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Lenten Devo Day 42

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Wedding Banquet

Dr. Bob Hornback

Matthew 22:1-14

This is not really a parable, but an allegory. A parable has a single meaning. The allegory has a number of significant identifiable parts with multiple meanings. In this story the king is clearly God; the wedding feast for the son represents the messianic banquet (See Revelation 19:7-9). Those sent to invite the guests are God’s prophets, including Christian missionaries. The reference to the mistreatment of the king’s servants recalls the tradition concerning Israel’s violent treatment of God’s prophets.

We need to remember that Matthew was writing this somewhere between 80 and 90 C.E., half a century after Jesus’ death and resurrection, but just a few years after the destruction of Jerusalem. On September 8, 70 C.E. during the Roman imperial reign of Vespasian, General Titus (son of Vespasian and soon to be next emperor) made his final attack against the temple of Jerusalem ending a long chain of Jewish/Roman conflicts. In that bloody conflagration, everything changed with total Jewish defeat.

Christians regarded this event as God’s punishment upon Israel for its rejection of Jesus and the Gospel. The invitation offered to others, “both bad and good” signifies the Gentile mission of the Church.

The story is easy to follow until you get to the one poor guy who was thrown out of the banquet because he was not dressed correctly. That at first doesn’t seem right. But remember, this is an allegory, not a regular story. The feast is not the Church, but the age to come. The required garment is righteousness. This man accepted the invitation of the Gospel knowing it was an invitation from the King but refused to conform his life to the Gospel.

Prayer: Lord, I accept the invitation. Please clothe me in righteousness. Amen.


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