The Parable of the Wedding Banquet

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Frank Fulop 24 February 2014

Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb. 
(Revelation 19:9) 

Have you ever wondered in the Parable of the Wedding Banquet (Matthew 22:1-14) (see also Luke 14:15-24), as the king invited anyone off the streets, the bad as well as the good, how is it that the man who was not wearing wedding clothes, was thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth?

This is the meaning of the parable: the wedding banquet is the wedding supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9) – the glorious celebration in the heavenly kingdom of the marriage of bride and groom – the coming together in love, face-to-face, of the assembly of believers with Jesus, to dwell forever in his glorious presence.  I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine. (Song of Songs 6:3)  The invitation of the king represents the call from God to all people, to believe in his Son Jesus, so that they may enjoy and celebrate all the good things that God has in store for us, in this life and the life to come.

The people who rejected the king’s invitation were the Jews, God’s chosen people.  To their great loss, they heard the word of God through his Son Jesus, even witnessing signs, wonders and miracles, but the vast majority of them still refused to believe that Jesus was the Son of God and the way to eternal life.  Wonderfully, God loves all people, the Jews included, and has made a way for all of us to enjoy and celebrate all the good things of his kingdom.  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)  It has been always part of God’s plan, through his Son Jesus, to reconcile all people to himself by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death. (Ephesians 2:16) (NLT)  Even though Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:7-8), sadly, people are still refusing to believe in him.

The people from the street corners who accepted the king’s invitation represent all who are prepared to love and obey him, regardless of their status.  They considered it an honour and went willingly to the royal celebration.  You are my friends if you do what I command. (John 15:14)  They represent those who hear the word of God and have accepted him as Lord and Saviour over their lives.  They have not been mastered by the ways of this world but love God and do his will wholeheartedly.  They have taken off the old self and put on the new self (Colossians 3:9-10), clothing themselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. (Romans 13:14) Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17) (NLT)  As they enter the banquet hall in the heavenly kingdom, with thanksgiving and praise, they will be wearing garments of salvation and arrayed in robes of his righteousness (Isaiah 61:10)They love God and will dwell in his presence forever.

The man who somehow managed to attend the wedding banquet but was thrown out, and whom the king dearly wanted to be his friend, represents all those who have heard of Jesus and his invitation to come to know him, but have chosen not to repent and believe in him.  He represents those whose gaze is only fixed on all the good things that heaven (and earth) has to offer rather than knowing God.  They are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures (Luke 8:14) and the other ways of man.  Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 
(James 4:4)

The man was not thrown out of the banquet hall because he was not wearing wedding clothes, but because he was not in a relationship with God.  Let us not forget that the Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)  The Lord could see that this man’s heart belonged to the world and not to him.  The man who loves God is known by God. (1 Corinthians 8:3) I (Jesus) am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me. (John 10:14) My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. (John 10:27-28)

On the day he (the Lord Jesus) comes to be glorified (2 Thessalonians 1:10), when all who have refused to repent and believe in him, stand before God in his glorious presence, they will be speechless.  The look on their faces testifies against them. (Isaiah 3:9)  Their own conscience will testify against them because the wrath of God has been revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people … since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them so that people are without excuse. (Romans 1:18-20) Should God reward you on your terms, when you refuse to repent? (Job 34:33)

As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16) Everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name. (Acts 10:43) “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. … Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God. (Luke 14:15) For many are invited, but few are chosen. (Matthew 22:14) Don’t be afraid; just believe. (Mark 5:36)

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