Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come.”
Middle Eastern hosts issued invitations in advance of their parties so would-be guests could clear their calendars and save the date. A second invitation, or summons, would come when the feast was ready (see verses 3-5). In Jesus’ parable, the shockingly rude guests accept the first invitation and forego the summons. The fact that this is a royal invitation makes the refusal to come a clear insult. God as the divine king has invited Israel to the Messianic feast, sending his Son, and the majority of invitees have refused to join the celebration—they do not want to come! The invitation is a call to joy—nothing is more joyous than a Jewish wedding—except a royal Jewish wedding in honor of God’s Messiah who came to fulfill all God’s promises to his covenant “bride.” Why do you think the majority of Jews missed the party? Was it a consequence of Jesus’ message or their own attitudes?
Gracious God, it is so tragic that many Jews missed their Messiah. Help us to be guests at your Kingdom party and let our lives show the joy of connection and communion with the king. May others see the celebration and be drawn towards life, and health, and peace. We ask through your Son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.