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5k Every Day in the Month of May 2017 (Day 8)

I went to bed way too late and woke up way too early, but I was able to meet some running buddies this morning in Wooster for an 8 mile run. Then I joined my wife for her daily 5k when I got home. 

It was a bit of a double-header for me. 

My first run was for a total of 8.1 miles at an 8 minute per mile pace for a total time of 1 hour, 5 minutes, and 26 seconds. It was a fantastic, zig-zagging run through the early morning streets of Wooster. The second run was for 3.1 miles at a 10:30 per mile pace for a total time of 32 minutes and 44 seconds. We rocked a nice run around our housing allotment. 

I am really proud of Jodi! She is doing an amazing job wth her 5k Every Day in the Month of May. She is getting a lot stronger as a runner and I really enjoy getting the chance to run with her. She’s definitely my favorite running partner!

As for the daily Bible reading, I have been chewing on the opening passage from Matthew 22 all day long. 

And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”‘ But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests. “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.” – Matthew 22:1-14

This passage has been spinning around and around in my mind today and I have been trying to make sense of it. 

There are many passages of scripture that I do not understand. I am usually content to simply know that God is good in all of His ways and that He would give me understanding if and when I need it. Then there are other times, like this time, when I feel like I need to press in and meditate on the passage, really working hard to understand it. 

I’m not sure how far I got, but this is where I have landed:

I believe this parable is reinforcing the fact Jesus has invited MANY into the Kingdom of God. 

… the Son of Man came … to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Matthew 20:28

Still, according to the parable, many reject his invitation to eternal life through his saving work on the cross. 

Super sad day.

Their lame excuses may seem legit, but not in comparison to the surpassing value of knowing Christ!

Have you ever offered someone something amazing, something out of this world, but they had no interest? Not fun. In this case, it cost Jesus his very life to be able to freely welcome us into the Kingdom of God, but so many of us cling to our lame excuses for why we are not interested. In the process, we snub God. 

Super bad idea. 

In fact, some people in the parable were so bothered and offended by the invitation that they killed the messengers. 

The king then deems that the people who were originally invited were not worthy, and tells his messengers to go into all the world and invite EVERYONE. Clearly this is a parallel for God revealing Himself to the Jews first, then being killed by the Jews, and post-resurrection telling the disciples to go into all the world preaching the Gospel.

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. – Mark 16:15-16

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” – Acts 1:8

Of course, the messengers go out proclaiming this message and the wedding feast is filled with guests from all walks of life. 

So far I think this parable is pretty straightforward. It is really the last part that has had me spinning my wheels throughout the day:

“But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.” – Matthew 22:11-14

How are we to understand this ending? Is this really about having the right clothes?

I’ll tell you what I think the parable is speaking to. I believe the guest in question displayed a significant lack of interest and care. I think he was simply indifferent. 

Now the parable is starting to hit close to home! 

I have put my faith in Christ alone. He is my life. I am planning to wear a robe of righteousness to the feast! But if those are just words, and I don’t really care, then I am fooling myself. 

Am I indifferent towards Christ and his work on the Cross, which sealed my salvation and eternity with God? 
Do I really care?

When is the last time that I was so awestruck over the fact that Christ would die for a sinner like me? When was the last time that I poured my heart out to him in gratitude? Or that I showed any emotion at all towards him?

Do I really care?

Or, at my core, am I really indifferent and passive, no different from the first group who refused the invitation?

This has been my challenge today as I process Matthew 22-24. Do I really care?

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11 thoughts on “5k Every Day in the Month of May 2017 (Day 8) Leave a comment

  1. I was thinking today how far I am into the challenge and realized that 7 3/4 days in is 1/4 of the challenge. So I’ve made a 1/4 of the challenge. Only 3/4 to go.
    My legs were heavy and had a hard time getting them to move but today was a victory day of moving my pace time into the 8 range. To be exact 8:52. My best time since May started. By the end I should be down to 5:00 min pace. Lol. That would be awesome but won’t happen.
    Jeff thank you for sharing your thoughts on the parable of the wedding feast. Something for me to chew on.
    What was interesting to me was Jesus talking about the end of the times. It’s so full and packed and mind blowing. Out of that area one thing that stuck out was the verse Matthew 24:36-38. “”But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark,”
    ‭‭I have heard preachers that have went on great lengths that they know when The end is. Not sure how you get around this verse. I would say it’s clear that humans are NOT going to know.
    I was hoping this would talk about the plants coming to life just like the movie Noah and they would start throwing rocks. But that must be in the old testiment.

  2. Melissa and I got our 5k done this evening in a time of 31:13 (average pace of 10:01/mile). I once read a blog over the passage from today that really stood out to me.

    A quote from the blog: “Am I indifferent towards Christ and his work on the Cross, which sealed my salvation and eternity with God? 
Do I really care?” (Jeff Polen)

    I feel like at times it’s so easy and, unfortunately, somewhat normal to just go through the motions as a Christian and not truly feel the weight of what my savior did for me, a helpless sinner. It’s easy to spew out words and say how much I love Jesus and everything he did for me, but do my actions show what my words say? I don’t think they always do. This was a challenging passage to read followed by a challenging blog to read.

  3. Paul and I got our 5K in this morning. I thought it would get easier, but I haven’t reached that yet! Maybe tomorrow! We also listened to the three chapters in Matthew. Reading (or listening) to the Bible is a great way to start the day. I’ve enjoyed reading the other posts. I am a great believer that a life lived for Jesus needs to be consistent and lived all the time. Doing this has not always been easy, and I haven’t always done it. I have been challenged again to never take my salvation for granted.

    • You two are rocking it! I’ve been going for 373 days in a row and I can honestly say that today was one of my most difficult runs to date! So I’m not sure if it actually gets easier, but there are days when I really do feel great. Thanks for the comment!

  4. Day 8 and my legs are feeling like lead. Yesterday I was on a 5K high since I had a week under my belt. Today the high wore off lol. But my yes is still yes, so onward! I did a treadmill 5K in 29:12 with a 9:23 pace. I’m slowing down 🙂 Randy on the other hand rocked his 5K and went a little farther! He did 4 miles in 31:50 which was a 7:49 pace!

    I just recently read/heard something (but I can’t remember where – so frustrating!) that the guest would have been given clothes to wear so he must have chosen to not put them on. Since I can’t remember where I got that, I can’t verify it, but that is what is in my head. And I guess in a way it makes sense since we have been gifted a robe of righteousness paid for by Jesus’ blood to wear if we choose. But this was a challenging post because I so often forge my own path and don’t glorify Jesus with my life and actions. Like Paul, I know what to do but I don’t do it. And what I don’t want to do, I do. And I know that I don’t even begin to grasp the price Jesus paid for me. That, combined with some really good conversations with friends tonight, just really convicted me.

  5. I am going to cheat and post late and early in the same post. I ran yesterday and just got off the treadmill this morning.

    I too am super excited for Jodi! She’s awesome! Maybe this summer time to run a few 5ks!

    As I read the passage I couldn’t help but thinking about my thoughts of these parables as a child. Some are easy to understand and some metaphors are tough for young children and even when they do think they have it as they read it as an adult it is all the more powerful. As a teacher I love the power of words especially Jesus’ words.

  6. After an extra long day at work I was definitely tempted to abandon this program. But I didn’t want to be a quitter at least not yesterday so I hacked out the 5K on my treadmill last night.
    I appreciated your breakdown of that scripture. I was again struck by his aggressive takedown of the Pharisees. I was challenged by the waste of time it is trying to look good on the outside while being greedy and self indulgent on the inside.

  7. Little late on my post, but got an all walk 5k in yesterday with my wife. Glad I’m not the only one struggling with that parable. I was caught by the king addressing the guest as “friend”. Why “friend”, then throw him out? As I thought about it, I had to think of Revelation, being luke warm, and being spit out. I don’t want that to be me.

  8. I’ve been dealing with a bit of a foot irritation lately so running in the evenings when my body is nice and warm and loose is working better right now. I was able to get out for 7.1 miles by myself and I listened to a podcast That one of my friends puts together for the first part of the run and then caught up on Matthew after that. With a name like Matthew, it’s got to be good! 🙂

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