Jesus’ Parable of the Great Wedding Banquet
Historical Christianity has struggled – and continues to struggle – with the relationship between Jesus’ parable of the Great Wedding Banquet and eschatology. On the one hand, it has been historically recognized that in Matthew 22 Jesus predicted the destruction of Jerusalem for rejecting the offer of the Kingdom and killing the Lord’s servants. On the other hand, most commentators totally ignore this connection when the come to the rest of the NT teaching about the Wedding!
Where did Jesus come up with the concept of the Great Wedding Banquet? Did he just make it up on the spot, out of thin air? No! The promise and motif of the Wedding Banquet is taken directly from Torah, God’s Old Covenant promises made to Old Covenant Israel! And this is where modern evangelical Christianity has so sadly missed the story of the Wedding Banquet, because it is widely held that the Wedding is unrelated to Israel and occurs at the end of the Christian age! This divorcement – pun intended – of the Wedding parable from Israel and her promises results in a distorted and false eschatology!
The Parable of the Great Wedding Banquet and Hosea
One of the foundational OT prophecies of the Wedding is Hosea. There, Israel was married to YHVH, but, committed spiritual adultery. As a result, God divorced here (Hosea 2:1-3). When God divorced her, the ten northern tribes, they became “not my people” and a people of “no mercy” (Hosea 1:9f). Furthermore, Israel “died.” But, God promised that in the last days, in the days of the New Marriage Covenant, he would remarry her– when He returned to her!
What is so powerful and so important is that Peter, (the apostle to the circumcision, and writing to the “Diaspora” a technical term for the ten northern tribes scattered abroad) said that Hosea was being fulfilled in them– 2000 years ago! In 1 Peter 2:10 the apostle quotes Hosea verbatim and applied it to his first century audience! If Peter was right, then the Great Wedding Banquet was being set! The Wedding – to take place at the parousia – was near, 2000 years ago!
This puts to rest the idea that the kingdom offer was postponed. It refutes the “Replacement Theology” charge made against non-Dispensationalists. It puts to rest the idea of a physical regathering of Israel! If Peter was right – and of course he was – then Israel, the ten northern tribes if you will, was being restored in the body of Christ!
Be sure to take a look at my YouTube video on Matthew 22 in which I examine Peter’s citation of Hosea and the promise of the remarriage. This is very, very important stuff! Peter, through the inspiration of the Spirit, said that God’s promises to Israel were being fulfilled in Christ!
Be sure to get a copy of my book, We Shall Meet Him In The Air, the Wedding of the King of kings, for one of the most detailed studies of the Great Wedding Banquet Motif to be found anywhere.