Today’s Reading: Matthew 22:1-33
It was unlikely that any of the people Jesus was speaking to had ever actually been to a royal wedding feast, but they were all familiar with wedding feasts in general and had some idea of the importance and magnificence of one that a king would prepare for his own son. In that day and time, a wedding feast was the highlight of all social life. A wedding feast that a king prepared for his son would be the “mother of all feasts”. Jesus was picturing the most elaborate celebration possible. This was the ultimate party.
The truth that the parable is relating to us is that God is going to throw a huge party at the end of the age. It is going to be a party in honour of his Son and his bride — all those who love and belong to him. So the first thing we notice about this parable is that: God’s invitation is a summons to joy. God’s call is an invitation to a party! There will be feasting, dancing and great joy. There will be nothing lacking at this party. There will be friends and loved ones there, and best of all the King and his Son will be present.
For sure Jesus’ hearers were probably shocked at this story because those who were invited did not want to come. They must have thought – who wouldn’t go to a royal wedding?
In the parable, people found excuses. They had other things to do. Jesus’ audience could not imagine people failing to accept the invitation to a king’s banquet. The story bordered on the absurd because no one would turn down such an invitation. The parable points to the staggering sin of indifference. What Jesus was doing in this parable was attacking the appalling apathy that looks at God’s gracious invitation of life and joy, and merely sighs with indifference.
In which ways do people still reply in apathy to God’s invitations?