Matthew 22 The Wedding Feast
Posted by adventbiblestudy on May 9, 2009
2. The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,
3. And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.
4. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.
5. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:
6. And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.
7. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
8. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.
9. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.
10. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.
11. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
12. And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
13. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
14. For many are called, but few are chosen.
It seems everyone already knows the interpretation of the parable of the wedding feast. It is a largely accepted fact, God is the king, calling His followers to the marriage of His Son, Jesus. Within the first verse of this parable we have found the spiritual interpretation for two key words. This is pretty much where most people stop searching for the spiritual meaning and remain satisfied with interpretations provided by others. You will notice I did not say people become satisfied with a study, but with information supplied by others. Not many people care to take the time to study, even though there are a number of key words within this parable. This study will emphasize the point, interpreting one key word from God can reveal an amazing amount of additional information.
The first step to study any parable is to write the meaning of the parable in your own words paying particular attention to the physical aspects. What does this parable mean to you? While answering this question focus on the physical facts shown in the parable. Expound on the physical aspects while taking care not to add to them.
This is a parable told by Jesus, in which he compared the kingdom of Heaven to a wedding feast. The marriage feast is prepared for a king’s son. The king sent out his servants to invite guests. We are not told who was originally on the guest list, we can assume the king knew the people and the people knew the king. Traditional weddings consist of guests having a relationship with the families of the bride or groom. The people on the original guest list did not take the wedding seriously. Imagine being invited to the wedding of a prince, the son of a king. You would think this would be a prestigious honor. In this instance, the original guests appeared too busy to attend the wedding. This is an unusual occurrence. Whenever we see anything out of the ordinary, it is an indication there is more than a physical meaning, there must be a spiritual interpretation.
The king sent out a second group of servants This group of guests treated the king’s servants harshly and killed them. In retaliation the king sent out his army and destroyed the people and an entire city. The king deemed the original guests unworthy of the invitation. The wedding feast had been planned and prepared, so the king sent out a third group of servants to the highways to invite as many people as they could find. Some of these guests were good and some were bad.
When the king entered the wedding he saw a man not wearing a wedding garment. It is not important to explain what a physical wedding garment is. Popular interpretations focus on this point but neglect the spiritual meaning of this text. The man is speechless when questioned by the king. The king orders the man to be tied and thrown into utter darkness.
A list of key words we will use in this study are; king, marriage, son, servant, wedding and garment. Each of these key words will be compared with other texts containing the key word to properly interpret the spiritual meaning.King
KJV Psalms 10:16. The Lord is king for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land.
KJV Psalms 24:10. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.
KJV Psalms 29:10. The Lord sitteth upon the flood; yea, the Lord sitteth king for ever.
KJV 1 Timothy 1:17. Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
KJV 1 Timothy 6:14. That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: 15. Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of Lords;
KJV Revelation 15:3. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.
KJV Revelation 17:14. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
King = God and Jesus.
KJV Revelation 19:7. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 9. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
One of the most easily recognized spiritual representations in the Bible is the marriage. This is also one of the most misunderstood events in the Bible. Ask anyone claiming to understand this event to prove their interpretation from the Bible. Chances are, they will only be able to supply one verse, Revelation 19:7-9. As a rule of thumb, an interpretation should never stand upon a single verse.
KJV Revelation 21:9. And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. 10. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11. Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
The marriage is a difficult subject to study. Revelation 21:9-11 is one additional supporting text, but does not contain the word marriage. Because the word bride is used, it is generally assumed Revelation 21:9-11 is referring to a marriage.
Is this a proper method of Bible study? Could it be correct to assume a key word was meant to be applied to a verse when it was not included? Is it wise to second guess the word of God, adding and subtracting from His word in an effort to explain an interpretation?
A detailed study of the Bible will reveal the fact, it does not contain enough supporting text to put a firm spiritual meaning on the word marriage. It must also be understood, the parable can and will stand on its own using the physical meaning of marriage. Although it is a popular interpretation to say the marriage represents the return of Christ, using either thought will not change the spirit of the parable.
KJV Matthew 1:23. Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
KJV Mark 1:1. The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
KJV Mark 1:11. And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
KJV Luke 1:35. And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
Son = Jesus.
KJV 2 Kings 21:10. And the Lord spake by his servants the prophets, saying,
KJV Jeremiah 25:4. And the Lord hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear.
KJV Ezekiel 38:17. Thus saith the Lord God; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?
KJV Daniel 9:6. Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
KJV Daniel 9:10. Neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.
KJV Amos 3:7. Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
KJV Zechariah 1:6. But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers? and they returned and said, Like as the Lord of hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us.
KJV Revelation 10:7. But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
Servants = prophets.
KJV Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
Isaiah defines the word garments as salvation and robes of righteousness. Garment having the spiritual interpretation of righteousness and salvation is widely accepted. But how is this interpretation Biblically proven? A rule of interpretation states, we are not to establish any interpretation based on a single text. A search of the Bible reveals only one text showing a garment represents salvation. The word garment is an example illustrating how the Bible will establish links between words having the same meaning. God must have foreseen the differences arising from the many languages the Bible would eventually be translated into and has taken safeguards to preserve the integrity of key words used in prophecies and parables. While studying these verses we need to keep in mind, depending upon the translation, a number of words with the same meaning may be used to translate the original word. When this possibility exists, God has placed a parallel within the Bible to lead us to the proper interpretation. Isaiah links garments with the word robe, both having the same meaning. Once this relationship has been established within scripture, the study may proceed, using the newly established parallel key word as a link. In this example, additional texts containing the word robe are studied. Notice the word robe maintains the same spiritual meaning as garment.
KJV Revelation 7:14. And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
What does the blood of the lamb mean? This is yet another term easily understood by most but few people know how to prove a lamb represents Christ with scripture.
KJV 1 Peter 1:19. But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
This is one of the few verses describing Jesus as the lamb and combining the blood. Defining the blood of the lamb may be more easily proven by first establishing Jesus as the lamb while using other text to explain the significance of the blood.
Before viewing this study, I challenge you to locate three texts clearly describing Jesus as the lamb. As widely accepted as this interpretation may be, it may not be so easily proven.
KJV John 1: 29. The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
KJV John 1:36. And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
KJV Acts 8: 32. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: 33. In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. 34. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? 35. Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
KJV Revelation 17:14
14. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
This illustrates a very important lesson in Bible study. Even the simplest words require effort. The art of Bible study is intended to expand the mind and intellect. It was never meant to be a process requiring little or no effort. It is a process designed by God, giving rewards in direct proportion to the time, effort and dedication put into the study. The lamb is Jesus.
Now we will study the word blood and allow the Bible to reveal the spiritual meaning.
KJV Romans 5:8. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
KJV 1 John 1:7. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
KJV Matthew 26:28. For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
KJV Mark 14:24. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.
It is much easier to find the spiritual significance of the word blood. Christ’s blood was shed for the remission of sins.
Many times a study can take on a completely different meaning than first intended or expected. This is the way the Bible has been designed and why the guidance of the Holy Spirit is required. Recognizing these connections and properly arranging them can not be accomplished by a person who does not believe or does not understand the Holy Spirit. This lesson has shown, even the simplest aspects of the Bible can be hidden from those that do not seek God with an open and upright heart. Imagine how many secrets the Bible contains for those that diligently seek them.
Washing robes in the blood of the lamb spiritually represents receiving salvation from Jesus.
KJV Job 29:14. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem.
KJV Numbers 15:38. Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: 39. And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the Lord, and do them and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: 40. That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.
KJV Psalms 104:1. Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. 2. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:
KJV Isaiah 61:3. To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
Garment = God’s law, righteousness, salvation, honor and praise.
Making a list of the key words and their spiritual interpretation will make it much easier to paraphrase the original text.
King = God and Jesus.
Son = Jesus.
Servants = prophets.
Garment = God’s law, righteousness and salvation.
To paraphrase Matthew 22.
The kingdom of Heaven is like God planning a marriage for His Son, Jesus. He sent His prophets to call people to His wedding but they would not come. He sent out His prophets a second time saying, “tell them that are invited, the dinner is prepared and everything is ready. Come to the marriage.” But they made light of it and went their way, one to his farm, another to his business. A small group took the prophets, abused and killed them.
When God heard this He was very angry and sent His armies to destroy those murderers and burn their city. Then God said to His prophets, “the wedding is ready, but those that were called were not worthy. Go into the highways and as many as you find, invite to the marriage.” So the prophets went out into the highways and gathered together as many as they could find, both bad and good. And the wedding was furnished with guests.
When God came in to see the guests He saw a man which did not accept the salvation of Jesus and He said to him, “friend how did you get in here without have the salvation of Jesus?” The man was speechless. God said unto the servants, “bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.”