Parables Today: The Wedding Banquet

One evening when I was young, I sat next to my grandmother near a warm fireplace, as was our tradition every evening whenever it rained. She told a story about an ancient chief who was against the consumption of illicit brews—popular traditional alcohol that was illegal, dangerous, and poorly brewed. 

He would go from house to house, instructing parents to take their children to school and not get mixed up with alcohol. Some children did anyway. They became rebellious and never went to school. Others, through reflection and obedience, refrained from bad habits and focused on school.

Making the Right Choice

Many years down the line, anyone could see a clear difference in the qualities of life among the two groups. At the end of the story, she looked at me pensively and asked, “In which of the two groups would you wish to be?”

An Invitation

In the Parable of the Wedding Banquet (Matthew 22:1–14), a king is preparing his son’s wedding feast. He sends out his servants to round up the invited guests, only to find that they have rejected the invitation. The king sends the servants out to ask again. It will be a great party, he says. I’ve killed the fattened cattle. Come. 

Not only do the invitees reject the second invitation, but some even capture and torture the servants. Others merely ignore the invitation because their farms or businesses are more important. 

The king becomes furious. He sends his soldiers to burn down the city. He then orders his servants to invite anyone they can find—regular people, good and bad—to come and enjoy the feast. 

In which of the two groups would you wish to be? 

Everyone is Important in God’s Kingdom

What do you think is your status in God’s eyes? Most of us would say we’re pretty good people, right? Now think about some of the people about whom you might feel otherwise. The rude cashier at the grocery store. The mom at the park who’s glued to her phone instead of watching her son. The neighbor who gossips about you.

Now imagine them attending the wedding feast instead of you. How does that make you feel? 

The first round of invitees probably never would have imagined they’d see ordinary people heading into the palace to party with the king. But the king invited them in. God’s grace can elevate you to higher positions for His glory. He created everyone and wants to use all of us for His purpose. 

Treat Everyone with Dignity

You never know who might be sent by God to help you at some point in your life. He may speak to you through an offhand comment from an acquaintance. He may send a frustrating family member to teach you patience. He may even use a drug addict to allow you the grace of being merciful.

The king’s banquet was made successful because of the guests who hadn’t initially been invited. You might despise someone only to be blessed by them later in life. Treat everyone with dignity and respect because tomorrow lies in the hands of God.

Always Be Ready  

Toward the end of the celebration, the king meets a man who isn’t wearing formal clothes. Angry that a guest would come to such a special event unprepared, the king orders his servants to punish the man and throw him outside. 

When God calls you, will you be prepared and fully committed?

Some life-changing opportunities might only occur once, so seize them when they present themselves. Be ready and willing to move to the next level. When the right job comes along or God calls you to serve Him through a particular vocation, do not give excuses or appear undecided. Take the offer and allow God to establish you in that area through His unfailing grace

Everyone is Welcome

This means YOU. You may feel you are unworthy or that God couldn’t possibly accept you because your sin is too great. Remember that the kingdom of God isn’t just open to those who appear to have it all together. It’s for everyone, so when He calls on you, submit and follow Him. Seize the gift. Through this acceptance, you will encounter new beginnings and glorify God.

Choose the Kingdom

In this parable, the king represents God and the king’s son represents Jesus. The people invited to the wedding feast are the ones God invites to His Kingdom, which shall be established on earth upon the return of Christ. To accept this invitation is to become part of Christ’s kingdom. Make the right decision and live a fulfilled life through the grace of the Almighty.

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