Monday, February 18, 2019

The Parable of the Wedding Feast

An analysis of Jesus' Parable of the Wedding Feast from Matthew 22.  You can't get to Heaven by your good works.

  • Matthew 22:1-14
  • Esther 1:1-8
  • Acts 28:23-24;28-31
  • Zephaniah 1:7-8
  • Genesis 3:9-10;21
  • Isaiah 61:10
  • Galatians 3:27

  • Review: The Kingdom of God
  • Parable of the Wedding Feast
  • Biblical Context
  • Historical Context
  • Analysis of the Parable
  • Application
  • Conclusion
How many of you watched the “Royal Wedding”?
Example: Royal wedding (2018) - Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
  • 600,000 people filling the streets
  • Cake - $64,000
  • $41 M total cost
  • 29 M Americans watched
  • 1.9 Billion watched worldwide (according to EconomicTimes)
Imagine if you got invited....would you have gone
  • Trump nor Obama was invited
  • But you were
  • No cost to you (airfare, hotel, new clothes, food)
What are the odds that you would have went?
What if Trump or Obama invited you to their inauguration?

Review: The Kingdom of God

Different than What the Jews Were Expecting

Jesus taught a different kingdom than the Jews expected.  
  • The Jews expected the Messiah to be a human who would take dominion from the Romans
  • The kingdom is spiritual and not geopolitical
What does it mean to enter the Kingdom?
  • “Kingdom” means “reign”
  • God’s reign over the earth and the hearts of men
  • Allowing Jesus to be Lord over every part of your life
  • When you abide in Jesus and He abides in you

What We Know About the Kingdom of God

  • “Kingdom of God” is the same as “Kingdom of Heaven”
  • The Jews don’t say the name of God, so they replace it with other words
  • Already, but not yet…
  • The Kingdom of God is here but not yet fully accessible by us
  • It will be fully accessible after the end of the age
  • The plan for God’s future Kingdom is the same as what He intended with Adam and Eve
  • To have His will implemented upon the earth through mankind

About Parables

parable is a succinct, story that illustrates one or more lessons or principles
  • A parable is a type of analogy
  • A parable has a surface story and a deeper meaning
  • A simple story helps to explain a more complex or hidden story  
We’ve covered 9 parables about the Kingdom of God

Parable of the Wedding Feast

This is in Jesus’ last days on earth (Wed - Friday)
  • Jesus came into Jerusalem on a donkey
  • Jesus cleansed the temple
  • Jesus began to teach in the temple
  • Jesus’ authority was questioned by the Pharisees
  • Parable of the two sons
  • Parable of the wicked tenant
Matthew 22:1-14
22 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying, 2 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. 3 And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come. 4 Again he sent out other slaves saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast.”’ 5 But they paid no attention and went their way, one to his own farm, another to his business, 6 and the rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them. 7 But the king was enraged, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and set their city on fire. 8 Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.’ 10 Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests.

11 “But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, 12 and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”

We see here:
  1. Invitation and Rejection of the kings invitation
  2. New guests invited
  3. Man thrown out of the banquet
Luke 14:14-24 is basically the two invitations (a and b)

It’s Not Describing God

It’s an allegory
  • It’s not theology
This parable is difficult because want to judge the king
  • We want to ascribe the king’s attributes to God
We Don’t use the story as theology, but we can use the explanation as theology

Biblical Context

Pharisees Tried to Trap Jesus

They knew He was talking about them
After this...
15Then the Pharisees went out and plotted to trap Jesus in His words.
The Pharisees tried to trap him with their questions:
  • Taxes to Caesar
  • Resurrection of the dead
  • Greatest commandment
Crucified less than 3 days later

Similar To the parable of the dragnet

  • Both include good and bad people included.  
  • People being removed
  • Weeping and gnashing of teeth of those removed.
But the parable of the dragnet sends the bad to the place where there’s weeping and gnashing of teeth.
This parable only talks about sending away someone with the wrong clothes.
  • Not based on his badness or goodness

Similar to Parable of the Soils

Why didn’t they come?
  1. They paid no attention
  2. Went to their fields (work) - earthly worries
One chose to work
One chose to focus on provision
In the parable of the soils men got distracted by the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth

Historical Context

Royal Banquets

Wedding feasts last for 7 at least days
  • They sometimes lasted for weeks

Picture of a Lavish Wedding

Esther 1:1-8
1 Now it took place in the days of Ahasuerus, the Ahasuerus who reigned from India to Ethiopia over 127 provinces,
2 in those days as King Ahasuerus sat on his royal throne which was at the citadel in Susa,
3 in the third year of his reign he gave a banquet for all his princes and attendants, the army officers of Persia and Media, the nobles and the princes of his provinces being in his presence.
4 And he displayed the riches of his royal glory and the splendor of his great majesty for many days, 180 days.
5 When these days were completed, the king gave a banquet lasting seven days for all the people who were present at the citadel in Susa, from the greatest to the least, in the court of the garden of the king's palace.
6 There were hangings of fine white and violet linen held by cords of fine purple linen on silver rings and marble columns, and couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl and precious stones.
7 Drinks were served in golden vessels of various kinds, and the royal wine was plentiful according to the king's bounty.
8 The drinking was done according to the law, there was no compulsion, for so the king had given orders to each official of his household that he should do according to the desires of each person.
  • Imagine if no one came

People Were Given Advance Notice

People would’ve gotten long advance notice
  • They would have already been told
  • They knew everything was being prepared
  • They said yes that they would come
  • Would have gotten prior notice (like RSVP)

It Was Time Sensitive

There were no
  • Refrigerator
  • Microwave
  • Supermarkets
Question: have you ever fix something for someone and they didn’t get there until the food was cold?

Refusing an Invitation of the King

Story: My 21st Birthday
  • Refusing an invitation from a king is unheard of
  • Nobody came to the wedding feast
The king wanted everyone to celebrate his son
  • They were disrespecting the king and his son

Killing the Messenger

For them to kill his messengers is beyond belief
Example: Movie 300
  • No one threatens a messenger
  • Even of an enemy

Common People Invited

It’s strange for a king to invite common people

King Provides Clothes

It was common for the host to provide The wedding garment for guests

Analysis of the Meaning of the Parable

  • Can be viewed historically or prophetically
We know:
  • God is the king
  • Jesus is the son
We don’t hear much about the bride nor the groom
  • Only the King and the guests

Refusal of the Original Guests

Jews Rebelling Against God (Past)

These were the Jews who rejected God previously
The invitation and rejection is a summary of the Old Testament
  • Worshiping Gods of other nations
Past or Future
  • The initial refusal is a reference is clearly of the past when did the Jews rejected the prophets
  • The second refusal is rejecting John the Baptist, Jesus and the apostles
  • They were killed
Why were those who were invited considered not worthy?
  • Because they didn’t accept the kings offer
  • Not because they were good or evil

Refusal of the Gospel (prophetic)

Acts 28:23-24;28-31
23 When they had set a day for Paul, they came to him at his lodging in large numbers; and he was explaining to them by solemnly testifying about the kingdom of God and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus, from both the Law of Moses and from the Prophets, from morning until evening.
24 Some were being persuaded by the things spoken, but others would not believe.
28 "Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will also listen."
29 [When he had spoken these words, the Jews departed, having a great dispute among themselves.]
30  And he stayed two full years in his own rented quarters and was welcoming all who came to him,
31 preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered.
  • The gospel was taught to the Gentiles because the Jews didn’t accept it

The Guests on the Road

What type of people were invited?
  • Both evil and good
These are the Gentiles
  • Undeserved, unmerited favor
The second invitation went out to everyone
  • If you were seen you were invited
  • Regardless of race or socioeconomic status

Servants / Slaves

  • The first slaves were the prophets
  • The second slaves were John the Baptist, Jesus, and the Apostles
  • The third servants are the apostles and us
The “go therefore and tell” reminds us of the great commission
  • We are the second servants
One commentator mentioned that the third servant can be seen as the Holy Spirit compelling people to Christ

King’s Army Destroying the City


Assyrians and Babylonians
Captured Israel as punishment by God


70 AD Massacre
40 years after Jesus’ death the Romans came and destroyed the temple
 According to Josephus 1 million Jews were killed
  • 97,000 were enslaved
  • The Romans took over Jerusalem
God can use anyone to accomplish His will

The Man Without a Garment

What did the man do wrong?
  • Didn’t wear a robe
  • Wasn’t because he was evil
Two options
  • Did he not put it on
  • Did he put it on and then take it off?
We just know he didn’t have it on when the king arrived.
Zephaniah 1:7-8
7  Be silent before the Lord GOD!
For the day of the LORD is near,
For the LORD has prepared a sacrifice,
He has consecrated His guests.
8 "Then it will come about on the day of the LORD'S sacrifice
That I will punish the princes, the king's sons
And all who clothe themselves with foreign garments.
  • We see God punishing those with foreign garments

God Provides the Clothes - Righteousness

Genesis 3:9-10;21
9 Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?"
10 He said, "I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself."
21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.
  • Reminds us of God clothing Adam and Eve
Isaiah 61:10
10 I will rejoice greatly in the LORD,
My soul will exult in my God;
For He has clothed me with garments of salvation,
He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,
And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Jesus is Our Righteousness

Galatians 3:27
27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
Jesus Christ is the garment that we have to put on
The man without the garment is the person who is told about the Kingdom but doesn’t accept

Cast Outside (Prophetic)

Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth

“The weeping” - definite article
Separated from God for eternity
People can be in church but haven’t accepted Jesus
  • They can be close to the church but not in the church
  • There are those who are in the midst of the church but not of the church

Many Are Called

Who are those who are called?
  • Everyone who hears the gospel
people can get in God’s midst but not be subjected to Him.
  • The Holy Spirit can show up at church and everyone in the room will be interacting with God


It’s not enough to just show up
To be around God’s people is not enough
  • To be among God‘s church is not the same as being part of God’s church
  • All are welcome to enter in
  • Must be dressed properly

Relying on Your Own Works

The man was content with his own garments.
He thought God would allow him to stay in the banquet with his own garments.
We can see this as a picture of us trying to get into Heaven by our own righteousness.
  • Self righteousness
All of our good works are like filthy rags to God
  • Filthy rags are not allowed in the banquet
The Parable of the Wedding Feast is a warning to us, to make sure we are relying on God’s provision of salvation, not on our own good works or religious service.
You have to come into the Kingdom the way God defined
  • The road is narrow
  • That narrow road is Jesus

Other Religions

Most other religions you achieve the goal state by your own efforts.  
  • Whether that be your moral acts or your pious devotion.
Christianity is different because we have a cross at the finish line.  
  • The cross is the only way to salvation.  
  • You cannot do enough to earn it.
People say: 
  • All religions are different paths to the same place
  • You just have to be a good person to get to Heaven
  • As long as you love people and you’re  not hurting anyone then you will go to Heaven
  • As long as you treat everybody how you want to be treated you should get to Heaven
We have to rely on God’s work alone
  • Our works are not enough
  • We need to take off our works and put on Christ’s
  • We have to believe that what He did is sufficient for our salvation


To summarize the point of the Parable of the Wedding Feast, God sent His Son into the world, and those who should have celebrated His coming rejected Him, bringing judgment upon themselves. As a result, the kingdom of heaven was opened up to anyone who will set aside his own righteousness and by faith accept the righteousness God provides in Christ.

If we say that the Kingdom of God means the “reign of God” then is that now or future?
  • Jesus said the Kingdom is among us
  • Does that mean that the banquet feast is among us?
  • Can we attended the banquet now?
Is this a future Heaven or a current reality?
If the Kingdom of God doesn’t mean a future Heaven then “outer darkness” doesn’t mean a future hell
Is Jesus talking about entering the Kingdom now?
Jesus said if you abide in me and I in you then whatever you ask for will be given to you
  • What if abiding in Jesus and Jesus abiding in you is the wedding banquet.
What if you lived in a world that whatever you ask for is given to you?
  • Jesus said that it’s possible
  • Wouldn’t that be a great banquet feast
  • This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to power to control God
  • This could mean that all of your desires are aligned with God’s will
Living life apart from Jesus is being cast into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth
  • Living in this world without Jesus causes you pain and sadness
If Heaven is wherever God is then being in God’s presence is being in Heaven
Example: Lee’s class
Example: getting into the presence of God
  • I’m never excited to do it
  • My flesh doesn’t want me to do it
  • Lose any concern about
  • Money worries
  • Job issues
  • Relationship problems
  • Health problems
  • Sadness
I get inspirational solutions to problems I have
  • Thoughts come into my head in an abnormal manner
Maybe God is inviting you to the banquet now
...who’s hungry?
Instructor: Michael Leadon


Parable of the Wedding Feast -
The Parable of the Wedding Feast - Tawfiq Cotman
1.9 billion people watched royal wedding: Report


Acts 17:32-34
32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some began to sneer, but others said, "We shall hear you again concerning this."
33 So Paul went out of their midst.
34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.
  • There were 3 responses to Paul as well
  • Some did not believe
  • Some people decided they would make up their mind later
  • Some excepted what he said immediately

Clothed in Righteousness

Jeremiah 23:5-6
"When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch;
And He will reign as king and act wisely
And do justice and righteousness in the land.
6 "In His days Judah will be saved,
And Israel will dwell securely;
And this is His name by which He will be called,
'The LORD our righteousness.'
  • Prophecy of Jesus
  • Jehovah-Tsidkenu - Jehovah is Righteous
Isaiah 64:5-6
5 You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness,
Who remembers You in Your ways.
Behold, You were angry, for we sinned,
We continued in them a long time;
And shall we be saved?
6 For all of us have become like one who is unclean,
And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;
And all of us wither like a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

The Parable We Wanted to Hear

Luke 14:15-24
15 When one of those who were reclining at the table with Him heard this, he said to Him, "Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!"
16 But He said to him, "A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many;
17 and at the dinner hour he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, 'Come; for everything is ready now.'
18 "But they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, 'I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it; please consider me excused.'
19 "Another one said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.'
20 "Another one said, 'I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come.'
21 "And the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the head of the household became angry and said to his slave, 'Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame.'
22 "And the slave said, 'Master, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.'
23 "And the master said to the slave, 'Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled.
24 'For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste of my dinner.'"

The Real Banquet (Prophetic)

Revelation 21:1-5
1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.
2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them,
4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away."
5 And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true."


  1. The kingdom experience is a joyful
  2. The Jews repeatedly offer to enter into the kingdom
  3. The rejection of the sun is the rejection of Christ as their Messiah
  4. God does send his army (Romans 70AD)
  1. Killed everyone
  2. Destroyed the temple
  1. The king invites the common people (Gentiles) into the kingdom
  1. The evil and the good we’re welcome
  1. God provides the wedding garments
  1. Righteousness – on Christ in baptism – Galatians 3:26–27
  1. One guest enters in on his own time
  2. God will judge those who don’t belong
  3. Many are called few are chosen
  1. Refers to who will come into the Kingdom
They chose to rely on their own effort

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