Jesus has been both instructing and illustrating about greatness in the Kingdom and great crowds began to follow him. Most recently he has, for the third time, specifically predicted his death and resurrection, though most did not understand this was the redemptive fulfillment of His life. What is coming is a sham trial, public beating and mocking, and the death of a condemned criminal among criminals. We are now in the last week of Jesus’ life. His entry into Jerusalem, his final instructions to the crowds and to the disciples, and the courage to face the cross contrary to his will but in obedience to the heavenly Father, and as such, in the parable of the King and the wedding feast, showing us the patience of God to those He has chosen and called.
8 “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. 9 So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ 10 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. Matthew 22:8-10.
1. Salvation First to Israel and Sons of Abraham. In understanding the Bible, we start with the foundation, ‘Christianity is Jewish’. From the fall in the Garden, to the promises made to Abraham and his generations (Gen 12, 15, 22) , the promise of salvation started in God’s chosen people, Israel. Yet the Old Testament is filled with the repeated grace of God and rejection of his instructions by Israel. While in the OT the promise of salvation was also to be extended to the non-Jew, the message of Jesus repeated this message of the failure of Israel and the invitation to those of us outside Israel. Such is now the case with the parable.
2. The King’s repeated offer to His guests to enjoy the wedding feast / the life of God’s people with Him in heaven. The event is ready. The wedding is set. The guests are invited twice. Not only do they refuse the King’s invitation, but they kill the messenger servants who brought the invitation. No clearer message of the deserving loss of salvation to those who reject the invitation of the King. And the introduction to this passion week, where the Jews and Romans will reject the message of Jesus and put him to death.
3. The Main Point of the Parable: As symbolized by the king. God is patient. It is God who first calls, and then invites those who have been previously called. It is God who, when His offer is rejected, does not immediately pour out His wrath. But makes a further urgent appeal, and takes in those who did not deserve to come to the feast – all those who are good and bad.
For many are invited but few are chosen. Matthew 22:14. How can we go past this season without again our gratitude to God for His drawing us to Himself, and giving us what we do not deserve. Best to you this week.
- John Moore