We now look at another kingdom text, this from Matthew 22:1ff: 1 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2 ?The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come..
1. This parable is about the wedding invitations; they invite a bundle of folks who choose not to come; so they invite the marginalized.
2. The parable has striking similarities to the workers in the vineyard with the abuse of the messengers.
3. Here are the crucial words of the parable:
“8 ?Then he said to his servants, ?The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. 9 Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.? 10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.”
4. The wedding was filled with folks — some good and some bad.
5. One man who was not properly attired was expelled.
6. Those who will enjoy the banquet are the chosen; many are invited but few are chosen.
In this parable, the kingdom is like a big banquet — and this image evokes the final kingdom of God. The parable focuses on who will be in and who will be out. The “in” group is the chosen. Theology shapes who it is that wears the proper wedding attire. In my view, those who have followed Jesus, who are related to Jesus, who repent and believe … that sort of thing. It smacks of fanciful to see this as being attired in the righteousness of Christ since that sort of language is not found in the Gospels.