Here is what I think will be a quick study into Matthew 22, verses 1-14, about a parable that Jesus spoke to the crowd at the temple in Jerusalem. There are several things that we should be careful to pick up on when reading these verses, as there are discoveries to be found when approached prayerfully, being lead by the Spirit of God into his Word.
The entire chapter (Matthew 22) is packed full of spiritual insight and tons of supernatural truth to be found. In verses 1-14, this parable that describes a wedding which is prepared by a King for his son. Let’s take a look at the text as given by the King James Version (KJV), then we’ll go from there and dive in deeper.
Matthew 22 verses 1-14
1 And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, 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 fat-lings 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.
Past or Historical Tense
I’ve read these words several times over the years but the Lord had me focus on it specifically for some reason recently, I believe to give some insight to share with all of you who keep up with the posts here on the site. There are a few things that when realized, cause for me to think completely different about who Jesus is talking about, what exactly he is trying to convey, when these things are going on, where it is happening, and why it’s happening.
There is a particular “Who” that is not mentioned at all in this parable, but is assumed to be here, I believe incorrectly. Well get back to that soon, but first here’s a typical or popular look on this parable would most likely be similar to the following:
Those who were meant to go to the wedding were to be the Jews, but the Jews refused. Thus the Lord inviting in the gentiles in their stead to come to the wedding. Those who did not have the proper attire (those who had not been born again or are called by his name) will not make it, and be thrown into outer darkness.
That is just a summary into the average look into this parable, and all of which is true. Just look at what happens shortly after this parable was spoken by the Lord, he was rejected by those who he came for (having missed the day of their visitation) and was crucified. And through his sacrifice, Salvation became available to all mankind, reaching out to us gentiles in a manner which was not available before. Then somewhere around 70 AD Israel was struck and soon scattered.
So that point of view is very well backed up historically, and is quite correct I believe. But like many of the parables and other verses given to us by the Lord, there can be several different tiers to any one given parable or scripture. The letters to the seven churches is a perfect example of this, where Literal interpretation (the literal churches mentioned), historical landmark interpretation (period of time and the spiritual condition of the church), and Individual meaning (what the letters mean for us as believers today).
This being a parable which is different than the letters to actual churches, the tense is to be taken a bit differently. So I would suppose that the interpretation that I gave a quick rundown of up above would be considered past tense or perhaps historical tense.
The parable gives a lesson to each individual who reads it with an understanding heart and willingness to receive what Jesus is trying to say. Many are called but few are chosen. When the Lord extends his hand for you to be a part of his plan of salvation and redemption, establishing a way that is as easy as an invitation, will you take it? There are examples of those who didn’t care to come.
There were those who made light of it. They didn’t take it seriously, had no intention to go, perhaps made jokes about it, perhaps even were slanderous against the whole thing. How many people does that describe today? Even further, how many “Christians” could be considered the same? One thing that all who ever existed on the face of this planet either has already learned or will learn very soon, is that God will not be mocked. This parable brings that to light.
They went their way, some to their farm. This gives the indication of being too busy to come to what the Lord has prepared for them to take part in. I used to be too busy for God allot of years ago, and I didn’t even realize it until he put the brakes on for me. Then I could see that business or busyness can actually be far more important to a worldly heart than the things of God. Dangerous stuff to find yourself in the middle of. The worldliness of heart needs to go, because there’s no mixing the company of worldliness and Godliness. It’s like water and vinegar, they do not mix well.
The others went to their merchandise. Their stuff and the things of this world was too important to them to take the time and simply attend a wedding. Jesus said the cares of this world choke the root of the seed planted (paraphrasing). There’s nothing wrong with stuff, but it’s the level of importance that you give it in your heart, particularly when it becomes more important to you than the things of God, then it is a stumbling block and a hindrance to any kind of real relationship with the Father.
And there were others being referred to as the remnant of those who rejected the invitation, that actually were spiteful and also killed the servants that simply were trying to invite them to the wedding. This is something that has happened to messengers of the Lord since after the great flood. Certainly there is nothing new under the sun. These things are still happening today all over the world to the people of God who are trying to invite others to the marriage, or to introduce them to Jesus.
Here is the least likely train of thought when one reads Matthew 22 1-14. There is one clue within the text that shows us a different outlook into the interpretation of this parable. I mentioned it toward the beginning of this post, when I brought up the idea that there’s someone missing from this parable that’s assumed to be mingled in with the other city folks that are made reference to.
Let’s first go over who is mentioned. There is mention of the King, the King’s Son, people who were invited to the wedding, the King’s armies, and the rest of the people (as many as could be found) that wound up going to the wedding, both bad and good, and the one who wasn’t wearing the proper wedding attire and was cast out. So can you see who’s not mentioned in this parable yet?
THE BRIDE! The Bride is not mentioned at all, but you can’t have a marriage without one. So it stands to reason that the Bride is prepared and waiting for the ceremony to commence. The King wasn’t searching for the Bride, but was inviting others to attend the wedding. HUGE difference.
Because of this (and this is by the Holy Ghost, because I’m not smart enough to have just simply come up with this), we go from Historical, to Individual, to Prophetic or Future Interpretation. The Bride is still here awaiting for the Bridegroom to gather his bride, so the marriage supper of the Lamb hasn’t happened yet. But when we are caught up to be with him in a twinkling of an eye, and move on to that most anticipated day to be with the Lord and to be how he is, where he is, there will still be those who are left behind that may come to Christ afterwards.
The 144,000 Jews who will be marked by the Holy Ghost won’t be sitting around and doing nothing in those days. God said himself that heaven and earth will pass away, but his Word shall endure forever. I believe that they will be ministering to whatever extent that the Lord wills.
And don’t forget the two witnesses that will be preaching from the streets of Jerusalem. They won’t be sent with all of that power just for spectacle, but to preach the gospel in an evil and ravaged world nearing it’s end, and will be aided through power and demonstration that will not be deniable. I believe there will be people who will come to the Lord through them as well.
Also what about the Angel that will be preaching to the inhabitants of the earth? Would this not be another opportunity given for those that are remaining? Would not some people that remain turn to the Lord if they looked in the skies and caught a glimpse of an angel zipping around and preaching the gospel?
6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
So because of all of these supernatural opportunities, there will be others that will choose the Lord after the taking away of the Saints, in the evil days that will accompany the wrath of God upon the earth. And in the end, when Christ comes to finally rule and reign, there he’s going to see who’s left and whether or not they’ve got on their wedding attire. And as the Word predicts, many will be called, but few will be chosen. There will be some good and some bad called and brought together. Those who survived till the end who did not receive the mark of the beast and have turned to the Lord shall remain. Those who took the mark will be punished.
There is another parable in Matthew 25 that talks about this, and you can read about it here on this site called Matthew 25 – Sheep and Goats. That’s a study the Lord walked me through awhile ago and I think reading it you’ll understand the parallels that are going on.
I hope that this post has blessed you in some way, or maybe at the very least provoke you to open up your Bibles and see things for yourselves. The Lord is so good to us, and has given us so much inside his Word! The most exciting times spent within the covers of the Bible are those things that we are privileged to know which are truly spiritually discerned, by way of the Spirit of Truth, which we’ve got constant access to in Christ Jesus the Lord!
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- Matthew 25 – Sheep and Goats
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 14 P.173 – The End Game
- Preaching 101 – 2 Corinthians 4 Part 3
- Matthew 9:16-17 – Cloth and Wine Skins?
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 13 P.148 – Light of Darkness