Another strange parable in a series of strange parables. The parable that Jesus tells about a king throwing a huge wedding feast takes on a strange form in the Gospel of Matthew – especially when it has the additions that are unique in this gospel – namely the king taking the time out in the middle of the wedding feast (with all of this abundant food already sitting there on the tables) to go off and wage war against those who failed to come to the banquet – and then the four verse addition that is not found in Luke’s version of this parable (but is found in the Gospel of Thomas) about the king throwing out a wedding guest who had come in off the street because he was not wearing a wedding gown. Both elements are quite bizarre and many have struggled to make sense of them over the years. As in the previous two parables in this three-parable set directed very pointedly against the religious leaders of Israel after Jesus has made his triumphant entry into Jerusalem only a few days before he is arrested and tried by these same leaders – it seems that Jesus needs to speak very loudly and directly to these leaders because they are just not getting it. They don’t understand how tense the political situation has become and how much is at risk if they continue to lead Israel down the same path of violence and rebellion. God in Jesus continues to call his people back inside the wedding celebration. He longs for us to celebrate with him and especially to be ready to party with him in the banquet at the conclusion of all things.
Recorded at St Paul’s, 8am (12 min)
Sunday 28, Year A. Matthew 22:1-14
The homily from Dawid and Ha Wojcik’s wedding is also available here.