Rejection of the Wedding Invitation
Text: Matthew 22 : 1 - 14
The parable began with the setting of a king sending out invitations to his guests to attend his son’s wedding celebrations. He went to great trouble to ensure that the guests were shown every courtesy. At least three times his servants made visits to the guests. The responses from the guests were astonishing, to say the least.
“But they made light of it and went their ways,
one to his own farm, another to his business.
And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully,
and killed them.”
Let us ponder the responses they made to the gracious invitation of the king.
1. “They made light of it…”
This phrase simply means they actually disdained or despised the king! How could they make light of a king’s invitation?
2. “And went their ways…”
Their own private affairs were deemed more important than the invitation of the king! Farm and other businesses will always demand attention, but surely, the invitation of a king would merit better attention and response from anyone! Would they have responded in the same way if a relative sent an invitation on the occasion of the wedding of a son or daughter?
3. “The rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them.”
This response was totally uncalled for! This was nothing short of murder! The perpetrators must be brought to justice for their violent acts!
These responses typified the way people had responded to Jesus. The first two responses may be associated with the general multitude. The last response may well describe the way in which the chief priests and elders took to Jesus. They were plotting to kill Him.
ACTION TAKEN AGAINST THE MURDERERS
Did the murderers really think that the king would do nothing when his servants were killed?
“But when the king heard about it, he was furious.
And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers,
and burned up their city.”
The reaction of the king is perfectly understandable. He dealt with those guilty of murder. The erstwhile guests turned out to be enemies of the king and attempted to resist arrest. Battle took place, and their cities were burned to the ground! The murderers had reckoned wrongly. They paid a terrible price for their arrogance and folly!
NOT THE END OF THE STORY YET!
This parable was particularly elaborate. The story could have ended there and it would have been quite neat. However the story took on a special twist!
“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready,
but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore
go into the highways, and as many as you find,
invite to the wedding.’ So those servants went out into
the highways and gathered together all whom
they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled
What an impressive short-story this was! The story took on an unexpected dimension. The king sent out his servants to bring all the humble wayfarers they could find. Whereas the first set of guests were of the gentry class, people of means, perhaps some were of noble blood, the second set of guests would be of much humbler origin. They came from the streets, literally! All were invited! Anyone who wished could gain entrance to the wedding dinner!
THE WEDDING GARMENT
How would common folks be able to feel at home in the king’s palatial grounds? For that matter, how would they be able to dress well enough to enjoy a royal wedding feast. The following text would give us a special glimpse of the extent to which the king went to prepare for the wedding feast.
“But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there
who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him,
‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’
And he was speechless. Then 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.’
For many are called, but few are chosen.”
The commoners who were invited to the royal wedding feast need not fear that they would be inappropriately dressed. All guests would be provided with festive garments! There was one man who stood out. The king approached him and asked why he had not put on the garment given to him! He dishonoured the king when he chose to set aside the special wedding garments given to him. He ended up being escorted out of the palace grounds. How he typified the chief priests! They were always so contrary!