At the time Jesus formed this parable, people would be familiar with the custom for a great king, hosting the wedding of his son, to provide all the wedding guests with elaborate wedding garments so the whole affair would look spectacular. Not to accept and wearing these garments would be a great insult, provoking the king’s anger.
Jesus forms this, parable, using the symbolism of a king’s wedding for his son, to convey a real and serious lessons to people at that time, and to all of us today. This parable encapsulates a short history of salvation.
Looking at its components we are to understand that:
+ The great King is the Lord God, his Son is Jesus.
+ The wedding feast is that of the Lamb of God, with the saints assembling with him in heaven.
+ Those first invited to the wedding are the people of the O.T.
+ The servants sent out with the invitation are the prophets of the O.T. who were ignored, abused, and murdered.
+ The army sent to punish those who did this is the Roman army, who destroyed Israel.
+ The new servants with a new invitation are the evangelist of the gospel.
+ The newly invited, “both good or bad”, are the peoples of all the world – including us.
+ The wedding garment provided is the garment of mercy and salvation, covering all unworthiness.
+ Wearing it is a life of holiness – not wearing it a life of un-repentant sinfulness.
Through this parable Jesus teaches that there is only one true King, the Lord God,
> only one divine Son, Jesus,
> only one wedding feast, eternal life of heaven,
> only one invitation, the gospel,
> only one body of servants sent out to invite, the Church, united in the Holy Spirit.
This parable of Jesus is as fresh and relevant for us today as it was to those who first heard it. As it was then, so it is now, the invitation continues to go out and the invitation today is receiving the same mixed results.
Two questions remain:
? Have I accepted the invitation, embracing it unconditionally?
? Am I putting on the garment of a truly holy life?