The Weekend Word
The Parable of the Wedding Feast
1 And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying,
- “And again …” Don’t you just love it – Jesus keeps moving along.
- “And again …” We must take note of what has been before – Similar themes.
- 3 things from the 2 previous chapters 20 & 21
- (1) The divine Sonship of Jesus.
- (2) Israel’s persistent rejection of its prophets.
- (3) The inclusion of the gentiles into God’s kingdom.
2 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son,
- We don’t live in an age of kings – so how do we work our minds around this and understand the point.
- The kingdom of heaven is not… but it is like this. Compared to a great feast.
- Although weddings cost a fortune today – a wedding feast in those days were not just a one and done day – but sometimes went on for several days which may have had to do with the far distances some people traveled.
3 and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come.
- I will give away the punch line – the king is God and he is putting out the call to salvation.
- Can you even imagine being invited to an event by President Obama and not go?
- Not only not go but tell him you have something more important to do?
4 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.”’
- The feast is all ready and the king has not skimped on anything – this would be the best of the best.
- The only way someone gets into the wedding feast is by the call of the master.
5 But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business,
- Doesn’t this sound familiar? God calls all into his kingdom and so many just ignore God and go off doing other things – just carry on with their lives.
6 while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them.
- Others are more active in their hatred of God.
7 The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
- This is the fate of all who reject God’s call.
- This is the 70AD fate awaiting Jerusalem.
- Think about this – they were invited into God’s presence to partake of the wedding feast, even though they were murders who deserved to have their cities burned.
8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy.
- Immediately we notice that without pause, the wedding feast will go on.
- It is ready, which means the time is here. We are talking about the Day of the Lord (or the several other names it is called)
- Who is not worthy? Who has been invited but now cut off? Israel.
9 Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’
- It was almost calling out “Ollie Ollie Oxen Free, Free, Free”
- To the outcasts, the rejected, the not chosen – it is now a free time to come out and be with your God.
10 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.
- Note this – heaven will be filled with the good and the bad.
- Note this – heaven will be full.
- Note this – heaven will be filled with people who were found.
- There is a whole mouthful of theology here.
- This is the universal call / invitation.
11 “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment.
- There is the old pre communion hymn / prayer;
- “Strip off from us the spotted garments of our flesh and of our own righteousness and adorn us with the garments of the righteousness that you have purchased with your blood.”
12 And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless.
- Friend – take note that usually when Jesus calls someone friend – that is usually not a good thing.
- These are people off the streets who need to be covered / reclothed and it is supplied free of charge by the king.
- But how many times have we heard and even seen encouraged by some churches “hey, if God wants me he is going to have to take me just as I am.”
13 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.’
- But God’s answer to that attitude is always the same – “you’re outta here!”
- Not just rejected but cast into hell.
14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”
- Similar to the phrase ‘the first will be last and the last will be first’
- It’s contrary to what our culture teaches – so you need to chew on it for a while.
- So when we review this – what is the point?
- God invites all through his word – God is both exclusive & inclusive.
- He is exclusive in that you must do it God’s way – you wear God’s wedding garment – you don’t come in the garments of your own making.
- He is inclusive in that he offers the wedding garment to all – he does not with hold from any.
- The people are rejecting – imagine Jesus standing there telling the parable, pointing to himself saying “Hey guys, it’s me – I am the Messiah, I am the One – don’t reject me.”