Jesus often taught spiritual truths in the form of parables or stories. Some of the parables were explained by Jesus in the Bible; others were not. One left without explanation is the parable of the wedding feast found in Matthew 22. Keep reading if you would like help understanding the Wedding Feast parable.
And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, “The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.” (Matthew 22:1-3)
“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. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.” (Matthew 22:4-6)
“But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.” (Matthew 22:7)
“Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. 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.” (Matthew 22:8-10)
“And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 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.” (Matthew 22:11-13)
“For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14)
Sinners are all called to repentance, to salvation, and to eternal life by trusting in Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
The king is God the Father, the King of kings and Lord of lords. God the Father is preparing a wedding feast for His Son, Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. The wedding feast is the marriage supper of the Lamb, which will be held in heaven at the end of this age (Rev. 19:7-9).
Those who were invited but would not come are the nation of Israel, God’s chosen people, who failed to follow God’s law and rejected Jesus as their Messiah. God sent many prophets and even His Son to the Jews to call them to repentance. But they repeatedly rejected God’s Word, persecuted His prophets, and even killed His Son.
Pilate wanted to release Jesus, but the Jews insisted He be crucified. Pilate washed his hands and said, “I am innocent of this man’s blood.” To this the Jews replied, “His blood be on us and on our children!” (Mt. 27:24-25)
“Their city” is Jerusalem. God used Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldeans to destroy Jerusalem in the days of Jeremiah because of Israel’s idolatry and apostasy. The rebuilt Jerusalem and temple were destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, after the unworthy Jews rejected God’s Son and crucified their Messiah.
The king in the parable sent his servants into the highways to invite everyone they could find to the feast. His servants obeyed and gathered as many people as they could, both the good and the bad.
After His resurrection, Jesus commanded His disciples to “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mk 16:15). He told them to “make disciples of all the nations” (Mt. 28:19). As He ascended to heaven, Jesus said, “and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
Now everyone is invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb, the bad as well as the good. Sinners are all called to repentance, to salvation, and to eternal life by trusting in Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
Only the blood of Christ can cover our sins and make us clean
In the parable, the king finds a man at the feast who is not wearing a wedding garment. When asked why, the man is speechless. He has no excuse. While all are invited, only those who are clothed in the righteousness of Christ by faith in Jesus will be allowed into heaven and the marriage supper of the Lamb.
People may try to get into heaven other ways, like by good works, but only the blood of Christ can cover our sins and make us clean. God will accept no excuses for rejecting His Son’s sacrifice. Any who try will be cast into the outer darkness of hell like the speechless man in the parable.
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