Summary: The parable about how the Jews rejected Jesus offers a spiritual application for us as well.
Everybody loves a wedding. A little girl was attending her first wedding with her mom. She was in awe at the decorations, candles and music. She was thrilled when the bride came walking down the aisle dressed in a flowing wedding gown. She leaned over and asked, “Mom, why is the bride wearing white?” The mother thought for a moment to give a good answer that her daughter would remember. She leaned over and whispered, “The bride is wearing white because white is the color of happiness, and today is the happiest day of her life.” The little girl smiled at then she frowned and whispered back to her mom, “Then why is the groom wearing black?”
In a little over a month, the eyes of the world will be on the upcoming royal wedding between the future King of England, Prince William, and his long-time girlfriend, Catherine Middleton.
The Prince is a member of the Royal Air Force and a qualified helicopter pilot. Sources say Prince William borrowed a helicopter last fall when the couple was visited Africa. He flew Kate to a deserted lake at the base of Mt. Kenya and got down on one knee and popped the question. Kate’s engagement ring is a large blue oval sapphire, surrounded by diamonds. The ring belonged to the William’s mother, the late Princess Diana, and was the ring his father gave to her for their engagement.
1,900 guests have been invited to the royal wedding, but the guest list hasn’t been published, so there is some speculation about who will be there. There are rumors that Sir Elton John has been invited, but Sir Paul McCartney hasn’t. The Beckham’s are in, but the Obama’s are not. Some sources confirm that Kanye West is invited; William is a fan of his music. Instead of wedding gifts, the couple has requested guests make a donation to one of 26 charities.
The invitations were all hand delivered by royal messengers and arrived on doorsteps in pale brown envelopes. The invitation read: “The Lord Chamberlain is commanded by the Queen to invite (name) to the marriage of His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales, K.G. (Knight of the Garter) with Miss Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey on Friday, 29th April, 2011 at 11:00 a.m.” They also specify the dress code as: “uniform, morning coat or lounge suit.”
The BBC predicts the televised wedding could have the largest TV audience in history. I didn’t get an invitation to the royal wedding, did any of you? Too bad. Don’t despair, because in the parable we’re studying today, Jesus told the story about another royal wedding, and guess what? You’re invited!
Matthew 22:1-14. “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. 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, both good and bad, 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. ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ 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.”
This is one of the parables of Jesus that has a summary principle. He ended it by saying, “Many are invited, but few are chosen.” Remember the historical context of this parable. Jesus is only a few days from the cross. Every day He is on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem debating with the Jewish religious mafia. The immediate application of this parable is clear. God invited the Jewish people to His party, but they refused when they rejected Jesus. So, God decided to extend His gracious invitation to the Gentiles. In verse 7 Jesus said the King was so angry at having His invitation rejected, He sent an army to destroy the people and burn the city. That makes the hairs stand up on my arms when I read that, because I know that forty years after Jesus said this, the Roman army surrounded Jerusalem and besieged it. They burned it to the ground. The Jewish historian Josephus witnessed it, and he described it in horrific details. To read about it, Google “Josephus” and “destruction of Jerusalem.”