Today's Gospel Matt22:1-14


#1

Every time I read this passage I’m a bit disturbed by “The King’s” reaction to what appears a minor hitch in the dress code. I want to know what I may be missing in the parable? :shrug:


#2

Ephesians 4:24* and put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth.

The wedding garment is the new self, indicating our change by giving up the our worldly ties for God.


#3

Wedding garment is baptism.


#4

A traditional understanding is that the wedding garment signifies charity and good works. Haydock’s commentary on the wedding garment can be found here.

I think there is some Biblical support for the notion that the wedding garment refers to good works; Revelation 19:8 says that the fine linen wedding dress of the Lamb’s bride (the Church) “is the righteous deeds of the saints.”


#5

I read this description today:

Meditation: What can a royal wedding party tell us about God’s kingdom? One of the most beautiful images used in the Scriptures to depict what heaven is like is the wedding celebration and royal feast given by the King for his newly-wed son and bride. Whatever grand feast we can imagine on earth, heaven is the feast of all feasts because the Lord of heaven and earth invites us to the most important banquet of all - not simply as bystanders or guests - but as members of Christ’s own body, his bride the church! The last book in the Bible ends with an invitation to the wedding feast of the Lamb - the Lord Jesus who offered his life as an atoning sacrifice for our sins and who now reigns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The Spirit and the Bride say, Come! (Revelations 22:17). The Lord Jesus invites us to be united with himself in his heavenly kingdom of peace and righteousness.

Whose interests come first - God or mine?
Why does Jesus’ parable of the marriage feast seem to focus on an angry king who ends up punishing those who refused his invitation and who mistreated his servants? Jesus’ parable contains two stories. The first has to do with the original guests invited to the marriage feast. The king had sent out invitations well in advance to his subjects, so they would have plenty of time to prepare for coming to the feast. How insulting for the invited guests to then refuse when the time for celebrating came! They made light of the King’s request because they put their own interests above his. They not only insulted the King but the heir to the throne as well. The king’s anger is justified because they openly refused to give the king the honor he was due. Jesus directed this warning to the Jews of his day, both to convey how much God wanted them to share in the joy of his kingdom, but also to give a warning about the consequences of refusing his Son, their Messiah and Savior.

An invitation we cannot refuse!
The second part of the story focuses on those who had no claim on the king and who would never have considered getting such an invitation. The “good and the bad” along the highways certainly referred to the Gentiles (non-Jews) and to sinners. This is certainly an invitation of grace - undeserved, unmerited favor and kindness! But this invitation also contains a warning for those who refuse it or who approach the wedding feast unworthily. God’s grace is a free gift, but it is also an awesome responsibility.

Cheap grace or costly grace?
Dieterich Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran pastor and theologian in Germany who died for his faith under Hitler’s Nazi rule, contrasted “cheap grace” and “costly grace”.

"Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves... the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance... grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate... Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life."

God invites each of us as his friends to his heavenly banquet that we may celebrate with him and share in his joy. Are you ready to feast at the Lord’s banquet table?

“Lord Jesus, may I always know the joy of living in your presence and grow in the hope of seeing you face to face in your everlasting kingdom.”

From:rc.net/wcc/readings/


#6

NOTE: I was “Jeanne1184” but closed that account due to spam overload.

Like a couple of others, this parable attributed to Jesus has some major problems (to me). It reminds me of a man on a Christian talk show saying, “The only way Moses wrote the Pentateuch is if there was another man named Moses.”

I just figure they are included for educational purposes.

Items that are suspect:

v4. Oxen and fatlings killed.

Matt. 22:4 (Interlinear Greek):
“Again he dispatches other slaves saying, “Say ye! To the ones having been invited. Lo! The lunch of me I make ready the bulls of me and the grain-fed animals having been sacrificed and all (things) ready. Hither ye! Into the wedding (feast).”

v6. “And the remnant took his slaves and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.”

The ‘remnant’ typically is faithful to God in spite of trials. So, whoever is holding this feast might be a king of the Ham line. The remnant would be faithful to God of the Shem line (as I understand it thus far, that is).

v7. Then ‘Jesus’ was really mad and sent out armies to destroy the ‘remnant’ and burn up their city.

v10. So the slaves went out and found as many as they could - both wicked and good. ((Not ‘sinners’, but the wicked.))

v11. The king spies one man (interlinear ‘human’) who stands out from the rest, and who was speechless. Mute? In any case, even the wicked owned wedding garments apparently - they weren’t handed out at the wedding or the ‘sore thumb’ would have had one. (I checked to see if ‘wedding garment’ is a Hebrew euphemism, but no luck.)

And after inviting both the wicked and the good - and kicking out one, the moral of the story is: “Many are called and few are chosen.”

It’s just to strange all the way 'round. :shrug:


#7

I think what I said in another thread is also relevant here.

[The parables are] stories told to make a point. There’s that whole ‘suspension of disbelief’ thing at play here: they don’t need to be ‘logical’ or ‘plausible’ in order to work - I’d say even that they shouldn’t be ‘logical’ or ‘plausible’ in order to work. After all, the point is what’s important - the story is just an illustration to convey it. Suspension of disbelief is actually essential for any kind of storytelling, I’d say.

The thing about the king destroying the whole city and throwing out the man who did not follow the dress code is not supposed to make any ‘sense’ - it’s not meant to be a real-life story after all. You might say that at this point, any real-life logicality is sacrificed for the sake of illustration. The destruction of the city that killed the king’s messengers is a metaphor for the eventual destruction of Jerusalem (the city that murdered the prophets and rejected the Messiah).

As for the man being kicked out, I’ll just say that Matthew’s gospel has two related key themes running through it: (1) a dualistic worldview (where everyone is divided neatly into two camps: those who listen to Jesus and those who do not); and (2) the motif of reward and punishment. Quoting myself again:

Matthew basically has a sort of dualistic worldview where either you listen to Jesus or you do not, where either you are ‘inside’ or ‘outside.’ …] Look at various sayings and parables in Matthew such as the narrow and the wide gates, the house built on rock and the house built on sand, the wheat and the weeds, the foolish and wise bridesmaids, the sheep and the goats. In each cases Matthew divides humanity into neat pairs. There is no third option: you either belong here or there. …] For Matthew’s Jesus, it was not just enough to point out the obvious (building a house on a shaky foundation such as sand is less desirable and just plain stupid), He intensifies the difference by pointing out the destruction of the sand-based house. This is another common theme in Matthew: punishment and reward reinforce one another, and Matthew rarely includes one without the other.

One of the particular quirks of Matthew is the pet phrase “weeping and gnashing of teeth,” which appears six times throughout the gospel (8:12; 13:42; 13:50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30). This phrase ties in perfectly with Matthew’s dualistic worldview and emphasis on reward and punishment. Strangely enough, however, one of the instances in which this phrase appears is at the end of a story that does not easily lend itself to punishment - the parable of the wedding feast (22:1-14; cf. Luke 14:16-24). There we can notice the Matthean reward and punishment motif: the ones who rejected the invitation meet a nasty, if somewhat disproportionate, end for their refusal - not only were the ungrateful guests killed, their city was also burned (!) In fact, the disproportionate response goes both ways: whereas in Luke, the guests simply offer different excuses for not going to the banquet, in Matthew the guests kill the messengers (for inviting them to a wedding feast?), which prompts the king to slaughter them in turn.

The Matthean version also ends in a rather odd note, about a man who was bounced out of the party “into the outer darkness” (another Matthean pet phrase, which accompanies “weeping and gnashing of teeth” at least thrice; 8:12; 22:13; 25:10) for not following the party dress code. The ending raises a few intriguing questions: if “many are called but few are chosen,” why then invite them to a party where they are going to be thrown out? Where was this person supposed to get a garment? Did he even know that he needed to wear one? We cannot answer these questions right now, but simply raising them indicates the general framework of Matthew’s storytelling. Even if the narrative logic does not call for a clear delineation of outsider from insider, Matthew crafts his episodes such so that the dualistic framework remains intact.


#8

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