The Parable of the Wedding Feast (Part 1)

May 13, 2008

Taken From: The Spurgeon Archives: “The Parable of the Weeding Feast”-Charles H. Spurgeon

A Sermon
Delivered on Lord’s-day Morning, February 12th, 1871 by
At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington

“The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, and sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.”—Matthew 22:2-4

IF GOD GRANT ME STRENGTH I hope to go through this parable, but at this present we shall confine our thoughts to the opening scene of the royal festival. Before, however, we proceed further, it is most fitting that we give expression to our deep gratitude, that it has pleased the infinite mind to stoop to our narrow capacities, and instruct us by parable. How tenderly condescending is God to devise similitudes, that his children may learn the mysteries of the kingdom! If it be sometimes marvelled at among men that great minds are ever ready to stoop, what a far greater marvel that God himself should bow the heavens and come down to meet our ignorance and slowness of comprehension! When the learned professor has been instructing his class in the hall in recondite matters of deep philosophy, and then goes home and takes his child upon his knee, and tries to bring down great truth to the grasp of his child’s mind, then you see the great love of the man’s heart: and when the eternal God, before whom seraphim are but insects of an hour, condescends to instruct our childishness and make us wise unto salvation, we may well say, “herein is love.” Just as we give our children pictures that we may win the attention, and may by pleasing means fix truth upon their memories, so the Lord with loving inventiveness has become the author of many a charming metaphor, type, and allegory, by which he may gain our interest, and through his Holy Spirit enlighten our minds. If he who thunders till the mountains tremble, yet deigns to speak with us in a still small voice, let us gladly sit in Mary’s place at his gracious feet, and willingly learn of him. O that God would give to each one a teachable spirit, for this is the greatest step towards understanding the mind of God. He who is willing to learn, in a childlike spirit, is already in a considerable measure taught of God. May we all so study this instructive parable as to be quickened by it to all that is well-pleasing in the sight of God, for after all true learning in godliness may be judged of by its result; upon our lives. If we are holier we are wiser, practical obedience to the will of the Lord Jesus is the surest evidence of an understanding heart.

In order to understand the parable before us we must first direct our attention to the design of the “certain king” here spoken of. He had a grand object in view; he desired to do honor to his son upon the occasion of his marriage. We shall then notice the very generous method by which he proposed to accomplish his purpose; he made a dinner, and bade many: there were other modes of honoring his son, but the great king elected the mode which would best display his bounty. We shall then observe, with sad interest, the serious hindrance which arose to the carrying out of his generous design—those who were bidden would not come. There was nothing to hinder the magnificence of the festival in the riches of the prince—he lavished out his stores for the feast; but here was a hindrance strange and difficult to remove, they would not come. Then our thoughts will linger admiringly over the gracious rejoinder which the king made to the opposers of his design; he sent other servants to repeat the invitation, “Come ye to the marriage.” If we shall drink deep into the meaning of these three verses, we shall have more than enough for one meditation.


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