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In Reply to the Questions as to His Authority, Jesus Gives the Third Great Group of Parables.
(in the Court of the Temple. Tuesday, April 4, a.d. 30.)
Parable of the Marriage of the King's Son.
A Matt. XXII. 1–14.
a 1 And Jesus answered and spake again in parables unto them, saying, 2 The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a certain king, who made a marriage feast for his son, 3 and sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the marriage feast: and they would not come. 4 Again he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them that are bidden, Behold, I have made ready my dinner; my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come to the marriage feast. 5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his merchandise; 6 and the rest laid hold on his servants, and treated them shamefully, and killed them. 7 But the king was wroth; and he sent his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. 8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they that were bidden were not worthy. 9 Go ye therefore unto the partings of the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage feast. 10 And those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was filled with guests. [This parable is very 596much like the one given in Luke xiv. 16–24—see pp. 495–497.99 * NOTE.—I regard this parable as a remodeling of the parable given by Luke, the changes being made to suit the changed relation between Jesus and his auditors. In the parable in Luke, God is represented as one who invites us as a friend, and whose invitation is simply disregarded. Since the speaking of that parable, the situation had become more tense and the relations more strained, and hence the parable takes on a more severe form. The host is not to be disregarded, for he is a king, and the supper is not to be despised, for it is a marriage supper. The invitation, therefore, savors of commandment, and while some still continue to treat it with indifference, others feel the constraint of the invitation and reject it in a spirit of rebellion which manifests itself in violence toward the king's servants. The king, in turn, is moved by this to retaliate, and visits upon the offenders an overwhelming judgment.—P. Y. P.] 11 But when the king came in to behold the guests, he saw there a man [this one man is a type of many—see verse 14] who 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. [We are of the opinion that the king furnished upper garments to his guests. But the antiquity of this custom is disputed. See Meyer, Lange and Trench, etc. in loco. However, the fact is immaterial, for the man was speechless—without excuse—which shows that he could have had a garment from some source had he chosen to wear it.] 13 Then the king said to the servants, Bind him hand and foot [the phrase suggests the impossibility of escaping from divine judgment], and cast him out into the outer darkness [the outdoor darkness: wedding feasts were usually held at night]; there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth. 14 For many are called, but few chosen. [Many guests are invited, but few are accepted; because some neglect and despise the invitation, and others cast dishonor upon the one who invites, by the self-willed and irreverent way in which they accept his invitation. In this parable the first parties invited represent the Jews; the city of murderers is Jerusalem; the persons called from the highways are the Gentiles; the entrance of the king is the coming of the Lord to final judgment; and 597the man without the wedding-garment is anyone who will be found in the church without a suitable character. The character of Christ is our wedding-garment, and all the regenerated must wear it—Eph. iv. 24; Col. iii. 10; Gal. iii. 27; John iii. 5; Rev. xix. 8, 9.]
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