Matthew 22:1–14: Many Called; Few Chosen

by Jul 8, 2024Premium, The Gospel of Matthew

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In the previous parable of the tenants, Jesus described a relationship between the landowner and the tenants that seemed antagonistic. To be sure, the landowner had done nothing wrong by seeking his share of the fruit as the landowner and as the one who invested in the property to prepare it for productive use, so that the fault of the antagonism was entirely on the side of the tenants. Nevertheless, the landowner sent his servants to take something from those tenants. In this next parable, a king takes the role of the landowner from the previous parable, but this king does not seek to take anything, but only to give something lavish: a great wedding feast. In this parable, the wickedness of unbelief is exposed as opposition for the sake of opposition, based on nothing more than the most spiteful kind of pride. Nevertheless, we see here the lavish generosity of God displayed as his invitation remains for us until this day: Come to the wedding feast!

Discussion Questions

1. To whom does Jesus direct this parable (Matt. 21:23, 45)? What is the nature of the invitations that these servants in the parable extend (v. 3)? What kind of feast is offered (v. 4)? How should we understand those who turn away from the invitation indifferently (v. 5)? How should we understand the violent opposition of others against these invitations (v. 6)? Was the king justified in his response (v. 7)? Why or why not?

2. What does the king do once the first group of invitees refuse his invitation (v. 8–9)? What does the king mean when he says that that first group was “unworthy” (v. 8)? How does v. 9 anticipate the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18–20)? What does it mean that the servants brought into the feast “both bad and good people” (v. 10a)? Why does the king want his wedding hall to be “filled with guests” (v. 10b)? What does this tell us about God?

3. What do you think that the wedding garment symbolizes (v. 11)? Why was the king surprised to find a man without a wedding garment? What do you think that the speechlessness of the man suggests (v. 12)? Was the king justified in his response (v. 13)? Why or why not? What does Jesus mean by v. 14? What kind of calling is in view here? What does God want and expect from his people?

4. Have you lost sight of the lavish goodness of God toward you in the gospel? What tempts you to look at God with an eye that sees only demands, and not grace? How does this parable reframe the extraordinary nature of God’s mercy toward guilty, undeserving sinners? How does this parable prick your heart away from complacency toward the gospel? How does this parable help to evaluate the condition of your soul in the light of eternity?