Jesus’ Life and Ministry
Illustration of the Marriage Feast
BY MEANS of two illustrations, Jesus has exposed the scribes and the chief priests, and they want to kill him. But Jesus is far from through with them. He goes on to tell them yet another illustration, saying:
“The kingdom of the heavens has become like a man, a king, that made a marriage feast for his son. And he sent forth his slaves to call those invited to the marriage feast, but they were unwilling to come.”
Jehovah God is the King who prepares a marriage feast for his Son, Jesus Christ. Eventually, his bride of 144,000 anointed followers will be united with him in heaven. The King’s subjects are the people of Israel, who, on being brought into the Law covenant in 1513 B.C.E., received the opportunity of becoming “a kingdom of priests.” Thus, on that occasion, they were originally extended the invitation to the marriage feast.
However, the first call to those invited did not go out until the fall of 29 C.E., when Jesus and his disciples (the king’s slaves) began their work of Kingdom preaching. But the natural Israelites who received this call issued by the slaves from 29 C.E. to 33 C.E. were unwilling to come. So God gave the nation of invited ones another opportunity, as Jesus explains:
“Again he sent forth other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those invited: “Look! I have prepared my dinner, my bulls and fattened animals are slaughtered, and all things are ready. Come to the marriage feast.”’” This second and final call of those invited began at Pentecost 33 C.E., when holy spirit was poured out on Jesus’ followers. This call continued until 36 C.E.
The great majority of those Israelites, however, also spurned this call. “Unconcerned they went off,” Jesus explains, “one to his own field, another to his commercial business; but the rest, laying hold of his slaves, treated them insolently and killed them.” “But,” Jesus continues, “the king grew wrathful, and sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.” This occurred in 70 C.E., when Jerusalem was razed to the ground by the Romans, and those murderers were killed.
Jesus then explains what occurred in the meantime: “Then [the king] said to his slaves, ‘The marriage feast indeed is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Therefore go to the roads leading out of the city, and anyone you find invite to the marriage feast.’” The slaves did this, and “the room for the wedding ceremonies was filled with those reclining at the table.”
This work of gathering guests from the roads outside the city of the invited ones began in 36 C.E. The Roman army officer Cornelius and his family were the first of the uncircumcised non-Jews gathered. The ingathering of these non-Jews, all of whom are replacements for those who originally refused the call, has continued on down into this 20th century.
It is during the 20th century that the room for the wedding ceremonies becomes filled. Jesus relates what then occurs, saying: “When the king came in to inspect the guests he caught sight there of a man not clothed with a marriage garment. So he said to him, ‘Fellow, how did you get in here not having on a marriage garment?’ He was rendered speechless. Then the king said to his servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and throw him out into the darkness outside. There is where his weeping and the gnashing of his teeth will be.’”
The man without a marriage garment pictures imitation Christians of Christendom. These God has never recognized as having the proper identification as spiritual Israelites. God never did anoint them with holy spirit as Kingdom heirs. So they are thrown outside into darkness where they will suffer destruction.
Jesus concludes his illustration by saying: “For there are many invited, but few chosen.” Yes, there were many invited from the nation of Israel to become members of Christ’s bride, but only a few natural Israelites were chosen. Most of the 144,000 guests who receive the heavenly reward prove to be non-Israelites. Matthew 22:1-14; Exodus 19:1-6; Revelation 14:1-3.
◆ Who are those originally invited to the wedding feast, and when are they extended the invitation?
◆ When does the call first go out to those invited, and who are the slaves used to issue it?
◆ When is the second call extended, and who afterward are invited?
◆ Who are pictured by the man without a wedding garment?
◆ Who are the many called, and the few chosen?