Updated: Aug 22, 2022
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INTRODUCTION. The parable of the marriage of the king's son is similar to the parable of the great supper, yet there are differences. The two parables were spoken on different occasions. The great supper was told during a meal at the house of a Pharisee. The marriage of the king's son was told at the temple during Jesus' last week on earth. When Jesus related the story of the great supper, the Pharisees and lawyers were watching Jesus, hoping to entrap him. When Jesus spoke the parable of the marriage of the king's son, the Jews were actively plotting to kill him.
In the parable of the great supper, the "certain man" who represents God invited guests to his feast as a friend. The guests simply refused the invitation. In the marriage of the king's son, the host is a king. His feast is his son's marriage supper and, therefore, not to be disregarded. Some of the invited guests were merely indifferent to the invitation, but
others rejected it with violence. The king avenged this insult by sending his armies to
destroy the murderers and burn their city.
The servants of the king then went to the highways to find guests for the feast as did the
servants in the great supper. However, in this parable when the king arrived at the feast,
he discovered one of the guests was not dressed in suitable wedding garments. The man was bound and cast into outer darkness.
The meaning of this parable is also clear. The king represents God, the son represents
Christ, and the wedding supper represents the blessings of the gospel age, the kingdom.
The servants are the messengers who proclaim the gospel message and "all things are
ready"–the kingdom is ready to receive the faithful. Those who reject the invitation are the Jews. The armies of the king burning the city possibly refers to the Roman armies who destroyed and burned Jerusalem in A.D. 70, for God has often used heathen nations to execute his vengeance.
The servants then take the gospel message to the Gentiles. Both bad and good are called. The arrival of the king signifies the judgment, and the one without the wed- ding garment represents those who have not "put on Christ" (Gal. 3:27). The man is excluded from the kingdom and cast into outer darkness. "For many are called, but few are chosen" (Matt.