Matthew 22:1-14 (NIV)
Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come. Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’ “But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ 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. “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend ?’ The man was speechless. “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”A few other thoughts:
- The banquet is for the King's son.
- The King enlists some servants to send out the message of this banquet
- It seems everyone is invited. There were some who were first on the invitation list, but similar to the previous parable in Matt 21:33-46 we see the offer of the Kingdom is taken away and given to others.
- Similar to the previous parable, the kingdom banquet is now given to second class people. Even bad people! This reminds me of the sinners and average folks Jesus was known to hang around with. These are not the people one would expect to be at a banquet with the King.
- Another example of the upside down nature of the kingdom of God.