PART II: THE PARABLES OF THE KINGDOM
CHAPTER 12 THE WEDDING FEAST
This is a different parable than the Parable of the
Great Banquet which Jesus gave at a meal (Luke 14:16-24).
Jesus gave the Parable of the Wedding Feast later in his
ministry and in the temple--it is found only in Matthew
22:1-14. (Trench, NOTES ON THE PARABLES OF
OUR LORD, p. 75).
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
"Then he said to his servants, `The
wedding banquet is ready, but those I
invited did not deserve to come. 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, both good
and bad, and the wedding hall was filled
"But when the king came in to see
the guests, he noticed a man there who
was not wearing wedding clothes.
`Friend,’ he asked, `how did you get in
here without wedding clothes?' The man
"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." (Matthew 22:1-14, New
A king prepared a wedding banquet for his son.
According to Jewish custom, no time was specified in the
invitation to the big feast. When everything was ready,
servants were sent out with a final summons. (William
Barclay, DAILY BIBLE STUDY SERIES, MATTHEW, pp.
293 ff.). When the servants were sent out for the final
summons, those who were invited refused to come.
Then the king sent out more servants to bid those who
were invited. Again, those invited paid no attention. Some
went to conducting business as usual, and others mistreated
the king’s servants and killed them.
The king became furious and sent his army, executing
those who murdered his servants and burning their city.
The king then issued orders to his servants to go to
the street corners and gather both good and bad people to his
son's wedding feast. People responded and filled the wedding
The king then came into the wedding hall to see the
guests and noticed a guest who was not wearing wedding
clothes. Wealthy people of the East would have a large
number of expensive garments for such occasions and the
rejection of wedding clothes would be a sign of contempt.
(R. C. Trench, NOTES ON THE PARABLES OF OUR LORD,
p. 80). When the king confronted the guest without wedding
clothes, the man had no excuse.
The king had his attendants bind the man without the
wedding clothes and throw him outside in the darkness.
The characters of the story and the people whom
they represent are:
1. The King God the Father
2. The Son God the Son
3. The first group invited The Jews
4. The second group invited The Gentiles and sinners
God's chosen people, the Jews, were the first to receive
the joyous call to receive the Messiah, whom they
rejected. The Gospel was then given to other nations
(Gentiles). In short, everyone has been given an invitation,
but not everyone has accepted the invitation.
The wedding will take place in the future when the Lord
calls us. The time is unspecified--only God knows. We who
have responded are the Church--not denominations, but the
universal church, which is composed of every individual who
has responded and who will respond to the call of the Father
to accept his Son.
The wedding garment represents the righteousness of
Christ. Paul explains in the book of Romans that "self-
righteousness" will not satisfy the holiness of God, only the
imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. (See the chapter on
"Righteousness” in my shareware book, HOW TO RAISE YOUR SELF
ESTEEM: PROVEN BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES).
The outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing
of teeth is the place of eternal separation from God and from
redeemed humanity. Barclay reminds us that part of the pain
will be the joy missed. It would be terrible to spend an
eternity without a changed nature and without having the love
nature of God.
EVERYONE IS CALLED TO BE SAVED, BUT ONLY THOSE
WHO RECEIVE CHRIST AND HIS FREE GIFT OF
RIGHTEOUSNESS WILL BE SAVED.
It is very foolish to reject the invitation of our
Creator. He has so much joy in store for us. If it hurts
human beings to have their love rejected, how much more does
it pierces the heart of God to have his love and his Son
rejected? Let us carry the message of the Good News (Gospel)
to all! END