Matt. 22:1-10, “And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, “The Kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come…while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.”
- The Lord had just been very specific about His Father’s vineyard, and how in Matt. 21:43 it was also said to be the “Kingdom of God,” and how it was going to be taken away from Old Covenant (OC) Israel and given to a nation, or peoples, who would bear fruit. This parable was clear enough that even the Pharisees and Chief Priests understood that Jesus was referring to them (v. 45)
- Now, He is even more direct in speaking of their coming judgment in Chapter 22. Verse 1 emphasized the audience context for us again – “spoke to them again.”
- Look at the familiar terminology the Holy Spirit is speaking about a marriage. Here we are seeing the NC marriage that is for God’s Son. Remember the whole ministry of Jesus and the disciples up to this point had been to go and preach to only Israel, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” (Matt. 10:5-7; 15:24; etc.) They were invited, but they were not willing to come (receive Him as their Messiah).
- Jesus is then prophesying to them about what they were about to do, in vs. 6, “while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them.”
- Verse 7 spells out prophecy, and the fulfillment of it, about as clear as it can be done. God said He will send His armies and destroy those murderers, and burn up their city. (Remember, all through the OT when God said He would come to enact vengeance, or send His army, every instance it was a foreign nation He sent to carry out His vengeance and punishment, but it was always referred to as “the Lord doing it, or coming.”).
- Virtually every scholar is in complete agreement here that this passage was a prediction of the near coming fulfillment of the massive slaughter of Israel, and the complete destroying and burning of their city and temple by the Romans in AD 70.
- Look how Jesus is wanting us to have no mistake of the timing of this event, and the scope of all that it covers: vs. 8-9, “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.”
- The judging and destroying of the OC people who rejected the wedding invitation would be within the same time as the Kingdom was given to another people, the gospel was to go forth to invite all good or bad (Jew or Gentile), and the wedding of the Son was ready & about to take place. (A lot of food for thought here alone).
- Recall these passages: Deut. 32:20; 26; 43, “And he said, ‘I will hide my face from them; I will see what their end will be, for they are a perverse generation, children in whom is no faith.” “I would have said, ‘I will dash them in pieces; I will make the memory of them cease from among men,’” “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people; For He will avenge the blood of His servants, and render vengeance to His adversaries; He will provide atonement for His land and His people.” (NKJV)
- In eschatology Study Series 5 we saw how in Hosea, after God had said that Israel was a harlot, and He was no longer going to be her husband, and they were going experience the promised OC judgments, however, then notice how He also speaks of the future coming of a NC re-marriage which would include the faithful believing remnant of the 10 northern tribes which had been scattered in the Diaspora, and says in summary of Hos. 2:18-20, 23, “In that day I will make a covenant for them…”…“I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in loving kindness and mercy; I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, and you shall know the Lord.”…“And I will have mercy on her who had no mercy; then I will say to those who were not my people, ‘you are My people!’ And they shall say, ‘You are my God!’”
- Recalling as well from eschatology Study Series 5 how Peter in 1 Pet. 1:1 is writing to this same Diaspora, but he was now writing long after their promised destruction in Hosea had happened by the Assyrian armies in 722 BC. It was then, in approx. AD 64, Peter is writing to these same scattered OC Hebrews Christians reminding them and quoting directly from Hos. 1:9-10, 23, and he writes to them in 1 Pet. 2:9-11 how this re-gathering and re-marriage was being fulfilled right there and then in the 1st century, and in v. 5 he tells them that this was about the building up of a “spiritual house,” of which they were living stones (and how they were being (present tense of that 1st century) fitted into a spiritual temple, which was growing: Eph. 2:19-22; and how now only those who “believe in faith” in Christ would represent “true spiritual Israel:” See Gal. 3:7, 28-29, 6:15-16; and how this would fulfill the mystery that had perplexed OC Hebrews of how God could take both Jew/Gentile and make “one body” of believers in Christ: Eph. 2:15, 3:3-6).
[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 16 Lesson 7 Rev. Chapters 19 and 20 (sub study on The Wedding)”]