The Deeper Meaning in the Parable of the Wedding Banquet

The Parable of the Wedding Banquet, Matthew 22

Parables of Jesus DVD Bible Study Series

By Dr. Matt Williams

If a king invited you to his son’s wedding, would you go? Of course you would go. It would be the highlight of one’s life to attend such a wedding. I lived in Spain for six years, and I remember when the Prince Felipe came to visit the University of Barcelona where I attended school. We stood outside for hours just to get a glimpse of him. It was an exciting day.

The surprising message in Jesus’ parable of the wedding banquet is that those invited rejected the king’s invitation. Not only did they reject it, but they killed the messengers who came to invite them to the wedding. Shocking! The king responds with judgment of those invited. Then he tells his servants to “go to the street corners and invite anyone you find” (Matthew 22:9).

One day a poor man is on the street corner begging for food, the next he is sitting in the king’s castle feasting at the prince’s wedding banquet on fattened calves. I’ve lived in Detroit, Chicago, Barcelona and now LA; I’ve seen lots of homeless. I can only imagine what it would be like for one of them to be invited to the king’s royal banquet. I’m sure that they thought, “I’m not worthy. I smell. I shouldn’t be here.”  These people knew that the king had done them a great favor, and they would be thankful. This is the grace of God: those who are unworthy are invited to approach God’s banquet table.

Jesus tells parables in order to teach, but also to shock the listener into deeper truths. What is the deeper truth of this parable? The king in this parable is none other than the King of the Universe, God. The son is God’s Son, Jesus. Those invited were the Jewish people. The Jews had been told for centuries that the Messiah was coming, but when Jesus the Messiah arrives, they do not respond to His invitation. They do not believe in Him. Their rejection of Jesus the Messiah results in judgment. Then, surprisingly, Jesus invites those on the street corners, which in Jesus’ day would be prostitutes, the lame, the poor, slaves, and of course Romans. Jesus is stating that the kingdom of God was now available to all.

In the Jewish context, this makes no sense. In Jesus’ time, a Jewish community called Qumran lived near the Dead Sea. They talk about the messianic banquet and who can enter in and eat at the table with the Messiah. They concluded that no one who is defiled in the flesh, paralyzed, lame, blind, deaf, or dumb could attend, and, of course, Gentiles would not be invited. Jesus turns this upside down. Jesus invites all to his messianic banquet.

What about you? Have you accepted the King’s invitation? And, if you have, do you understand what is now required of you, to “go to the street corners and invite anyone you find?” The only way people can know about the messianic banquet is if we go tell them — both with our actions and with our words. May our lives be living proof that God loves everyone and has invited them to a banqueting table that is filled with true love, true joy, true peace, and true purpose. Who could you invite today?

The Parables of Jesus DVD Bible Study

By: Matt Williams

From the parable of the prodigal son to the mountain-moving faith of a mustard seed, gain powerful historical insights and perspective-shifting cultural context behind the parables of Jesus with this 6-session DVD study. Unlike most Bible studies available, each session begins in Israel, making it easier to experience and understand the cultural background of key events. This dynamic and easy-to-understand study is written and taught by biblical experts with specialized areas of knowledge. It comes with a downloadable leader guide—so anyone can lead this study! Also available: Participant Guides (ISBN: 9781628627657).
Jesus communicated deep spiritual truths through simple, vivid, and engaging stories. Woven from the fabric of first-century Jewish everyday life, the parables of Jesus made the kingdom of God understandable and accessible to his listeners. In six engaging, interactive small group sessions, this Deeper Connections DVD study will give you the necessary historical background and fresh new insights into Jesus’ parables and their meanings to help you apply these lessons to your own life.

6-Session Overview of the Parables of Jesus

From the parable of the mustard seeds to the parable of the prodigal son, get a fantastic overview of 6 major key parables Jesus shared with followers and pharisees alike and what they meant in first-century Jewish and Roman culture:

  1. The Coming of the Kingdom: Weeds, Mustard Seeds, Yeast
  2. The Grace of the Kingdom: Two Debtors
  3. The God of the Kingdom: The Prodigal Son
  4. The Demand of the Kingdom: Treasure and Pearls
  5. The Mission of the Kingdom: The Wedding Banquet
  6. The Fulfillment of the Kingdom: Sheep and Goats

Each session of this DVD study includes:

Also available is a FREE leader guide with step-by-step suggestions to get the most out of this study including a materials list, session outlines, time frame for 60- and 75-minute session options with extensions, leading tips, and more! It’s never been easier to lead! Perfect for small groups, Bible studies, or personal use.
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One Thought on “The Deeper Meaning in the Parable of the Wedding Banquet

  1. Thank you for making this material available.

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