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These small group study notes on the parables of Jesus contain in depth analysis, spiritual truths, outlines, cross-references, discussion questions, and lessons to learn. Feel free to print them, copy them, or share them. I only ask that you remember these are are personal study notes and are only meant as a supplement to your own study, not a replacement. I hope they help you to gain a deeper understanding into Jesus' parables in the Bible and that this insight can change your life to be more like Christ's. Visit our inductive Bible study main page for more topical or book by book studies. See the bottom of the page for more inductive Bible studies on the parables of Jesus
The Parable of the Wedding Feast - Matthew 22:2-14 - Inductive Bible Study
2 " The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. 3 "And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come. 4 "Again he sent out other slaves saying, 'Tell those who have been invited, "Behold, I have preparedmy dinner; my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast."' 5 "But they paid no attention and went their way, one to his own farm, another to his business, 6 and the rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them. 7 "But the king was enraged, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and set their city on fire. 8 "Then he said to his slaves, 'The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9'Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.' 10 "Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered togetherall they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests.
11 "But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, 12 and he said to him, ' Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?' And the man was speechless. 13 "Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' 14 "For many are called, but few are chosen."
- What title do you give to this parable?
No Wedding Clothes?
Invited But Unworthy
The Wedding Feast of the Lamb
Called But Not Chosen
More Important Things?
God's Righteous Wrath
The Wedding Hall is Filled
- What other parables have similar characteristics or theme?
The unforgiving servant
The wicked vinedressers
The Wise and Foolish Virgins
The Absent Householder
The Great Supper
The Lost Coin
The Lost Sheep
The Lost Son
- Who was Jesus speaking to when He gave this parable?
45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them. 46 When they sought to seize Him, they feared the people, because they considered Him to be a prophet.
22:1 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying,
- What was the context for this parable?
Jesus' enemies confronted Him and challenged Him on various issues. As Jesus was teaching about the Kingdom of God, He put His opponents to shame.
- What are the main elements of the parable?
- Wedding Feast
- His Son
- Sent out
- Call those who had been invited
- Unwilling to come
- Other Slaves
- My Dinner
- My Oxen
- My Fattened Livestock
- Everything is Ready
- Paid no Attention
- Went their Way
- His own Farm
- His Business
- Seized His Slaves
- Mistreated Them
- Killed Them
- Sent His Armies
- Destroyed those Murderers
- Set their City on Fire
- Not Worthy
- Go Therefore
- Main Highways
- As Many as You Find There
- Gathered Together
- All They Found
- Both Good and Evil
- Wedding Hall
- Filled with Dinner Guests
- Saw a Man
- Not Dressed in Wedding Clothes
- How Did You Come in Here
- Bind Him Hand and Foot
- Throw Him
- Outer Darkness
- Gnashing of Teeth
- Many are Called
- Few are Chosen
- What does each of these elements represent?
- King – God
- Wedding Feast – The celebration in heaven following the marriage of the church with Christ
- His Son – Jesus
- Sent out – God takes the initiative to get His message out
- Slaves – John the Baptist and the apostles
- Call those who had been invited – Jews
- Unwilling to come – Rejection of the gospel
- Other Slaves – Paul and others taking the gospel to the Gentiles in Acts
- Prepared – God has prepared everything
- My Dinner – Same as the wedding feast
- My Oxen – Sacrifice
- My Fattened Livestock – Sacrifice
- Everything is Ready – God graciously supplies everything needed
- Come – Invitation reissued
- Paid no Attention – Disregarded the grace of God
- Went their Way – Rejected God's way and chose their own
- His own Farm – Worldly pursuits in the country
- His Business – Worldly pursuits in the city
- Seized His Slaves – Jewish mistreatment of gospel messengers
- Mistreated Them – Jewish mistreatment of gospel messengers
- Killed Them – Jewish mistreatment of gospel messengers
- Sent His Armies – The Roman army
- Destroyed those Murderers – Hell
- Set their City on Fire – Destruction of Jerusalem in 70A.D.
- Not Worthy – Unfit because of the rejection of Christ
- Go Therefore – The Great Commission
- Main Highways – The Gentiles
- As Many as You Find There – All the elect
- Gathered Together – The Church
- All They Found – God's sovereign election
- Both Good and Evil – God selects all sorts of people to redeem
- Wedding Hall – The banquet hall in heaven
- Filled with Dinner Guests – All the elect, none will be missing
- Saw a Man – A Professor, but not a true believer
- Not Dressed in Wedding Clothes – Dressed in his “own dead works”
- How Did You Come in Here – God examines and judges the heart
- Speechless – No defense before the Holy God
- Bind Him Hand and Foot – Eternal bondage and imprisonment
- Throw Him – Cast him into hell
- Outer Darkness – Darkness, God is not present
- Weeping – Great suffering and regret
- Gnashing of Teeth – Ongoing hatred and rebellion against the Lord
- Many are Called – The gospel invitation is extended to all
- Few are Chosen – True believers
- What spiritual principle(s) does this parable teach?
- Many reject God's gracious offer of salvation
- There will be a great celebration when we are united with Christ
- Heaven will be filled, not one of those chosen by God will be missing
- There is only one proper attire for the wedding feast
- Attendance at the feast is not dependent upon one's “goodness”
- Only those who are clothed with Christ's righteousness can attend 2Cor 5:21
- Only the Lord, not the other guests, perceived that the man was without the proper wedding attire
- People often put temporal things before the Lord
- Unbelievers will have no defense and be “speechless” before the Holy God
- God will pour out His wrath upon all those who reject His invitation
- The feast is not according to what the attendees deserve but according to the wealth and graciousness of God, who is the host
- The only ones who are excluded are those who exclude themselves
- The invitation is given more than once and given by both the Spirit and the bride
- Sinner's torment will be increased with the knowledge that they declined God's invitation
- There is no lack of temptations in either the city or the country
- It is easy for the things of the world to come between us and Christ
- It is sinners themselves and not God that gets the credit for their going to hell
- The gospel is freely available to all who will believe
- Cross references to this parable?
Rev 19:7 "Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready." 8 It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 Then he said to me, " Write, 'Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.'" And he said to me, " These are true words of God."
17 The Spirit and the bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.
40 and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.
18 "But they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, 'I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it; please consider me excused.' 19 "Another one said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.' 20 "Another one said, ' I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come.'
6 All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.
4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? 5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
37 " He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 "He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.
16 For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.
5 These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them: "Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; 6 but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
11 I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous.
9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved ; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, "WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED." 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED."
"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber.
16 "I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.
21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 " Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' 23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'
"Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, " Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb."
6 The LORD of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain;
A banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow,
And refined, aged wine.
- Questions or problems with the interpretation of this parable.
Why did they decline attending the marriage feast?
How could people treat the messengers of such a wonderful invitation so horribly?
In this parable, what enraged the King more than anything else?
What is the proper wedding feast attire?
What does setting the city on fire refer to?
Why were some considered unworthy?
What attitudes characterized the responses of people to the invitation?
Why did only the King recognize the man was not attired properly?
- Based on this parable, what changes in my life does Jesus want me to make?
Devote more time to prayer each day.
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