The Parable of the Marriage Feast

And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. 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. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. 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. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 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. For many are called, but few are chosen. Mat 22:1-14 KJV

This parable is not to be confused with the parable of the great supper in Luke 14:16-24. Neither of these stories is an illustration of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb of Revelation 19:1-10. These passages are illustrations of the kingdom of Heaven in this age. The certain king making a marriage (marriage feast) for his son illustrates God, who has made possible the blessings of the kingdom and the Gospel to all. Jn. 3:16; Rom. 8:32; 1 Cor. 2:9  The Jews were the first ones invited, but they would not come. Mt. 10:5-7; 15:21-28; Jn. 1:11-13 The occasion for this parable was the rejection of Christ by the Jews. Mt. 21:42-46  The servants sent out were Christ, the apostles, the seventy, and the early ministers of the Church. All went first to Israel, but met with no response, as far as the nation was concerned. They were persecuted and killed until the city was destroyed and Israel was scattered. Mt. 24:2; Lk. 21:20-24; Acts 2:22-24; 7:54-60; 8:1-8; 13:44-49; Rom. 11

All things are ready” 22:4 illustrates the time for the Jews to accept their Messiah and the time for the fulfillment of the promise made to their fathers concerning the kingdom.  “But they made light of it” 22:5; Acts 13:45-49; 18:6; Mt. 23:37-39 The rejection of Jesus by Israel freed God from all responsibility to them in fulfilling His covenants with them, so His program became a worldwide one for all men. Jn. 3:16; Rom. 1:16; 2Cor. 12:13

At the rejection of the Jews by God, because they would not accept the invitation to partake of the blessings, God began to invite all kinds of people, as in the parables in Matthew 13.  The man without the wedding garment illustrates the ones in the kingdom of Heaven in this age, or during their lifetime, who fail to prepare for eternity, or for their place in the literal kingdom of Heaven, when it is set up at the return of Christ. Mt. 18:1-4; Jn. 3:3-8; Rev. 19:7-8 This life is the only time men have to put on that righteousness of the saints in order to get into the real, literal kingdom.  This negligent man was commanded to be put in the same furnace of fire in which the tares, bad fish, and all the wicked were commanded to be put at the end of this age. Mt. 13:37-43, 49-50; 24:51; 25:31-46; Rev. 20:11-15

The central truth which the story illustrates is stated in verse 14.  It is the same truth the parable of the laborers in the vineyard illustrates. “For many are called, but few are chosen,” or “whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted”. Lk. 14:11; 18:14  The difference in the two parables is that the one story illustrates the importance of humility in service, while this one illustrates the importance of preparation in this life to be chosen of God and accepted when we shall see Him. All are called to salvation, Mt. 11:28; Jn. 3:16; Rev. 22:17 but few will finally be saved. Mt. 7:13-14; Lk. 13:23-30

Jesus was teaching these Jews who desired His life and who rejected Him as their Messiah that they were not worthy of the blessings that He had in store for them, that the Gentiles and individual Jews who accepted the invitation would be blessed with the things that the Jewish nation rejected, and that there must be a preparation made before they would be admitted into the presence of God. The necessary preparation was to put on the wedding garment or change their raiment. It was the custom in the East for royal guests to put on garments provided, else they would be excluded from the feasts. A rejection of the garment provided was taken as an insult and a total disregard for the one who provided the garment. It was an avowal that the guest denied the authority and despised the power of the one providing the raiment. This was exactly true of the Jews who refused the teaching of Christ, which was able to make them wise unto salvation.

I will answer the call by choosing God’s salvation through Jesus Christ; I will not deny the authority or despise the power that is provided, so that I can be prepared and be admitted into the presence of God.

The Parable of the Net

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:  Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. Mat. 13:47-48 KJV

The net illustrates the kingdom of Heaven or realm of profession gathering both good and bad from the sea of humanity. The good and bad remain in the net until the end of the age, when they are separated. This parable shows that not all in the kingdom of Heaven will be converted, much less the whole world, as taught by many.

So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Mat. 13:49-50 KJV

The separation of the evil ones from the good ones takes place at the end of the age, as in the parable of the tares and the wheat. Mt. 13:30, 40, 43, 49-50 The destiny of both classes in both parables is the same.

The parable of the tares and wheat teaches a mixture of good and bad, as well as the purpose and origin of the bad, while this parable teaches that this mixture will continue until the end and that the enemy who caused the bad would be defeated and that the bad will be cast away. The main truth illustrated by this parable is the universal aspect of the sphere of profession. Wherever the net is cast it gathers both classes of people regardless of who they are or what they may be in life and conduct.

The Parable of Weeds

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. Mat. 13:24-26 KJV

The sower illustrates the Son of Man (Jesus) Mt. 13:37 and the “good seed” illustrates the true children of the kingdom of Heaven. The field illustrates the world of men and the tares illustrate the professed children of the kingdom who are, in reality, the sons of the devil, who sowed them among the wheat. Mt. 13:25, 38-39 The wheat being in the ground first shows God’s plan concerning the kingdom, that only good shall be in it and that every one who professes to be a child of God should really be one. An enemy – the devil Mt. 13:25,28,39; Lk. 10:19; Acts 13:10 – sowed tares among the wheat, causing a mixture of good and bad in the same field. Thus, the kingdom of Heaven now takes on a new aspect and should rightly be understood as “the sphere of profession, “Christendom,” or “the kingdom of Heaven in mystery.”

It was common in the East for enemies to sow tares and other poisonous seeds in the fields of those they wished to hurt. In India various weeds are sown that take years to get rid of.  The word “tares” – the Greek, zizania, occurs only in Matthew 13:25, 36 is not the same as the darnel of the naturalists, but zewan, as known in Palestine today. While growing it looks like wheat, but when full grown the ears are long and the grain is black. Each grain of the zewan must be removed before grinding the wheat, or the bread is bitter and poisonous. Tares show their true color as they ripen. Verse 26 shows that the tares could not be detected until the fruit began to appear. Mt. 7:15-20

He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. Mat. 13:27-30 KJV

The tares and the wheat both grow side by side in the same field, which is the will of the householder, until the harvest. Mt. 13:37-40 Both saved and unsaved who profess to be children of the kingdom will mingle together in this world until the end of the age. The harvest illustrates the separation of the wicked among the just at the end of this age when the Messiah comes to reign. Mt. 13:39-43; 25:31-46; 1 Thess. 5:1-11; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; Jude 14; Zech. 14:1-21   The reapers illustrate angels who will separate the wicked from the good when Christ comes. Mt. 13:39-43; 24:31, 51; 25:31-46; 2 Thess. 1:7-10

As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;  And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. Mat. 13:40-43 KJV

The expression of “the end of the world” means “the end of the age.” At this time the kingdom of Heaven ceases to be the sphere of profession and becomes the literal kingdom of Heaven, or the reign of the Messiah over all the kingdoms of this world. Rev. 11:15; Dan. 7:13-14, 18

When the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, refers to the time when the judgment of the nations Mt. 25:31-46; Dan. 7:9 will be executed. The tares will be burned in the same sense the branches of Christ will be if they do not abide in Him. Mt. 8:12; 13:40-43,49-50; 24:31; 25:41,46; Jn. 15:6

The furnace of fire where there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth is another description of eternal hell, not the grave. Mt. 13:42,50; Rev. 9:2 Wailing, Mt. 13:50 weeping Mt. 8:12; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30; Lk. 13:28 and the gnashing of teeth, picture bitter remorse and pain. The righteous will take over the kingdoms of this world forever Rev. 1:5-7; 5:10; 11:15; 20:4-6; 22:4-5; Mt. 25:31-46; Zech. 14 and they will be luminous like the sun Mt. 19:28; 25:31-46; Rev. 5:10; 20:1-10 and inherit all things. Mt. 5:5; 25:35; Lk. 12:32; Rom. 8:17; Dan. 7:18,22,27; Rev. 21:7

I choose to hear what the Word of God says and will live in obedience so that I can shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of my Heavenly Father! Amen