Day 26 - The Wedding Feast

Day 26 - The Wedding Feast

Written by: Wendy Alligood

Matthew 22: 1-14
22 And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, 2 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, 3 and sent his servants[a] to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. 4 Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”’ 5 But they paid no attention 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 feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9 Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ 10 And those servants went out into the roads 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. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.” (ESV)

Matthew 22; 1-14 is a parable. A parable is a simple story that is used to teach a spiritual truth. Jesus often used this technique to communicate spiritual ideas to people in ways they could easily understand. There are many important truths taught by this parable.

In Jesus’s time, the parents of the couple would arrange the marriage. The man and woman might meet for the first time when this agreement was signed. Although the couple was then considered married, they did not yet begin their life together. The woman went back to her parents’ home, and the man began preparing a home for his bride. When it was ready, he would return for her and the marriage ceremony and feast could take place.

In Matthew 22, the king preparing the wedding feast is God the Father. The son is Jesus. The feast represents heaven. In the parable, many people had been invited to the feast. When the time came for the feast, those who had been invited would not come. They chose not to come. Sadly, this is still true today. Although they have been invited to share in the feast, many people today chose not to go.
Verses 8-9 are particularly important for anyone who is not Jewish. 8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9 Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ In the parable, the king tells his servants to invite anyone they can find so that his banquet hall will be filled. Praise the Lord for this as it represents the Jews, those initially invited,  rejecting Jesus and the invitation being made to the Gentiles or non-Jews. While this may seem like a Plan B to us, it was God’s plan all along. This was the way He chose to include anyone who would accept His invitation. Sadly, many gentiles (non-Jews) also rejected the invitation in Jesus’ time and today.

In verse 10, the king tells the servants to invite everyone, both good and bad. This illustrates that while there are “good people” and “bad people”, everyone needs to accept the invitation in order to attend the wedding feast. This also means that none of us is good enough on our own and that none is too bad to be invited. We tend to think that some people are too bad, that they are a lost cause. God does not. He invites all and His Son’s sacrifice was enough for the worst of us.
Verse 11 describes a man who is not wearing proper wedding clothes and is therefore removed from the feast. This does not mean that the Lord cares how we dress. The man in the parable chose to wear his own clothing instead of what was provided for the guests. He represents someone who tries to come to the feast/heaven in his own righteousness. Isaiah 64:6 says our righteousness is like “filthy rags”. We can only enter heaven clothed in the righteousness of Jesus.

The majority of the people in Jesus’ day rejected Him and had Him crucified. However, some Jews and gentiles did become believers. What does this mean? They believed that Jesus was the Son of God, that He died on the cross, that HIs death paid the penalty for all sins, and that He rose again. At Easter we celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. It is because of this sacrifice that we can go to heaven and enjoy the marriage feast. In Revelation 19, John writes of the “marriage supper of the Lamb”. Is there a place waiting for you?

There are three kinds of people mentioned in this parable. There are those who flat out reject the invitation. There are those who accept the invitation, and there are those who think they can crash the party without ever accepting the invitation. Which are you?

The first thing each of us must do is examine our hearts to see if we have truly accepted the invitation of the Father. When the time comes, will there be a seat at the banquet table in heaven for you? If you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, your place is waiting.
If you believe Jesus died for your sins and rose again, you are clothed in His righteousness and will be allowed to enter the banquet hall, heaven.  Be sure that you are not deceiving yourself. Do you trust only in Jesus as your “ticket to heaven” or do you think you are “good enough” on your own. Our goodness will never be good enough. Our sins must be covered by the blood of Jesus, the blood He shed on the cross. Have you put on the clothing offered by God the Father, the only thing that can cover your sins? Many people today don’t think they need to put on the proper garment of God’s righteousness; they think they are good enough as they are. They may think, “I am a good person. I try to do more good than bad. Surely God will let me into heaven.” Many good people are deceived by this kind of thinking, but there will not be any “good” people in heaven. There will only be those whose sins have been completely covered by Jesus’ righteousness. The devil wants us to believe we are good enough. It is one of his favorite lies. Sadly, many who think they are going to the wedding feast, will be cast out because they are not dressed appropriately in Jesus’ righteousness, the covering given by the King, our heavenly Father.
If you have never accepted this invitation, then you are like the guests in the parable who would not come to the feast. It wasn’t that they COULD not come, but rather they WOULD not come. God issues an invitation. The choice to come or not is always up to the individual. Now would be the perfect time to tell the Father that you do accept the invitation. Talk to Him and give Him your RSVP now so that you will be with Him in Heaven one day.
If you know you have accepted the invitation, Praise the Lord. Literally, you should praise Him for His mercy and provision. Next, you should think of someone who won’t be at that wedding feast in Heaven. How can you help that person to accept what the Lord offers?

Lord, thank you for your Word and for Jesus’ teaching in ways we can understand. Thank you that it was always your plan that all would be invited to enter heaven. Thank you for sending your Son Jesus to take the penalty for all sin, for MY sins. Thank you that Jesus willingingly died on the cross and then rose again. Thank you that there is a place at your banquet table in heaven for everyone who believes. I pray for ___________ (put in the name of someone you know who has not accepted God’s invitation) to put their trust in Jesus’ work on the cross. If it is through me that he/she is to get that invitation, I pray I will be bold to tell them about it or to bring them to church with me, possibly on Easter.