Commentaries
English
Matthew
  
d) The Parable of the Great Wedding Feast
(Matthew 22:1-14)
1And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said:2“The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son,3and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come.4Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.”’5But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business.6And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them.7But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.8Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy.9Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invited to the wedding.’10So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.11“But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment.12So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless.13Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’14“For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Luke14:16-24, John3:29, Matthew21:35,24:2, Revelation19:8)


Because Christ is the discerner of men’s thoughts, He knows how to answer them. This parable represents the gospel offer and the various responses that are given to it. The parable of the vineyard represents the sin of the leaders who persecuted the prophets. It also shows the sin of the people, who generally neglected the message, while their leaders were persecuting the messengers.
Jesus told how a king made a wedding for his son as an example of God’s wonderful spiritual wedding for his Son. The guests represent the bride. All men are invited to unite in faith with the Son of God. This union of faith means real joy, delight, supplication, and thankfulness. The whole gospel covenant is like a wedding full of joy, not a holy war full of tears and bloodshed. Christ invites us to the highest bliss.
Those who make a great feast select guests. God’s guests are the children of men. “Lord, what is a man”, that he should be thus dignified! The guests that were first invited were the Jews. Wherever the gospel is preached, this invitation is going on. Ministers are the “servants” that are sent with the invitation (Proverbs 9:4-5).
From this parable, we see that the guests are really called and invited to the wedding. This invitation is sent to all that heard the joyful sound of the gospel. The servants who bring the invitation do not have a specific guest list. There is no need for that since everyone is invited. None are excluded except those who exclude themselves. All who are invited to the dinner are invited to the wedding. They are invited to the wedding, so that they may go forth to meet the Bridegroom, for it is the Father’s will that all men should honor the Son (John 5:23).
In the gospel, there is not only gracious offer, but also gracious persuasion. We persuade men, “we implore men on Christ’s behalf, as ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:11, 20). See how much Christ’s heart is set upon the happiness of poor souls! He not only provides for them, according to their need, but He also considers their weakness and forgetfulness.
When the invited guests were slack in coming, the king sent out other servants. But the prophets of the Old Testament did not prevail, nor John the Baptist, nor Christ Himself (who told them the kingdom of God was at hand). Finally, apostles and ministers of the gospel were sent after Christ’s resurrection to tell them the wedding is ready and to persuade them to accept the offer quickly.
If we respond to the gospel, (“Behold, the dinner is prepared, the oxen and fatlings are killed, and all things are ready”), the Father is ready to accept us, the Son to intercede for us, and the Spirit to sanctify us. Pardon is ready, peace is ready, and comfort is ready. The promises are ready as wells of living water. Angels are ready to attend us, providence is ready to work for our good, and heaven, at last, is ready to receive us. It is a kingdom prepared, “ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5).
God sent His prophets and messengers to the Jews first, afterwards to the whole world. Their service is not compulsory, nor grievous, but voluntary and joyful. They do not grow weary. They do not seek their own glory, but the glory of their Lord. Their message is, “Everything is prepared for the dinner of the Son of God.” The strange thing in this wedding is that the bridegroom is also the sacrifice. He died to justify the guests. God had provided every thing for the party of heaven. Salvation has been completed and is ready for everyone. We exhort you, in the name of God, “Come, every thing is ready.”
Another strange thing about this parable is that most of those who were invited did not come. The excuses were groundless, indicating that they did not want to be with God. They did not love Him, but loved themselves and wanted to be independent from His love.
The reason sinners do not come to Christ and accept His salvation is not that they cannot, but because they will not (John 5:40). This attitude increases the misery of sinners. They might have had happiness if they came, but they chose to refuse it.
For many people the business and profit of worldly enterprises keeps them from coming to Christ. In the parable, each one who did not come gave an excuse. The country people had their farms to look after. The townspeople must serve in their shops. They must buy, sell, and get gain. It is true, that both farmers and merchants must be diligent in their business but not to the extent that the work keeps them from following Christ.
Then the Holy One was grieved, since His love is just. He who refuses His grace separates himself from His light. This is God’s wrath: to leave the unbelievers to destroy themselves by themselves. Do you know God’s wrath? Open the newspapers and read with spiritual eyes. Then you will become a discerner of God’s wrath.
After those who were invited refused to come, God invited the impure, the strangers, the wicked, and the sick to His banquet. His own people did not accept his invitation, so he invited all the poor to his Son’s wedding. Our great God invites you in person, will you come? Do you accept that you are poor, lame and miserable?
God offers those who accept His invitation the garment of righteousness. Have you put on the dress of God’s grace and adorned yourself with the jewels of the Holy Spirit? Without this covering that overcomes your wickedness, you would not be worthy to stay at God’s banquet. He who thinks that he can come to God without Christ’s garment of grace will be driven away to everlasting fire. Hell does not torment with flames and thirst only, but also with fear and trembling of eternal separation in deep-black darkness.
Christ invited all to His wedding feast, but only a few came. Those who came were God’s elect. Are you one of them, dressed in the white garment of His righteousness?

Prayer
We thank You Father, because You invited us, while we are wicked, to partake of the wedding of Your Son. We are not worthy of this honor, but the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all our sins, and Your Holy Spirit adorns us with love, joy, and peace that we may live with You and praise You with all those purified in the world. Help us to call and contact the lonely, the poor and the desperate and invite them to Your wedding feast that heaven may be filled with joy and happiness.
Question
What are the seven strange facts that can be found at the wedding of the Son of God?