Our Invitation to the Wedding

Joshua West

Our lives are so crowded these days that it’s not uncommon for us to think things like “Oh, we didn’t get to go to Jim’s wedding. How unfortunate. We’ll send them a gift card.” In biblical times, being invited to a wedding meant a lot. If you were invited to the marriage feast of someone prominent, though, and missed it, that was intensely shameful. 

With that understanding, let’s look at a biblical story with new eyes. “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… 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.”’” (Matthew 22:1-3, 8-9, ESV).

These commoners were minimalizing the joy of the king for his son, and that was incredibly shameful. The language here is very similar to when Jesus invited people to follow him, and they gave excuses like “Oh, I have to bury my father” or “Let me straighten things out at my house first” (see Luke 9:59-61). Jesus’s answer is “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). 

Jesus’s response to these people may seem harsh if we don’t understand that this was an invitation to the wedding feast of God, and nothing could be more important than that royal invitation to God’s kingdom. 

Everyone is invited inside, but we’re not allowed in on our own terms. Most people, even in this day and age, would be appalled if someone wrote the bride and groom to ask them if they could move their wedding to a ‘more convenient’ location or date. Similarly, we don’t get to do that with God. He sets the place, the time, the invite list and the dress code. It is our honor to accept his invitation. Let’s not let any excuse stand in the way! 

Joshua West serves as the Pastor's Network Director at World Challenge helping equip and empower pastors all over the world. Joshua’s desire is to raise up ministers who will correctly and boldly preach the word with passion and integrity. The point of all his work and writings is to preach the gospel, glorify God and to teach sound doctrine.