The Parable of the Wedding Banquet: Will You Attend?August 11, 2022
Jesus’ parable of the wedding banquet teaches us about who can enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus used many parables, which are symbolic examples rooted in earthly experiences, to teach us about the spiritual world. Using the example of a wedding banquet on earth, Jesus taught us about the heavenly wedding banquet. Those who attend the heavenly wedding banquet receive eternal life from God, so how can we attend?
What is Jesus’ parable of the wedding banquet about?
Jesus’ parable of the wedding banquet is related to our entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Matthew 22:1-2 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like… a wedding banquet…”
If we want to enter Heaven and receive eternal life from God, we need to have a clear understanding about the meaning of the parable of the wedding banquet told by Jesus.
Why did Jesus choose a wedding banquet, among many other banquets, to explain about how we can enter Heaven? It is because the key elements of a wedding banquet are also present in God’s work to save us and lead us to Heaven. There cannot be a wedding banquet without a groom, bride, and their invited guests. So too in God’s work to save us, that is God’s redemption work, these key elements are present.
The groom in the heavenly wedding banquet
In Jesus’ parable of the wedding banquet, the groom is Jesus Himself.
Matthew 22:1-2 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.”
The son mentioned in this verse is the groom in the wedding banquet. Since Jesus is referred to as the ‘Son of God’ in the Bible, we can understand that the groom must be Jesus Himself. According to the trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are one-in-the-same God: these are all terms used to refer to our Heavenly Father. Thus, the groom in God’s redemption work is our Heavenly Father; He is needed for us to be able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
The bride in the heavenly wedding banquet
When Jesus came to earth and told the parable of the wedding banquet around 2000 years ago, He did not mention the bride. Can we therefore assume that this wedding banquet does not have a bride? If there were no bride Jesus could have used the example of a different banquet to teach us about God’s redemption work, such as a birthday banquet. However, since Jesus specifically explained how we can enter Heaven using the parable of a wedding banquet, there must be a bride in God’s redemption work.
In a traditional wedding the groom arrives first and waits at the altar for the bride, who comes later. It is the same in God’s redemption work for us. Although the bride had not yet come when Jesus first told the parable of the wedding banquet 2000 years ago, the Bible explains that She is to appear in the last days, at the end of God’s redemption work, just as the bride in a wedding banquet is the last to arrive.
Revelation 19:7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.
The book of Revelation is written about the last days, when God’s redemption work is almost complete. By that time, the bride of the wedding banquet has made Herself ready. The groom here is described as ‘the Lamb’. In the Bible, the Lamb represents Jesus. Who, then, is the bride?
Revelation 21:9-10 One of the seven angels… came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he… showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.
The bride in God’s redemption work is described as Jerusalem which comes down from above, Heaven. She is the Heavenly Jerusalem. In reality, the Heavenly Jerusalem is our Heavenly Mother.
Galatians 4:26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother.
Just as our Father that is above, in Heaven, is our Heavenly Father, our Mother that is above is our Heavenly Mother. Our Heavenly Mother is the bride in God’s redemption work; She too is needed for us to be able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
The guests who can enter heaven
In Jesus’ parable, He likened the chosen people of God to guests attending a wedding banquet.
Matthew 22:8-14 … ‘The wedding banquet is ready… So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find. … and the wedding hall was filled with guests… For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
All people are invited to attend the heavenly wedding banquet. Those who respond to God’s invitation can receive the water of life, eternal life, from Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother, the bride and groom in God’s redemption work.
Revelation 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
They are the blessed people of God.
Revelation 19:9 Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”
The Kingdom of Heaven is overflowing with happiness. To go there we must know the groom and bride of the heavenly wedding banquet, that is, of God’s redemption work. Jesus’ parable of the wedding banquet shows us that those who know and accept the invitation of Heavenly Father, the groom, and Heavenly Mother, the bride, can receive eternal life and enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
At the World Mission Society Church of God, we have received our Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother who have appeared in these last days to save us. Don’t you, too, want to know who They are?