Grace and judgement at the wedding banquet in Matthew 22 video discussion

The lectionary gospel for Trinity 19 in Year A is Matthew 22.1–14, the parable of the wedding banquet. This is the third of three parables about judgement in this section of the gospel, and these wider chapters all focus on judgement (we will be hearing more about this before we reach Advent), so you might be wearying of it. But this is the most startling and striking of parables, and the reader can hardly fail to be struck by the drama of both the imagery and its theology.

Come and join Ian and James as they explore the issues in this text and its implications.

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12 thoughts on “Grace and judgement at the wedding banquet in Matthew 22 video discussion”

  1. My mother (born 1913 and in etiquette a couple of decades behind the times) said that as a matter of etiquette you should always accept a wedding even if you cannot come (to show honour and approval of the match) and then send a telegram when you cannot come. A refusal was therefore disrespectful. But also it indicates a two stage process: the overt acceptance which might be sincere honour or insincere honour towards the host followed by either a good alibi or a disrespectful alibi in the telegram

      • In my experience in a Muslim context, saying “no” to any request always dishonoured the asker, because it is just sounds so blunt and final. It doesn’t sit well for Christians to play the game of telling an untruth to avoid dishonouring the other person, but that seems to me to be how it works. The other day here in the UK I offended an Iranian friend when I accidentally called him, and then when he answered, I told him I hadn’t meant to call him–very honest of me, but he was hurt. I should have had the presence of mind to ask how he was doing before making an excuse to hang up. I’m kicking myself now.

  2. I see a parallel with the workers in the vineyard. The grapes are ripe, the wine skins are fresh, the transport to markets is ready and the requisite number of workers to bring in the harvest is has been deployed. However, the work proceeds slowly and more hands are drafted in to make sure the schedule is kept . Each parable sheds light on the others.
    Thanks both.

  3. Well the feast was ready and needed eating . The harvest was ready and needed processing. Both situations spark an urgent change of plan by the owners.
    The workers weren’t forced to work harder/faster, instead, more were drafted in. … the guests weren’t forced to attend, others were invited.
    I’m intrigued by God’s practicality and ingenuity; nothing thwarts His plan.
    But. The fact some don’t scrub up well leaves me biting my lip.

  4. Re the harsh judgement in this parable, Jesus appears to be building on from the judgement of his hearers in Chapter 21v41. Francis Shaeffer used to teach that we will be judged by our own judgement (ref Romans 2.1). The people had said that this action would be justified and proportionate and now the judgement is read back to them in this parable. I wonder if there was a big debate following the parable….. ‘we didn’t mean that….’

  5. Ah, that song “I cannot come …” The trouble is that when you have once misheard, misread or even mis-sung the second line of the refrain as “I have bought me a wife …” (with further errors to compound the fault!) it becomes impossible to sing the whole thing with a straight face. Or maybe I just moved in less holy circles in my teenage years …

  6. And on a more serious note, perhaps when the wedding garment is taken into account alongside the invitation, this is another parable which shows that (1) grace offers everything and (2) grace demands everything – the paradox Calvin set out in what was quoted.


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