Matthew 22:1-14 The Wedding Banquet

Fabbi, Fabbio-Wedding Procession1 And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying,  2 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a marriage feast for his son,  3 and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the marriage feast; but they would not come.  4 Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, Behold, I have made ready my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves are killed, and everything is ready; come to the marriage feast.’  5 But they made light of it and went off, one to his farm, another to his business,  6 while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them.  7 The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.  8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy.  9 Go therefore to the thoroughfares, and invite to the marriage feast as many as you find.’  10 And those servants went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good; so the wedding hall was filled with guests. 

11 “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment;  12 and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless.  13 Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.’  14 For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matt. 22:1-14

In the kingdom parables Messiah explained that the Kingdom of Heaven of God was to be a spiritual one that will be hidden from the natural man. It was and is known only to a few.

Jesus answered, “My kingship is not of this world; if my kingship were of this world, my servants would fight, that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but my kingship is not from the world.” John 18:36 

FYI: Matthew tends to favor the use of kingdom of heaven where Mark, Luke, and John favor the use of the kingdom of God.

The Pharisees expectations were of a grander commitment to the letter and bondage to the external. Where the Sadducees who were of the Priestly class, saw their lives revolving around and even greater sanctuary. Guarding ever more vigilantly the sanctity of an even grander Temple. They saw themselves above others because they maintain themselves in a state of ceremonial cleanness, that no ordinary person could achieve. They avoided contact with any and all who might make them or the temple unclean.

The idea that Messiah came to emancipate us from the rule of such men and restore the liberty of the individual was very disturbing to them. It threatened everything they held dear. His principles were of positive freedom and an inward subjection to God. There is no need to be concerned with whether something or someone is clean for Messiah touch like the altar makes anything and anyone clean. His guardianship is not over the physical temple but rather the soul.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, Luke 4:18

The kingdom which Messiah presented was not one of a physical temple nor the physical ceremonial rituals in it. These Laws had always been intended to be symbol of the coming kingdom. We see over and over in Moses and the prophets that they were to circumcise their hearts, all the nations were to be blessed, He has no delight in sacrifice, etc. The physical was meant to fade in the presence of the spiritual.

The Pharisees and the Sadducees has lost the symbolism that was in the Law with their practice of all that was literal. There was no understanding that the Law’s physical rituals were to be replaced by Messiah’s sacrifice. The congregation would no longer need to circumcise the flesh but rather our hearts must be cut. No longer are the letters of the Law ones of bondage to the external but now they are a guild to the spiritual. We have been emancipated from the letter of the Law to follow the rules that are now written on our hearts. We are now at liberty no longer subject to the oppressions of the ceremonial ritual Law.

Francesco Hayez-The destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem.1867In the parable those that reject the wedding they are to be killed and their city and temple destroyed. So it was in 70AD four Roman Legions under General Titus burned the city to the ground. The survivors were deported to work in the mines or to be sold as slaves in Rome.

The kingdom of heaven is not made up of those who will not come. The original guests (Jews) will not come, and others (Gentiles) are sought to fill the guest list.

However there is a warning to those who have come from the streets and byways of life. Those who are strangers to the Law and it requirements. They still must be dressed properly. A warning that is repeated in The Revelation. Even though there is no temple one must still be clean and wearing the proper garments.

For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing; not knowing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. Rev. 3:17

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, Rev. 7:9 

(“Lo, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is he who is awake, keeping his garments that he may not go naked and be seen exposed!”) Rev. 16:15

And the ten horns that you saw, they and the beast will hate the harlot; they will make her desolate and naked, and devour her flesh and burn her up with fire, Rev. 17:16

One thought on “Matthew 22:1-14 The Wedding Banquet

  1. Pingback: IN CAMMINO VERSO GESÙ CRISTO » Parabola del Banchetto Nunziale

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