Summary: The Parable of the Wedding Banquet - PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:


The Wedding (vs 2&4)

The First Invited Guests (vs 3&4)

The Other Invited Guests (vs 8-10)

The Gate Crasher (vs 11-14)



Can you guess the couples from their wedding photos quiz

• Andy Murray & Kim Sears

• Elvis Presley & Priscilla Ann Wagner

• George-Clooney & Amal-Alamuddin

• Muhammed Ali's & Khalilah Camacho Ali

• Wayne & Coleen Rooney

• Baraka & Michelle Obama

• Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt

• Prince William and Kate Middleton

• TRANSITION: Show own wedding photo

• And tell joke!


• In a few weeks-time Penny & myself will celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary;

• Someone asked us recently;

• Was there a successful recipe for keeping our marriage fresh, & healthy?

• I replied;

• Well once a week we go out for a nice romantic candlelit meal.

• Penny goes on Tuesdays and I go on a Thursday!

• TRANSITION: Weddings are special occasions:

• They are times of celebration.

• They are times when we rejoice and express joy.

• Weddings are a time when we enjoy the company of those we love;

• And we rejoice at the new bond of unison and commitment between two people.


• In our society weddings are still big events,

• Despite the fact that the simplest of civil marriages costs less than £50,

• According to Wedding Guide UK.

• The average cost of getting married in the UK is around £11,000;

• With the vast majority of weddings falling between £5,000 and £15,000.

• That’s a lot of money!

But wedding days have always been expensive days:

• In Bible times and still today in the Jewish culture;

• Weddings were, and are, a big deal:

• There is a certain protocol that was to be followed.

• And both the poor and rich were bound by tradition and culture to abide by it.

• This parable that we are looking at this morning

• Is set in an Eastern wedding situation.

(1). The Wedding (vs 2&4)

“The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.”

• The custom in the East at this time was to invite people to the wedding feast;

• A long time before the occasion actually occurred.

• Now in our day;

• We send out a wedding invitation with the date, the venue and of course;

• The name of the people getting married.

• But in Biblical times it was different;

• The invitation (written or verbal) just said the name of the people getting married.

• No venue and no date!

Question: Why no venue?

Answer: Because each wedding followed Jewish tradition.

• Jewish weddings followed tradition so you knew where the wedding would take place.

• On the day of the wedding the groom would approach the brides home,

• And a cry would echo through the streets, "The bridegroom is coming."

• The groom did not enter the bride's house,

• Instead she, the bride came out to meet him.

• Then bride and groom, accompanied by their wedding party,

• Walked together back to the groom's home for the marriage ceremony.

• Then the public ceremony took place.

Question: Why no date?

Answer: Because each wedding followed Jewish tradition.

• Once the marriage had been arranged the fiancé/groom returned to his home;

• And started to build a house;

• Or more often add a room to the existing family house (i.e. John 14 style)

• This often took about a year, when the preparations had been completed;

• The groom would then return for his bride.

• And when the time was right the groom would approach the brides home,

• Weddings often took place at night.

• Groom and his associates with torches light would approach the bride’s home;

• The shout would go throughout the village, "The bridegroom is coming!"

• So the groom would come and claim his bride.


• So without knowing the exact date;

• The custom was you acknowledged and accepted the invitation;

• And you dropped everything to celebrate this most important and great occasion.

• So everything else in life was therefore secondary to this important occasion.

• Especially if it was a royal wedding, the Kings own son!


• Obviously there were clues given as to when the wedding might take place.

• Plans normally took a year (rough guide);

• But also news would be leaked that the food was being prepared;

• Note: that you marriages were always arranged;

• These were often local occasions between families in the same village or one nearby;

• They often took place within the wider family.

• So news about the wedding preparations being near soon leaked out.

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