Header Graphic
Header Graphic
Meditate On This... > Trinity 20 -- Invitation to the King's Banquet

17 Oct 2021

Jesus said, 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. But they made light of it, and went their ways,
one to his farm, another to his merchandise: and the remnant took his servants, and
entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was
wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up
their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were
bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall
find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered
together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished
with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which
had not on a wedding-garment: and he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in
hither not having a wedding-garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to
the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer
darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few
are chosen.
Matthew, Mark and Luke all tell this parable, but each is subtly different. In Matthew’s
version it is the king who is giving the banquet for his son. Clearly, this is the Father’s
banquet, and the Son is Jesus Christ. The excuses made to avoid going to the banquet
reach a terrible conclusion when those invited actually kill the servants of the king! We
know that the Gospel was written in the time when Jerusalem was destroyed by the
Romans, and the Jewish people were dispersed throughout the empire. Clearly, the
Jews had been the first invited guests, and as Jesus had pointed out, they had been
guilty in the past of killing the Father’s servants—the prophets and holy men. God has
ever acted to preserve the faithful and separate them from those who have forgotten
their commitments to Him. It is important not to forget that all of history’s great political
and military forces are ultimately in God’s hands when He chooses. Even the
Babylonians who had destroyed Jerusalem long before in Old Testament times had
done so because God had deemed it necessary to destroy Judah for its sinful ways.
Now, in the time of the Gospels, the Romans had likewise been an instrument in God’s
hands and destroyed the Jewish nation and Temple. Jesus, reflecting on the Jews’
general failure to recognize him as the Messiah and Son of God, found a whole new
family of believers in the Gentiles. Even the Centurion who had duty at the Crucifixion
had become a banquet guest! Of course, the new banquet invitees were both bad and
good, but each had an opportunity to recognize this new, joyous commitment to God’s
But Matthew’s version of the parable doesn’t end there. There was one guest who did
not choose to wear the wedding garment provided by the host. This white robe reminds
us of the promises made at our baptism. “Dost thou renounce the devil and all his
works, the vain pomp and glory of the world, with all covetous desires of the same, and
the sinful desires of the flesh, so that thou wilt not follow, nor be led by them? Dost thou
believe in Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God? Dost thou accept him, and
desire to follow him as thy Saviour and Lord?” Evidently, this guest had not responded
yes to all these questions or had not been living up to what the yes’es really meant.
Have we?
We in the Anglican Church Worldwide have received with joy our guest invitations to the
King’s feast. This invitation means salvation for us! The king has used the powers in
the past to direct the faithful toward the right path to the feast; we can be sure he will
give justice today and tomorrow so that all his faithful servants found in the highways
will come with joy to the banquet and hold in their hearts sincere thankfulness and
commitment to His Son. Let us all carefully judge how we are living our lives and
measuring up to our baptism commitments so that we may be properly dressed for the

Bishop Edwin Tompkins


Reaching Out to the World and..... Beyond
Under the Protection of the Cross

Disclaimer: This is the original and authorized version of the Anglican Church Worldwide website.

We assume no responsibility for the contents and/or publication of any site created after our initial publication date.