This is the second of three blogs in a series of posts about the parable of the wedding feast found in Matthew 22:1-14.
Jesus tells the crowd a parable about a king who throws a wedding feast for his son. The king has sent out servants to alert them that it is time to come to the wedding, but they have refused. After the guests had refused the first invitation, the king sent out even more servants to let the same people know that the feast is ready. This is the kindness of God. Even after the rejection of one invitation, he sends out another. He’s still offering the guests a meal of oxen and fattened calf. The king says, “Everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.”
With the sacrifice that Jesus made with his life now complete, the feast was ready. All of the Old Testament hope was realized in Jesus Christ. Israel could come and see with their own eyes that God’s promises will always come true. They can now be joined to God eternally by being bound in the covenant of marriage to his Son by the Son cleansing them of their sin. Salvation has always been and always will be based on Jesus Christ bearing our sins for us and God accounting the righteousness of Jesus to us.
And I think it’s interesting that Jesus includes what the invited guests did instead of coming to the wedding. He mentions that they “went off, one to his own farm, and another to his business.” These stand in the place all the things that occupy a person’s time instead seeing the invitation for what it truly is. Who would turn down a personal invitation to a wedding feast thrown by a king for his son? The kind of person who thinks that what they’ve got going on and who they are is more important.
What’s even more incredible is that instead of just ignoring the invitations and reminders, the guests kill the servants sent to gather them. This is a call back to the way Israel treated the prophets that God had sent to be his messengers and servants with the invitations. It’s a really common theme to read about how poorly the nation of Israel treated their prophets. The consistent response to them is that Israel ignores them, beats them, or kills them.
But instead of just being gruesome, it reflects the truth of how defiant toward God man actually is. At all costs, without the prompting of God himself, we’ll do whatever we can to ignore his invitation and go about our own business, just like the guests who killed the king’s servants. Only by God’s mercy do any of us turn to him for grace.
What's distracting you from daily responding to God's call?