The King Throws a Party [Part 1]
By Alan Wright — December 28, 2018
Are you ready for some good news?
The kingdom of God is like a lavish, royal party!
Today’s Text: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son….” (Matthew 22:2, ESV)
When I was a child, if you’d asked me what church was like, the last word I would have conjured would have been “party.” I mean no offense, but honestly, the formal church experience of my youth was pretty much the opposite of the way I felt about, say, a birthday party. Consider the comparison through my childhood eyes:
- It was an honor to go to a party; they had to make me go to church.
- I laughed and celebrated at a party; at church I had to be somber and quiet.
- I thought about happy things at a party; at church I thought about my sin.
- I relaxed and had fun at a party; at church I tightened up and felt stress.
Think for a moment of the best party you’ve ever attended (and we’re not talking about that frat party where you got sick, that’s not fun!). On my fortieth birthday, my wife surprised me with a lavish dinner party at my favorite restaurant. It wasn’t the pan seared scallops wrapped in bacon and the filet mignon that made the celebration so wondrous; it was the gathering of friends and family. Dear friends surprised me by flying in from around the country. It was a collection of many of the people who have loved me best and who I love most. I’ll never forget it.
In Jesus’ day, the wedding banquet was the supreme celebration – the ultimate party. It lasted for days. But the party Jesus describes in His parable is not merely a wedding feast – it is a royal banquet.
When a king throws a party, it’s unlike any other party. A king has unlimited resources and staff with which to bless his guests. What’s more, the king’s party was for his own son! What manner of gourmet delights, festive music, and glorious décor would have greeted all the guests!
It was a party of parties of parties. And that, Jesus said, is what the kingdom is like.
But the grand shock of the story comes next. When the aristocrats RSVP’d “no,” the king invited the ordinary people. The ragtag. The text actually reads: “And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.” (Matthew 22:10, ESV)
We don’t deserve it, but we were invited into the greatest party ever. It’s the kingdom of God. And that’s the Gospel!