Day 19 | The Feast

Matthew 22:1-14

 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. The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.

“But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Words: John Robertson Read: 0 - 5 mins Published: 19 March 2024

Not the nicest or restful bedtime story, is it! The harshness of this parable may be off-putting to those who like their Jesus gentle, meek, and mild. However, there is something about the violence and intensity of this parable that shakes us up and may remind us that we are participating in not just our personal or even shared stories, but also in God’s great final judgment story. What we do as followers of Jesus matters. It is so easy to compartmentalize all the pieces of our life, particularly our faith life. We check “going to church” off the to-do list and may view our faith as one small aspect among many of our lives. The intensity of this parable and the harsh consequences of refused invitations remind us that living out our faith is a matter of urgency and importance.


One of the last-minute invitees, showing up not wearing a wedding robe, pays a seemingly unjust price. Maybe Matthew’s allegory invites us to ensure we are putting on our wedding garments, as Paul talks about in Colossians 3. “As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12). In other words, when we have truly made Jesus Lord (Colossians 3:3), we will make a difference and be obvious in the way we live our lives.


Despite what seems to be a strong response to someone who never got a “save the date” invite, this parable speaks of God’s broad, persistent, and generous invitation. In this parable, the king does not want to party alone. Instead, he keeps extending invitations to everyone around so that the wedding feast will be a rich array of people from every corner of the city. Likewise, the invitation towards faith and faithful living is extended to us, insistently, persistently for us to accept and pass on to others.


© Copyright 2024 Riverlife Baptist Church

Policies | Site by Groundcrew

Website by Groundcrew