The Parables of Jesus
April 13, 2022
The Wedding Banquet
Matthew 22: 1-14
This is the final devotion in my series, The Parables of Jesus. We have read and discussed vineyards, seeds, planting, harvesting, and weeds. There was a lost son, an unfair judge, lost coins, lost sheep and goats on the wrong side of Jesus.
Throughout these stories, Jesus stresses forgiveness, grace, love, and servanthood. I pray that all of you will continue to bring God’s word to the world’s nations.
This brings us to our final Parable.
In the Parable of the Tenants, you may remember that the landowner’s son was killed. (Matthew 21:33-46)
In today’s story, the Son is alive once again. Jesus tells us that, as He surely will die on what we call Good Friday, He will also rise again on Easter morning.
The Parable of the Wedding Banquet
Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his Son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.
“Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’
“But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So, go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So, the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.
“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless.
“Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
“For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
As in other Parables, once again in today’s story, Christ is the bridegroom, and the church is His bride. This may seem to be an unusual analogy. But, this is a visual of the promise of Christ and His church being united when he returns.
As in many of Jesus’ Parables, there is a stern warning here. The people invited to the wedding first were the Jews, but when they refused to attend, then the Gentiles were invited. After three years of ministering to Israel, the number of those who followed Jesus was few compared to the population.
So, Jesus invites non-Jews, Gentiles to the wedding feast. But Jesus warns both Jews and Gentiles alike that those who refuse His invitation will be dealt with harshly. As I have mentioned before, as long as you live and breathe, there is time for you to repent of your sins and have faith in Jesus Christ.
How did the Jews refuse the invitation to the wedding? First, they did not pay attention. The Pharisees and lawmakers saw Jesus as a rabble-rouser who upset Jewish tradition. Second, they mistreated the servants. Not only was Jesus mistreated and finally put to death, but so were his disciples. This mistreatment of Christians continues throughout the world, even today.
Finally, even a gentile is thrown out of the wedding for not wearing the proper wedding clothes. No, that isn’t a literal statement.
It’s a warning to those who don’t come to the banquet prepared. Instead, we should be dressed in the Gospel message, show our faith in everything we do, and be servants to all.
We are God’s evangelists. Like the servants, we are to go out into the world and share the Gospel with everyone. Some will listen to it and embrace it, while others will not. “Let those who have ears hear.”
Let me leave you today with my favorite passage from the Bible. Close your eyes and hear Jesus as He says:
“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said,
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”