son is Jesus the Christ, the servants who delivered the message were the prophets, from Moses forward, those bidden to the marriage who did not come were the Jews and those who came to the feast from the highways were the Gentiles. Thus, the basic truth taught in this parable is that though salvation in Christ came first to the Jews, they were and would continue to reject the Lord and the gospel would then go to the Gentiles. However, there is just one bit of truth found in this parable that we wish to consider in this brief article. When the message was sent to the Jews, the text of the parable says that “they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise” (Matt. 22:5). One could say that they simply did not take the invitation seriously.
Friends, it is a grave mistake to take anything “lightly” that God has stated! Take note of the fact that those things that “the bidden” pursued in the place of the marriage feast were not wrong within themselves. One went to his farm. There was certainly not anything wrong with farming. It was and is a respectable means of supporting oneself and providing for the welfare of others as well. Another went to his merchandise. There is certainly nothing wrong with being in the business of merchandising.
Buying and selling is certainly a respectable means of support. The word of God instructs us all to work, provide for ourselves and not willingly be sponging off others (II Thess. 3:10-12). No, the problem was not in what they did, but in what they did not do. They did not take the invitation of the king seriously and placed other things ahead of obedience to the king. The same thing is done today when one places more emphasis on the things of the world than in doing the will of the King of kings and Lord of lords. Far, far too many are making light of the things of God.
We are blessed to have the revealed mind of God, in written form, in our own language and with the freedom of our government to possess it, read it, abide by it and teach it to others. The treasure of God’s word has been revealed to and carried in earthen vessels (II Cor. 4:6-7; I Cor. 2:9-13). “
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Tim. 3:16). And yet, we live in what is probably the most Biblically illiterate time in our nation’s history. Most people seem to make light of the book authored by the Father of all life and delivered by inspiration of the Holy Spirit and spend more of their time and effort in knowing the things of this world. There are probably more people that can tell you the names of all the players on some sports team or actors in some television series than can tell you all the books of the New Testament. You decide where the priorities are.
Few are really concerned with the accuracy of the translation of the Bible they use. They seem to take such a matter lightly. Every time a “new translation” comes out, people rush to get the latest version, usually because it is so easy to read. However, not all “versions” say the same thing! If any two translations or versions differ in what they teach, at least one of them must be an incorrect translation. Both could be inaccurate, but both cannot be accurate.
Admittedly, it is difficult for one to ascertain the most accurately translated version of the Bible without having personal knowledge of the original language, but some honest research by those who do have such knowledge should be consulted prior to just accepting any translation of God’s word.
It is also a simple fact that far too few take seriously the word of God concerning the church. Few, if any, will argue that the word of God teaches that there should be many churches, differing in doctrine, name and practice. Yet, this land if full of such a variety of groups that one can look around and find one teaching most anything that would please them.
Not only is there little, if any, opposition to such, one can often hear people thanking God for such division and inviting people to choose whichever one pleases them. The apostle Paul wrote, “That ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (I Cor. 1:10).
It is time for us to wake up and realize that by “making light of” the things of God, we are placing ourselves in the same state in which those Jews who rejected Christ found themselves. Their failure of take the King and his word seriously resulted in the King finding them unworthy of His blessings. Our failure to take God and His word seriously will result in the same loss, the loss of eternal life in heaven.
Robert Oliver is a long time columnist for The Sampson Independent.