Monday, September 6, 2010

A certain king made a marriage for his son

        The words of the king seem solemn and sincere: "Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness."(1) 

        The words of a king, however, do not always reveal directly what he himself is doing.

        King Solomon, in order to settle a dispute between two women, each claiming a living child her own, said, "Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other."(2) 

        Solomon, however, had no intent to harm the child. His words, spoken with apparent sincerity (the woman whose the living child was relinquished her claim in order to spare the life of the child), were artificial.

        By indirection, Solomon identified the mother when he caused her bowels to yearn with compassion for her son.

        Our king has a different problem. He has assembled guests, both bad and good, for the marriage of his son. The guests need now to be assigned rooms to eat the dinner.

        Our king knows that his friend, whom he has solemnly condemned for not having a wedding garment, gave his garment when the son of the king had need of it. He knows that his friend, in clothing his son, accepted for himself the worst of apparel, so that he appeared to all men as the least of all men.

        By indirection, our king will identify the good when he causes their bowels to yearn with compassion for him whom he condemned.

        And the least shall be the greatest.

(1) Matthew 22:1-14  And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,  (2)  The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,  (3)  And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.  (4)  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.  (5)  But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:  (6)  And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.  (7)  But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.  (8)  Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.  (9)  Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.  (10)  So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.  (11)  And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:  (12)  And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.  (13)  Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  (14)  For many are called, but few are chosen.

(2) 1 Kings 3:16-28  Then came there two women, that were harlots, unto the king, and stood before him.  (17)  And the one woman said, O my lord, I and this woman dwell in one house; and I was delivered of a child with her in the house.  (18)  And it came to pass the third day after that I was delivered, that this woman was delivered also: and we were together; there was no stranger with us in the house, save we two in the house.  (19)  And this woman's child died in the night; because she overlaid it.  (20)  And she arose at midnight, and took my son from beside me, while thine handmaid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom.  (21)  And when I rose in the morning to give my child suck, behold, it was dead: but when I had considered it in the morning, behold, it was not my son, which I did bear.  (22)  And the other woman said, Nay; but the living is my son, and the dead is thy son. And this said, No; but the dead is thy son, and the living is my son. Thus they spake before the king.  (23)  Then said the king, The one saith, This is my son that liveth, and thy son is the dead: and the other saith, Nay; but thy son is the dead, and my son is the living.  (24)  And the king said, Bring me a sword. And they brought a sword before the king.  (25)  And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other.  (26)  Then spake the woman whose the living child was unto the king, for her bowels yearned upon her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it. But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it.  (27)  Then the king answered and said, Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof.  (28)  And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment.

I offer these words only in my  own name.

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