Oct 15 – 19 Pentecost
The Parable of the Wedding Banquet
Background: Matthew tells the story of Jesus’ life with the most Jewish tone of the four Gospels. The text provides a clear insight into Jesus’ teaching and a moral guideline for the Christian community. This passage falls in what is postulated as the final of five sections in Matthew; the focus of this section is Jesus’ ministry in Jerusalem.
Theme: As part of Jesus final confrontation with his enemies and testimony to his disciples. This passage is a second parable that affirms the power and leadership passing from the religious leaders to people who will produce the fruit of repentance.
Questions to Ponder:
* Please read Matthew 22:1-14.
* Place this reading in context; where does it take place, who are the characters, what is the relationship between the characters, etc.?
* What do you think the theme of this parable is? How does this passage relate to previous passages in Matthew?
* How does this parable compare to the other version found in Luke 14:15-24? What are the similarities and differences?
* In your opinion, who are (1) the king, (2) the king’s son, (3) those invited to the banquet, (4) the slaves, (5) those who attend the banquet, and (6) those who are called but not chosen?
* Why might those initially invited by the king violent reject the king’s invitation (or the invitation from a friend)?
* In Jesus’ time, who are the expected guest (those invited initially) and the unlikely guests? Who are those same people today?
* Who might the one described in verses 11-13 be? Why might they arrive without a banquet robe? If the person is one who was called from the street, would it be reasonable for the king to expect them to have a robe?
* What might the function or symbolism of the banquet robe be?
* Why would the guest without a robe be violently cast out, like servants of the king were cast out by the initial invitees?
* How might those invited at the beginning of the parable be related to the one cast out at the end of the story?
* What do you think this passage says about the universality of the call made for believers?
* What does this passage NOT say about the characters portrayed? How does this passage address the preferred status of “insiders”? Does this passage address the issue of deeds and/or works needed for inclusion in the kingdom?
* What are some of the challenges for us in a post-Christian society?
* How does this passage relate to our work as missionaries and workers in God’s kingdom?