The Parable of the Great Supper

THE PARABLE OF THE GREAT SUPPER I. This parable is recorded in MAT 22:1-14 and LUK 14:15-24. II. This is a parable of the kingdom of heaven/God. It treats of circumstances that would pertain to the government of Christ upon the heavenly throne of David, as Head over all things to the church. EPH 1:22. A. It treats of the rejection of Christ and His gospel by the Jews and their subsequent judgment and loss of God's kingdom. B. It treats of the incorporation of the unlikely elements of society and the Gentiles into the church in the Jews' place. C. It stands as a general warning to all men of the need to obey the gospel promptly. D. It has an immediate view to the gospel church, its government and ordinances, most particularly the Lord's Supper. E. It anticipates the final judgment and the marriage supper of the Lamb at the end of time. III. God is the King Who reigns over all (1CH 29:12). Jesus Christ is the Son for Whom the marriage and supper are prepared. The wedding of Christ to His church is the great event to which men are called. REV 19:9. IV. Preparations had been made for a great event; everything was in place and the invitations sent out. LUK 14:15-17. A. At the time of Christ's first advent, prophecy was in abundant fruition. The long anticipated kingdom of God was on the scene. MAT 3:1-2; MAR 1:14-15. B. National Israel was the firstfruits unto God. JER 2:3; ROM 11:16. 1. Christ came as a minister firstly for the sake of the circumcision. ROM 15:8; MAT 10:5-7. 2. The gospel went first of all to the Jews. ACT 1:8; 3:26; ROM 1:16. 3. At that time, the Gentiles were aliens to God's kingdom blessings. EPH 2:12. C. The servants who urged men to the supper are the prophets and apostles. JER 35:15; MAT 23:34; EPH 2:20. V. The servants met with little success amongst their first invitees. MAT 22:3. A. There were two major elements which proved too important for the invitees: personal business and family. These two affections are what keep most people from the kingdom of God and the Supper of His Son. LUK 14:18-20; 8:14. B. The Jews notably had a problem with an inordinate affection for money. They viewed gain as godliness and it proved to be a blinding snare, as their own prophets had said. 1PE 1:18; HOS 12:7; AMO 8:4-6; ROM 11:8-9. C. Under the law, limited provision was made for excuse from duty for reasons of business or marriage. DEU 20:5-7; 24:5. 1. Though excused from those duties, they were still obliged to come to the appointed feasts. EXO 34:23. 2. Those excuses would not suffice for absence from duties in the gospel kingdom. The gospel dispensation places people under weightier responsibility than the law. HEB 2:1-3. 3. The Lord's Supper in the gospel church anticipates the marriage supper of the Lamb in glory. If we have no desire for communion with Christ and His saints in this life, why should we entertain hope that we have a place in the communion of that greater feast? 4. Those who refuse to come at the appointed calls to service of God's kingdom are in poor company and should therefore fear. NUM 14:26-32 c/w 1CO 10:5-6, 11. VI. The servants met with ill treatment in the performance of their duties, which enraged the king. MAT 22:6-7. A. The Jews had historically abused the prophets of God and had continued this policy with Christ, the apostles and the church. For this, they filled up the cup of wrath. MAT 23:32; 1TH 2:15-16. B. Because of this, God stripped Israel of their kingdom privileges and sent it elsewhere. MAT 21:43. C. The first-bidden “were not worthy.” So, the king invited others to the great supper. MAT 22:8-9. 1. This embraced members of Jewish society who were not looked upon as possible heirs of God's kingdom by their own elite (like these Pharisees whom Christ was here addressing). LUK 14:21; MAT 21:31. 2. This included the called among the Gentiles, which the Jewish prophets had foreseen. ACT 13:46-47; 15:14-17; ROM 9:22-26. 3. The casting-off of natural Israel was the opening of the door to the Gentiles. ROM 11:11. 4. The master/king made a solemn oath which echoed a previous censure under similar circumstances. LUK 14:24 c/w HEB 3:11. D. The servants were instructed to “...COMPEL them to come in...” (LUK 14:23). 1. This is not done by the power of sword, but by persuasion. 2CO 10:4. 2. God's servants must persuade men with fear and love. 2CO 5:11-14, 20; JUDE 1:22-23. E. The servants gathered together many, “both bad and good” (MAT 22:10). The gospel net encloses both in the church and it shall be like this till the end of the world. MAT 13:47-50. VII. At the King's Son's wedding/supper, examination was made and one was found who did not belong there, so he was cast out. MAT 22:11-13. A. This accords with the keeping of communion, the Lord's Supper, which is attended by examination and discipline. 1CO 5:11-13. B. This also looks to the marriage supper of the Lamb and the final judgment. Only those with the proper attire of Christ's righteousness have a right to that supper. REV 19:7-9; ROM 5:19 c/w 2CO 5:21; PHIL 3:9. 1. Only those who “put on Christ” in practice by obeying the gospel have assurance that they have a right to the holy city. ROM 13:14; GAL 3:27; REV 22:14. 2. “For many are called, but few are chosen” (MAT 22:14). The gospel call is to many and is indiscriminate, but election is limited by God. MAR 13:20; ROM 11:5-6; 2TI 2:19. 3. Hope of inclusion comes by submitted faith and good works. 2PE 1:5-11.
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