Matthew 22:1-14 (The Parable of the Marriage Feast, Part 3)

After having already been snubbed by their refusal to come, how does the king in this parable command his slaves to appeal to those who were invited to the feast?  What does he say to entice them?  See Mat 22:4.  What does Jesus’ use of this enticement in the parable teach us about the notion held by some that we should not eat meat, and especially red meat?  Cf. Mar 7:14-19, 1Ti 4:1-5 and think: would Jesus have used such an enticement in the parable if eating oxen or fattened livestock was actually wrong or even bad for people?  I.e., can we imagine in the parable Jesus using seventy virgins or mind-altering drugs like heroin or cocaine that produce feelings of ecstasy and euphoria to entice people to come to the feast?  Why not?  Whereas eating even fattened livestock and drinking even wine is not forbidden but actually exhibited in Scripture as elements of rejoicing (cf. the wedding in Cana, Joh 2:10), what does Scripture say is wrong in regard to eating and drinking?  See Pro 23:20-21, Eze 16:49, Mat 11:18-19, Luk 16:19ff, Rom 14:13-21, 1Co 8:13.  In what way does the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23) that is borne by one who walks by the Spirit (Gal 5:25) guard against such things?  What does this remind us about the significant difference between the law of love that is written on one’s heart by the Spirit as the requirement of the New Covenant, and the law of commandments that were written in stone as the terms of the Old Covenant?  Cf. 2Co 3:2-6.  What does it also indicate has happened to a nation such as the United States when laws regulating every aspect of people’s lives proliferate?  Cf. Gal 5:4.

Consider again the abundance of spiritual food that the feast in this parable represents.  Was such abundance just a “gut-wad” to keep hunger pangs at bay, or dainties and trifles to please the palate but that had no substantive nutritional value?  Cf. Heb 5:12-14.  Consider that “meat” is a richer food than vegetables and has a greater density of nutrients because it is prepared from a living creature that has already metabolized the plants God originally gave for man to eat; hence it has a greater capacity to satisfy and inhibit hunger pangs.  How is this like the teaching of sound doctrine that is rich in spiritual nutrition?  See 1Cor 3:1-3, 1Ti 1:10, 6:3, 2Ti 1:13, Tit 1:9, 2:1.  In this context, how might the lesser light of general revelation that is found in creation and is evident to all men (cf. Rom 1:19-20) be comparable to the plants God originally gave man to eat, and the specific revelation of Scripture that is found in His word compare to the meat He gave man to eat following the flood?  Cf. Psa 19, Rom 10:18.

How does Scripture say living creatures from which we obtain meat differ from the plants that man originally ate?  See Gen 6:17, 7:15,21-23, 9:3, Eze 37:4-10.  What is the spiritual counterpart of that physical breath of life that makes the spiritual meat prepared from those animated by it so much more rich in nutrients for our souls than food prepared from that which is lacking it?  Cf. Luk 3:21-22, 4:1,14-15,18, Joh 1:32, Act 4:8,31, etc…  How does such food contrast with that prepared by man for the soul?  See note[1], and cf. Mat 7:28-29, Mar 7:3-8, Col 2:16-17,20-23.  What does this also help us to understand about why humanistic psychology and the “Christian Counseling” derived from it are a poor substitute for the pure milk and solid food of Scripture when it comes to the spiritual nutrition that leads to healthy, balanced living?

What might these thoughts also help us to understand about a spiritual truth for why God saw fit for man to add meat to his diet after the flood whereas before he had only eaten plants?  Cf. Gen 9:3 and think: after the flood did man any longer have the wisdom of the antediluvians who because of their longer lifespans were at most a few generations removed from those with whom God personally walked and spoke to?  For example, do people today any longer receive the sort of revelation from the heavens that men of old, such as the magi, apparently did?  See Gen 1:14-15, Job 38:31-33, Psa 19:1-4, Mat 2:1-2.  Was the solid food of meat that man now needed to sustain his physical life also a reminder of the solid food of prepared truth he would need to sustain his spiritual life since all the collective wisdom of that age had perished in the flood?  Because of the increasing depravity of man as his sin nature led him farther from God, would not the deceit and delusion that would also increase now require man to seek spiritual meat for the health of his soul even as the postdiluvial world now required him to add physical meat to his diet for the health of his body?

Consider that the king’s “dinner” in Matt 22:4 properly refers to breakfast (cf. Joh 21:12,15 for the verbal form) or the midday meal that we call lunch; why is this significant in light of what nutritionists today say is the most important meal of the day and the best time to fill up on protein such as meat?  What does this also remind us about the best time of day to seek the solid food of God’s word?  Cf. Exo 16:13-15,21.

 


1. It is infamous to ascend your pulpit and pour over your people rivers of language, cataracts of words, in which mere platitudes are held in solution like infinitesimal grains of homeopathic medicine in an Atlantic of utterance.  Better far give the people masses of unprepared truth in the rough, like pieces of meat from a butcher’s block, chopped off anyhow, bone and all, and even dropped down in the sawdust, than ostentatiously and delicately hand them out upon a china dish a delicious slice of nothing at all, decorated with the parsley of poetry, and flavored with the sauce of affectation.  Spurgeon, in Lectures to My Students.

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