Mya Hudgins, Faith Editor
It’s the big day, a day most women have planned for since they were little. A lot of preparation takes place for the perfect wedding. After the kiss comes one of the most exciting times, the wedding banquet. The tables are set, friend’s mingle and music is playing as everyone anxiously waits for the grand entrance of the bride and groom. Just like in today’s culture, the wedding banquet was one of the most joyous occasions in Jewish life. It could even last for up to a week. The parable of the wedding banquet in Matthew 22 allows people to apply the message of God to their everyday lives. This parable deals with the heart issue. If your heart is in the right place, you have salvation, but if the heart is dirty with sin, salvation is waiting for you.
Most parents are happy for their child’s wedding. It’s a symbol of the son or daughter moving into adulthood and starting their own family. In Jewish life, this occasion means the same. In the beginning of Matthew 22, the parable compares heaven to a wedding banquet that a king has prepared for his son. The king represents God the Father, and his son represents Jesus Christ. In verse three, the king sends out his servants to invite all the people to the event. When the servants came back, they reported all the people had declined because they had other things to do. I couldn’t imagine not having any guest on my big day. This parable uses this point to show us how Israel had the invitation to the kingdom of God. When it came time to accept, Israel made excuses and chose not to believe in Christ. In 2 King 17:15, it says, “They rejected His statutes and His covenant which He made with their fathers and His warnings with which He warned them.” This verse is referring to Israel and how they turned against God. The people invited to this special occasion, deliberately chose not to come.
In verses four through six, the king sent out more servants trying to persuade the people to come. The servants were rejected again and many of them were murdered. Can you imagine the wedding party being murdered because they were asking people to attend the wedding banquet? This part of the parable relates back to how many prophets were murdered. John the Baptist is a great example of this. In Matthew 14:10, it says “So John was beheaded in the prison.” He gave his life for Christ by constantly sharing the Gospel with anyone he came in contact with. Are you willing to die for Christ?
In verse seven of the parable, the king became very upset and told his slaves to destroy those murderers and burn down their cities. The king’s (God’s) rage can be interpreted as a prophecy of Jerusalem’s destruction at the hands of the Romans. This is also an interpretation of what will happen in last days, according to the book of Revelation. God has mercy, but His judgment will be upon those who reject Him and the Gospel. Jesus surrendered everything so that He could save us.
As the parable continues in verses eight through 10, the king decids to open the wedding party to everyone, including the good and the bad people. This is unusual at a wedding banquet. The bride and groom don’t invite people who are their enemies. A wedding is filled with good wishes and blessing from the attendees, not mean-spirited people. In this section of the parable, it is teaching us we should love everyone. Romans 1:16 says, “For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.” It doesn’t matter who you are or what you have done, the Gospel is open for you. God is always including the Gentiles into His plan. He wants every soul to belong to Him, but we have a choice to accept or decline our final destination.
Weddings are an event everyone dresses up for. It is even expected for the entire guests to be in their best outfit. As this parable closes in verse 11-13, a guy is asked why he isn’t wearing the wedding clothing he was supposed to. He didn’t answer and was thrown out of the party for his dirty clothes. We will be thrown out of the kingdom of God, if we come to Christ with no salvation. In the last verse, it says, “For many are called, but few are chosen.” This verse ties everything together. This is how the parable ends. It’s very sad, but it’s true. Many people hear the calling of God, but only some choose to follow and accept him. From the beginning, when Jesus died on the cross, God has covered our sins. Adam and Eve tried to cover their sins up themselves with fig leaves, but that made God mad. Only He can cover our sins. We can’t get into heaven unless our sins have been covered. We can only get that when we accept salvation for ourselves.
Planning a wedding indicates your life is about to change. One aspect of your life is ending, but another is about to begin. The parable of the wedding feast is an amazing picture in a perfect setting. It is a reminder of our heart issues, simple but complex truths. We learned the people should have been rejoicing the coming of the king, but rejected Him instead. In the end what an amazing wedding banquet to be present for, where the Gospel is open to everyone- the Jews and the Gentiles. It doesn’t matter if you are filled with sin, or a very righteous person. God sent His son Jesus Christ to pay for ALL of our sins. The decision to accept Christ and follow Him rest on us. As the music stops, guest leave, and the lights turn out, there will be those who will accept eternal life, while others who declined will spend eternity in Hell. The wedding banquet is over. Where will you stand?