The next parable in our series is The Parable of the Wedding Feast. This parable is found in Matthew 22:1-14. In order not to make this blog post too long, I have not included the bible passage. Please click here to read the bible text so you can understand this blog post.
This parable is split in two parts. The first part talks about the invites that were sent out and the second part talks about the man who came to the banquet in a wrong outfit.
In this particular culture, it was customary for two invites to be sent out when banquets were given. The first was to ask the guests to attend the banquet. The second was to announce that the banquet was ready. Note that despite the culture was for two invites to be sent out, three were sent out in this story. However the guests rejected the invite on each occasion.
I see the extra invite as the extra chances we get to embrace Christ. The mercy that is shown to us; the one we sometimes overlook or ignore.
It’s very important for us to note that the invites didn’t continue to be sent out. The guests were not told that the invites will stop coming after the third attempt. Mercy isn’t given forever. We don’t know when our last invite will be issued.
There were 3 things that the invitees did that I think we should explore.
The first person went to his farm. Farming was what many people then survived on. Going to farm was how they put food on their table. So the invitee had a legitimate reason not to attend the banquet. No one knows what the situation was with his family. As the breadwinner he had to fend for his family. Therefore, going to chill in a banquet wasn’t his priority. Food was important to him just as it is to us.
The second person went to his business. Being the CEO of his company, his presence was vital. He needed to keep an eye on what was going on in his business. Money answereth all things. He needed to make sure that his balance sheet was in order so he could pay his bills. Another legitimate reason not to attend a banquet right? Money was important to him just as it is to us.
The others seized the messengers, insulted them and killed them. This very thing is happening in our day. We hear of missionaries and preachers who have been insulted and killed for the sake of the gospel.
Although the people in the 3 categories responded differently, the root cause of their response is the same. They overlooked the importance of the invite. The ignored the cost of the banquet.
The banquet is eternal life. God wants us to join Him at His banquet. However He isn’t going to keep the invitation indefinitely. When death comes or when Christ comes, the invitation is withdrawn. Have you accepted His invite?
Let’s look at the man who wore the wrong outfit to the banquet. The culture of that time required the wedding guests to be given wedding clothes to wear for the event. Not wearing the outfit was seen as an insult to the host. It was interpreted to mean that the invitee didn’t want to take part in the wedding celebration or that he/she didn’t need the clothes.
As believers we don’t enter the kingdom anyhow we like. God is a righteous God and we can’t attend His banquet without us being righteous. He knows we can’t attain righteousness by ourselves; hence He sent Jesus Christ to die for us. His death gave us the clothes to put on to enter His kingdom. He has played His part by giving us the outfit. We now have to play our part by intentionally putting on this outfit of righteousness. The act of accepting Christ is our part to play. God will not do this for us. We have to choose to put on righteousness so we can enter the King’s banquet (eternal life).
Those who don’t accept Christ will not enter into the kingdom of God. We all have been given a chance today to accept Him. This invite isn’t an indefinite one. Choose well. Tomorrow might be too late.
If you would like to read previous parables, please click here.