And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables, and said,…
Our Lord Jesus has espoused His Church, and there must be a feast at the wedding. A feast would be a failure if none came to it, and therefore the present need is that the wedding be "furnished with guests."
I. THE FIRST INVITATION WAS A FAILURE. This is seen in Jewish history. Among Gentiles, those to whom the gospel invitation specially comes are, as a rule, unwilling to accept it. Up to this hour, children of godly parents, and hearers of the word, many of them refuse the invitation for reasons of their own. The invitation was refused —
(1) Not because it involved suffering, for it was a wedding-feast to which they were bidden;
(2) nor because there were no adequate preparations — "The wedding is ready";
(3) nor because the invitations were not delivered, or were misunderstood — they "were bidden";
(4) but because they were not fit for the high joy;
(a) they were not loyal to their king;
(b) they were not attached to his royal son;
(c) they were not pleased with his noble marriage;
(d) they were wrapt up in self-interest;
(e) they were cruel to well-intentioned messengers;
(5) therefore they were punished with fire and sword. But love must reign; mercy must be glorious; Christ must reveal His grace; otherwise He has no joy of His union with mankind. Therefore —
II. THE COMMISSION WAS ENLARGED.
1. Disappointment must arouse activity and enterprise "Go ye."
2. Disappointment suggests change of sphere — "Into the highways."
3. A keen invitation is to be tried -" As many as ye shall find, bid."
4. A keen outlook is to be kept — "As many as ye shall find."
5. Publicity is to be courted — "Went out into the highways."
6. Small numbers, ones and twos, are to be pressed in.
III. THE NEW MISSION WAS FULFILLED.
1. The former servants who had escaped death went out again.
2. Other servants, who had not gone at first, entered zealously into the joyful but needful service.
3. They went in many directions — "Into the highways."
4. They went out at once. Not an hour could be left unused.
5. They pointed all they met to one centre.
6. They welcomed all sorts of characters — "As many as they found."
7. They found them willing to come. He who sent the messengers inclined the guests; none seem to have refused.
IV. THE GREAT DESIGN WAS ACCOMPLISHED.
1. The king's bounty was displayed before the world.
2. His provision was used. Think of grace and pardon unused.
3. The happiness of men was promoted; they feasted to the full.
4. The grateful praise was evoked. All the guests were joyful in their king, as they feasted at his table.
5. The marriage was graced.
6. The slight put upon the king's son by the churls who refused to come was more than removed.
7. The quality of the guests most fully displayed the wisdom, grace, and condescension of the Host.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,