A Royal Wedding
In the midst of hard times, England and the world celebrated a royal wedding. People camped out for days; Americans got up early—and the news is everywhere.
Because every love story points to a deeper love story—the love story for which we were made. Our hearts are stirred, because this earthly story taps into the music that began before the dawn of time—the music God put in our hearts.
In Jesus’ culture, a wedding feast lasted for days, and the wedding feast for a king’s son might last for weeks. Thousands of people would be invited, and the preparations and expenses would be akin, in that culture, to the wedding of Kate and William in ours.
But, all these point (in a dim way) to the ultimate Royal Wedding that Jesus mentions in Matthew 22. As we overcome idols in our life, I want us to see that it isn’t just about us saying no to our idols, but us saying yes to the One who rejoices over us as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride. Idolatry is infidelity – and we must turn from it. God asks us to remain pure, so that we can be presented as a pure virgin to Christ.
BIBLE STUDY: MATTHEW 22:1-14
1. If you watched the wedding of Kate and William, what thoughts did you have?
2. What spiritual parallels do you see? (The Gospel Coalition blog made one—but there are several possibilities!)
THE INVITATION: Matthew 22:1-10
3. Read Matthew 22:1-10 and describe what happens.
4. Paul tells us that the Gospel went first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. What does Matthew 22:3 tell us about the response of those first invited?
5. God sent prophets to warn them. How, according to Matthew 22:4-6, did they respond to those prophets?
6. How did God respond to this according to verse 7?
7. What did God tell the servants to do next according to verses 8-9?
8. D. A. Carson believes that this parable alludes to Isaiah 25:6-9. Describe that wedding banquet.
9. How have you responded to this invitation and what hope does it give you?
THE WEDDING GARMENT
Historically, at a royal wedding in Scripture, not just the bride, but every guest was given a garment—fine linen, white and clean.
10. Read Matthew 22:11-13 and describe what happens.
11. Based on what happens to this guest, what do you think the white wedding garment represents? Why?
12. Another passage that talks about the wedding garment is Revelation 19:7-8, where the wedding garment is described as “the righteous deeds of the saints.” Calvin says: We do not need to debate about whether the garment refers to salvation or good works, for if you have salvation, you will produce righteous deeds. Thoughts?
13. A white wedding garment also represents purity, the purity we receive from Christ, and the purity that occurs as we walk, every day in repentance. How is this thought impacting you at this time in your life? How can we pray for you in regard to this?
MANY ARE CALLED BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN
14. How does Jesus close this parable in Matthew 22:14?
For many, election is a difficult a doctrine. Like the concept of hell, it can be upsetting when you think about people you love. [The best messages I have heard on this are Tim Keller’s. They are “Love Before the World I” and “Love Before the World II”]
15. If you do listen to the above, what thoughts persuaded Keller on the doctrine of election?
16. When a doctrine is difficult, what do you think is the best response for a child of God?
17. What is your take-away?