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.

Known By Their Fruit

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Mat. 7:20 

This is a statement from Jesus Christ Himself. Mt. 7:15-23 There never was a statement made that is truer than this one. It plainly teaches that there are ways whereby all men can know who is right and who is wrong, who is for the truth and who is against it, who is a true Christian and who is not, and who is a true teacher and who is a false one. The ways whereby man can be discerned is “by their fruits” and not by their outward appearance and refinement, which can be so deceptive. A rotten apple may have an attractive coating of wax on the outside and it may be colored with the most beautiful paint, but a bite into it would be a bite into corruption. A most perfect and beautiful fruit tree outwardly will sometimes be so diseased inwardly that it produces the worst kind of fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth corrupt fruit, and a corrupt tree cannot produce good fruit. Every tree brings forth of its own kind whether it is good or bad. So it is with false teachers and those who follow them. Such people can be ever so good outwardly and they may be more refined and correct in life than many true Christians, but this does not prove that they are of God. We all have seen false teachers and rebels against God and the Bible who have been so nice, refined, polite, well-mannered, polished, high toned, and poised until one would think they were gifts from Heaven, but in reality, they were destitute of all truth and spiritual experience and bitter enemies of the Bible.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. Jer. 17:9-10 KJV

We have two facts about the natural heart:

It is deceitful above all things and it is desperately wicked. Then the important question: Who can know it? No one knows how they will react in certain circumstances.  But the Lord searches our hearts and tries the reins, for the purpose of distributing rewards according to the ways and doings of each man.

Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance Mat. 3:8 KJV

The nine-fold fruit of the Spirit is for character, not for power as the nine gifts of the Spirit are. Love is the crowning grace of all this fruit and is the impelling force of God in the true exercise of the gifts. A character may be complete with no gift, but it must have all the fruit of the Spirit in order to be Christ-like and normal.  Every element of the fruit of the Spirit should be in every life when one attains to all the fullness of God.  This fruit is expressed in 1 Cor. 13:4-8 as follows: Love suffer long [longsuffering], and is kind [kindness]; love envy not [goodness]; love vaunt not itself, is not puffed up [meekness]; doth not behave itself unseemly [temperance], seek not her own, is not easily provoked, think no evil [meekness]; rejoice not in iniquity, but rejoice in the truth [joy]; bear all things [gentleness], believe all things [faith], hope all things [trust], endure all things [patience and longsuffering]. Love never fail.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Gal. 5:22-23 KJV

The Nine-fold Fruit of the Spirit:

  1. LOVE.  Greek: agape (NT:26), divine love. A strong, ardent, tender, compassionate, devotion to the well-being of someone. Let’s have a look at the  Nine Ingredients of Divine Love:
  • Patience – love passive: no hurry; suffers long; bears, believes, hopes, and endures all things 13:4,7
  • Kindness – love in action: never acts rashly or insolently; not inconsistent, puffed up, or proud 13:4
  • Generosity – love in competition: not envious or jealous 13:4
  • Humility – love in hiding: no parade; no airs; works then retires 13:4
  • Courtesy – love in society: does not behave unseemly; always polite; at home with all classes; never rude or discourteous 13:5
  • Unselfishness – love in essence: never selfish, sour, or bitter; seeks only good of others; does not retaliate or seek revenge 13:5
  • Good temper – love in disposition: never irritated; never resentful 13:5
  • Righteousness – love in conduct: hates sin; never glad when others go wrong; always gladdened by goodness to others; always slow to expose; always eager to believe the best; always hopeful, always enduring 13:6-7
  • Sincerity – love in profession: never boastful and conceited; not a hypocrite; always honest; leaves no impression but what is strictly true; never self-assertive; does not blaze out in passionate anger, nor brood over wrongs; always just, joyful, and truthful; knows how to be silent; full of trust; always present
  1. JOY. Greek: chara (NT:5479), the emotional excitement, gladness, delight over blessings received or expected for self and for others.
  2. PEACE. Greek: eirene (NT:1515), the state of quietness, rest, repose, harmony, order, and security in the midst of turmoil, strife, and temptations.
  3. LONGSUFFERING. Greek: makrothumia (NT:3115), patient endurance; to bear long with the frailties, offenses, injuries, and provocations of others, without murmuring, repining, or resentment. 1 Cor. 13:4-7; 2 Cor. 6:4-6; Ephes. 4:1-2; Col. 1:11; 3:12-13; 1 Tim. 1:16; 2 Tim. 3:10; 4:2
  4. GENTLENESS. Greek: chrestotes (NT:5544), a disposition to be gentle, soft-spoken, kind, even-tempered, cultured, and refined in character and conduct. 2 Tim. 2:24-26; Titus 3:1-2; Jas 3:17
  5. GOODNESS. Greek: agathosune (NT:19), the state of being good, kind, virtuous, benevolent, generous, and God-like in life and conduct. Ps. 107:9; Ephes. 5:9; Matt. 5:44-48; Luke 6:27-32
  6. FAITH. Greek: pistis (NT:4102), the living, divinely implanted, acquired, and created principle of inward and wholehearted confidence, assurance, trust, and reliance in God and all that He says.

Faith is not only a natural ability or exercise of a created faculty of man, but it is a fruit of the Spirit and a gift from God. Gal. 5:22-23; 1 Cor. 12:4-11 When man uses his own powers of faith in God and His Word properly he makes contact with God in a supernatural way, and he becomes a partaker of the divine nature. 2 Pet. 1:3-4 He is then free to walk and live in the Spirit, and the fruit of the Spirit will naturally be evident in his life. Gal. 5:16-26 He should constantly add to his faith the virtues of God by yielding to God in daily life. 2 Pet. 1:4-10 This kind of faith becomes a natural fruit of the Spirit and of holy living. It is not an effort to have this faith. It grows in the life of one who is yielding to God and who loves God enough to draw near to God in daily conflict. It is a fruit, not a work. It is a gift, not something we earn by works Rom. 2:4-5; 12:3-11

  1. MEEKNESS. Greek: praotes (NT:4240), the disposition to be gentle, kind, indulgent, even balanced in tempers and passions, and patient in suffering injuries without feeling a spirit of revenge.
  2. TEMPERANCE. Greek: engkrateia (NT:1466), self-control; a moderation in the indulgence of the appetites and passions Prov. 23:1-3; 25:16; Dan. 1:8-16; Rom. 13:14; 1 Cor 9:25-27;  Php. 4:5; 1 Thes. 5:6-8; Titus 2:2-3,11-12; 2 Peter 1:5-10

I therefore choose to crucify my flesh with the affections and lusts; to live and walk in the Spirit.  Gal. 5:24-25 Jesus are the true vine, and our Father is the husbandman. Every branch in Him that bear not fruit, the Father take away: and every branch that bear fruit, He purge it, that it may bring forth more fruit. We are cleaned through the Word which Christ has given unto us, if we abide in Him, and He in us. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can we, except if we abide in Him.  Jn. 15:1-4

 

Feet Shod with Preparation

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace  Eph 6:15 KJV 

As we still contemplate the armor of God that we are commanded to put on to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might; we must have our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace – being prepared and in readiness to bring the gospel that gives peace with every step we take, as the example was given to us through Christ Jesus’ life in 1 Peter 2:21-22:

For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth 

We have been called to live our lives according to His example ascribed in the gospels and consistent with the instructions as given in the Epistles by the Apostles.

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also you are called in one body; and be you thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom Col 3:15-16a KJV

The Gospel or the law of Christ, Gal. 6:2 are the grace of Christ which was preached not after man or received of man, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. Gal. 1:11-12 It is that which justifies Gal. 2:16 gives the Spirit, works miracles, redeems from the curse of the law. It brings the promise of faith, as well as the establishment and generation thereof. Gal.3; Rom. 10:17; 16:25 It produces the new birth, Gal. 4:21-31; 1 Pet. 1:23 gives salvation, Rom. 1:16; Eph. 1:13 nourishes spiritual life, 1 Pet. 2:2 imparts grace Acts 20:24 and brings liberty which we must stand in, that sets us free. Gal, 5:1, 13; Jn. 8:31-36

Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ Rom. 5:1 which means we have a change in mind, a new tranquility in God.  Jesus did give us this assurance in John 14:27:

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world give, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 

We have been warned not to be troubled or afraid because fear will remove our strength, love and sound mind. 2 Tim. 1:7 I therefore choose to cast all my cares on my Heavenly Father and make my requests known to Him, always in thanksgiving. I will not tolerate anxiety or worry that will injure my soul and destroy my relationship with God and man.

Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Php. 4:6-7 KJV