Parable of the Wedding Banquet (Matt 22:1-14)

Rebuking disbelieving religious leaders

The Parable of the Wedding Banquet is the third and final parable that Jesus directs towards the Jewish religious leaders during His last week on earth. The Jewish religious leaders had been questioning Jesus' authority to teach in the temple. In His first preceding parable of the Two Sons (Matt 21:28-32), Jesus tells the Jewish religious leaders that tax collectors and prostitutes will enter the kingdom of God before them. In the parable of the Wicked Tenants (Matt 21:33-45; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19), Jewish religious leaders learn that the kingdom of God will be taken away from them.

1. What do you observe about the king's first invitation of guests to his son's wedding (Matt 22:1-8)? What is Jesus saying about the Kingdom of Heaven? What is Jesus saying about these initial guests and who are they?

Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.
"Then he sent some more servants and said, 'Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.'
"But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
"Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. (Matt 22:1-8, NIV)

2. What do you observe about the king's second invitation (Matt 22:9-14, NIV)? Does Jesus say the king's invitation guarantees attendance at the wedding banquet? What is Jesus saying about the Kingdom of Heaven?

So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.' So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.
"But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. He asked, 'How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?' The man was speechless.
"Then the king told the attendants, 'Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
"For many are invited, but few are chosen." (Matt 22:9-14, NIV)

3. Parables are seen as stories that are true to life but not necessarily true events. The book of Revelation has an account of a wedding banquet just before Jesus returns to fight in Armageddon. Discuss your observations of Jesus' Parable of the Wedding Banquet and Revelation's account of a wedding banquet.

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad
And give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
And his bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean,
Was given her to wear."
(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God's holy people.)
Then the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!" And he added, "These are the true words of God." (Rev 19:6-9, NIV)

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