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THE ROYAL MARRIAGE FEAST
The parable of The Royal Marriage Feast is an historical and prophetic narrative which involves a certain period of time. Matthew 22: 1-14 Jesus told several other stories to show what the Kingdom of Heaven is like. "For instance," he said, "it can be illustrated by the story of a king who prepared a great wedding dinner for his son. Many guests were invited, and when the banquet was ready he sent messengers to notify everyone that it was time to come. But all refused! So he sent other servants to tell them, 'Everything is ready and the roast is in the oven. Hurry!' "But the guests he had invited merely laughed and went on about their business, one to his farm, another to his store; others beat up his messengers and treated them shamefully, even killing some of them. "Then the angry king sent out his army and destroyed the murderers and burned their city. And he said to his servants, 'The wedding feast is ready, and the guests I invited aren't worthy of the honour. Now go out to the street corners and invite everyone you see.' "So the servants did, and brought in all they could find, good and bad alike; and the banquet hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to meet the guests, he noticed a man who wasn't wearing the wedding robe (provided for him). "'Friend,' he asked, 'how does it happen that you are here without a wedding robe?' And the man had no reply. "Then the king said to his aides, 'Bind him hand and foot and throw him out into the outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.' For many are called, but few are chosen."
Jesus was in The Temple at Jerusalem speaking with the priest and elders of the people, knowing their will was bent on killing him. Christ was about to give His life for the beginning of the Christian Church, knowing the Temple He was in at the time would soon be in ruins.
Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven is like a royal wedding feast, which is a description of festive joy which characterises the Kingdom of Heaven. His main purpose was to reveal the everlasting benefits of The Truth, excellent, abundant, including peace and expectation.
The parable Jesus told centres around the invitation and marriage of The King's son. The Trinity is represented by The Certain King, who is God The Father, The King's Son is Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit working in the servants who compel guests to come into the Royal Feast. The moral of the parable teach all that there is judgement on those who reject salvation through God's son and blessing upon those who accept.
Invitations are sent out to many to come to the Royal Marriage of The King's Son, here on earth. The King sent his servants to invite many to the royal wedding, represented by John the Baptist who called Jesus the Bridegroom and the twelve Apostles. Those invited were not willing to attend or be involved. To receive such an invitation is both an honour and command. To refuse a royal wedding was an insult to the King.
The King once more sent another invitation to the same people,
reminding them that the banquet is ready. Those invited who would not come
were honoured by the Royal request but decided to please themselves. Their
own interest overrode any obligation. Sending His servants illustrates
God's patience to those who deliberately reject, ignore or rebuff Him,
but His workers were not any more successful. The failure of the people
was (as is now of the Gentiles) preoccupation with their here and now.
It was a national rejection of the King and His Son.
These attempts were from God, inviting Israel to come to Him, through His Son. The King, God, persistently invited his guests when each invitation was rejected. God wants people to join Him for eternity. Refusal to attend the marriage of the King's Son implied disloyalty to the Royal House. The indifference of the invited guests become scorn and contempt with mockery. The rejection being a tragedy. Those invited still did not accept and went on to their own private business after killing the King's servants. Many of His servants had suffered much cruelty. When the King heard of both the rejection and the treatment of His servants, He sent for His army and destroyed the murderers (a fulfilment of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD by the Roman Empire). This insult resulted in unsuspected Judgement.
The next call was more urgent, the dinner
was prepared. The invitation was sent further abroad and included all mankind.
The early believers preached the Gospel to both Jews and Gentiles, with
many responding to the word of the King. It is a description of the
spiritual banquet of blessings set before men which included, pardon of
sin, favour with God, peace of conscience, promises, access to God's throne
of Grace, the comforts of The Holy Spirit and the assurance of salvation
through Jesus and all mankind are called.
As a result of the invitations to the wedding, there were a mixture who finally accepted. The Kingdom of God represents both good and bad, the religious and irreligious, the moral and immoral, the genuine and the false, those with sincerity and of hypocrisy. Foreigners and outcasts from society were included along with those of the 'highways and byways' (roads built throughout the Roman Empire), who responded to the Royal bidding. A mixture of both the good and the bad, but once in the Kingdom, moral conduct and right standing are essential.
The time came for the King to see His
guests and noticed a man without a wedding garment. At an eastern wedding,
a costly wardrobe was provided for the guests. Jesus is the garment of
salvation, of faith and of righteousness. The rule is total acceptance
before God to every believer by Christ. Christ has provided this garment
for everyone. The garment therefore is a Christ- covered life, a character
consistent with Christ's teachings. The wedding garment speaks of obedience,
faithfulness to the will of God who are now new members, who did respond
to the invitation. The chosen have met all the requirements, by laying
aside the garment of sin and of self- righteousness. The clothing also
represented loyalty. The failure of a guest to wear the wedding garment
was an insult to the King, who had the garment made available. This guest
was guilty of attending in his own clothes. He violated the order of the
Kingdom for he was not willing to be dressed for the occasion, even through
he accepted the invitation. The guest clothed in his own attire was self-righteous,
by his works, and not by faith which is the only acceptable garment. Refusal
of the wearing of the wedding garment was rebellion. This man who trusted
in himself was bound and taken out of the royal wedding to judgement and
punishment. The 'outer darkness' is judgement that deals with the responsibility
of the individual. Judas appeared to be a committed believer, but found
not to be.
The only safety from 'outside' is to be close and true to the King and His Son.
This parable cannot apply to heaven, for no one enters heaven and is then cast out.
Those who accept the invitation and enter become His chosen ones, who His Son has justified. Believers who are with the King's Son are named called, chosen and faithful. Called means invited, and not all who are invited will believe. Many are invited but refuse to come, those who do go are called chosen.
This parable condemns the contempt with which the nation of Israel as a whole was unaffected to God's grace. Jesus exposed Israel in rejecting the invitation to enter the Kingdom. As a result the nation forfeited its privileges and suffered the destruction of Jerusalem. The Temple in which Jesus stood was destroyed by fire and reduced to rubble.
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