Jesus Parables About The Kingdom Of God – Well, here we are – the final message in our Kingdom Parables series. Today we will study the parable of the wedding in Matthew 22.
I’ve put our map back on the canvas and I want to encourage you again to study these parables in your own time.
Jesus Parables About The Kingdom Of God
Also, while we don’t have time to go over them, I’d like to point out that today’s parable is the third in a trilogy of so-called “judgment parables,” in which Jesus pronounces judgment on the leaders of Israel who challenge His authority and His Kingdom, reject.
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As you can see, these other two appear in the previous chapter, Matthew 21. In fact, the parable of the wicked husbandmen (Matt 21:33ff) is almost identical to this parable. I would encourage you to check this out as you meditate on today’s message this week.
Finally, before we get into today’s passage, I want to share a quick personal update. As you know, I have been interning at Life Bridge for the last 18 months. As of this week my internship is over. Sometimes I think when people hear “stage” they think our family will move as soon as it’s over, but it’s not. This church is our home, and we are members here. I have 3 more years of school to go, so until this is over, we’re not going anywhere.
But what I really wanted to say is “thank you” for the countless ways you have encouraged and supported me and my family during this internship period. Thank you for the opportunity to open God’s word with you, which is a great privilege. We love this church and consider it an honor to be with you all. Thanks!
Prayer for Relief Father, we praise you for the wonderful way you love us. We thank you for your word and for your mercy, for your patience with us and for your reckless love. We come to you today with open hands and open hearts because we truly want to know and love you more. Illuminate your word to us and teach it to us. And use this time and parable to change us and become more like you, Jesus, for it is in your name that we pray. A man. just like
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Again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven can 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 over. Again he sent other servants with the message: “Tell those who were invited, ‘Behold, I have prepared my supper, my oxen and my fattened calves have been slaughtered and everything is ready. Come to the wedding. 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 the guests were not worthy. wedding party.’ And those servants went out into the ways and gathered all they found, both bad and good. Then the wedding hall was filled with guests. “But when the king went in to see the guests, he saw a man there who had no wedding dress on. 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 servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into outer darkness. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'” For many are called, but few are chosen.
This parable features a ton of characters, but only two are really the focus of the story. So, before we dive into the text, let’s take a few minutes to describe the characters in the parable, as I think this will help facilitate our analysis as we go through the passage. There is a table in the back of the bulletin insert for you to fill in so you can easily refer to it when we analyze similarity.
The fact that the Eternal Son chose you for Himself should absolutely astound you! It should bring us to our knees in worship. It really should give you butterflies just thinking about it… like you really were the bride on her wedding morning… marrying the most amazing man you’ve ever met… the man you had a crush on crush on you since grade school, but who did you think would never notice you. The perfect man. The one that everyone with half a brain wants. But he didn’t choose them, he chose you!
This is the picture (but infinitely more) that Jesus paints in his story. He chose you to be His! Never let the wonder of this truth fade!
Why Jesus Spoke In Parables
But we must be careful not to confuse metaphors here. While God’s people are indeed the bride of Christ in an absolute sense, for the purposes of this parable, Jesus wants his hearers to identify with the people the king invites to the wedding feast. As we progress through the parable, you will see that the focus is not on the bride, but on the king and guests. Therefore, for our purposes today, when I refer to Israel or the Church, I mean the wedding guests, not the bride. Agreement?
Now that we have an idea of who the characters in this story are, let’s go over the parable. We go verse by verse and see if we can understand what Jesus is teaching us. I want to warn you in advance: there’s a lot in this parable that I’d love to talk about, but we don’t have time for that. So forgive me if I only mention a few things in passing and completely avoid others. If this parable raises questions for you that haven’t been adequately answered today, write them down. I would encourage you to bring these issues up for discussion in your community group or life group. You can also visit me (or one of the elders); I would definitely like to discuss these things more offline.
As we progress through this parable, we see the king perform six specific actions in the story. I want to use this as a framework for our observations and interpretations, and so we end with two starting points.
1. The King Plans a Wedding Feast “The kingdom of heaven can be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son and sent his servants to call those invited to the wedding feast…” (Matthew 22: 2-3a)
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The king (allegorically the God of all creation) has a son (Jesus), and this son is to be married. As we discussed when analyzing the characters in the story, this represents Jesus’ marriage to his people, the Church.
In first-century Jewish culture, talking about the wedding feast is talking about the wedding itself. And this is a real wedding. In Jesus’ time, even a poor farmer’s wedding feast could last for days. The feast the king is throwing will be in the palace and will likely last for weeks. Guests will be accommodated in the palace at the king’s expense. The king’s purchases for this festival in local villages will have a material impact on their economies. This is not a backyard barbecue or dinner at your church. Even today’s most elaborate wedding would have been overshadowed by the scope of the event that Jesus’ hearers envisioned. Essentially, Jesus is describing the most extravagant party they can imagine.
Allegorically, this means worshiping God, walking with God, and working for God forever under King Jesus in His perfect kingdom. This is so much better than the most amazing thing you’ve ever imagined.
It is implied (see v3) that the king invited a large group of people to the wedding feast. Allegorically, this refers to God’s covenant with the nation of Israel. Almost 2,000 years before Jesus told this story, God made a covenant with Abraham that his descendants would be God’s people – a people for his possession (cf. Deut 7:6; Isa 43:21). In the story of Jesus, this agreement is represented by the king’s wedding invitation. God chose Abraham’s descendants to live close to Him so that they could come to know Him by faith and thus participate in His eternal Kingdom. They had to obey His
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