Summary: When we consider our response to God’s invitation and the calling of others to respond, some important factors must be considered as to the nature of the invitation and the results of declining such. Presented in the form of a parable of a wedding banquet
Once thing that characterizes this time of year are all the invitations to Christmas related events. From clubs, community gathering, work parties, to family gatherings, it can be difficult to manage which to go. There are different ways you can deal with all the obligations. You can ignore the invitation or get frustrated at the demands of going. Either choice will most likely result in not being invited again.
Jesus’ message was that God extends a gracious invitation to people to participate in his kingdom. Accepting the invitation leads to joy while rejection leads to punishment. When Jesus spoke of God’s kingdom, he spoke with authority. His stories convicted because he knew his audience. His parables have a universal character; they make the hearer or reader ask, “If this parable is about everyone, I must fit here somewhere. Which character in the story represents me?” Those for whom the parables were immediately intended usually felt their sting (see 21:45; 22:15) (Barton, B. B. (1996). Matthew. Life application Bible commentary (427). Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers.).
When we consider our response to God’s invitation and the calling of others to respond, some important factors must be considered as to the nature of the invitation and the results of declining such. Presented in the form of a parable of a wedding banquet, in Matthew 22:1-14 Jesus discusses the Kingdom of Heaven and presents:
1) The Invitation Rejected (Matthew 22:1–6)
Matthew 22:1-6 [22:1]And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying, ’Tell those who are invited, See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.’ But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. (ESV)
The parable contains four scenes, the first of which depicts the rejection of the invitation. Although none of His hearers may ever have attended a royal wedding feast, they were all familiar with wedding feasts in general and had some idea of the importance and magnificence of one that a king would prepare for his own son.
To answer the chief priests and elders (21:23), on their bitter challenge of His authority "again Jesus spoke to them in parables" for the third time. It is likely they heard little of what He said, because their minds were by then singularly and unalterably bent on His arrest and execution. They had wanted to seize Him after He related the second parable but were still afraid of what the crowds might do (21:46).