Missional Jesus, facing the evidence of rejection by the seat of power in Jerusalem, tells a parable that reveals once again the potency of judgment in the theme of Jesus. In essence the point is simple: Jersualem is about to be sacked because those invited to the wedding are not showing up.
1. Missional Jesus aligns himself with the missio Dei, the mission of God. It is God’s mission to call Israel to the banquet.
2. Missional Jesus aligns himself with the persistence and patience of God: unlike John and James, who wanted fire from heaven after first offer, God sends his servants over and over to the people.
3. Missional Jesus aligns himself the prophetic oracles of doom: if Israel does not repent, God will act in the pages of history with the destruction of Jerusalem.
4. Missional Jesus, so it seems to me, predicts that after the destruction of the City (v. 7) Jesus’ missional agents, will begin to summon others — namely, the Gentiles (v. 9).
5. Missional Jesus speaks here, in parabolic and not easy-to-interpret language, of the need for all those at the wedding to be properly attired. Lots of folks lay their hand to this plow, but what a historically-grounded interpreter will do is offer a reading that reflects the context, words, and mission of Jesus: so I would say “follower of Jesus” is the point.
Matt. 22:1 Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: 2 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. 4 Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.’ 5 But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, 6 while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. 7 The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. 8 Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9 Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.’ 10 Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.
Matt. 22:11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, 12 and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”