In Matthew 22:1-14, Jesus will bestow upon those listening yet another parable. It is a parable depicting the kingdom of Heaven. The basic premise of the parable is that God has made the kingdom available to all, but only a few have shown themselves worthy of the honor of being a part of the wedding feast. With this in mind, consider the differences to be seen in this parable between feast and famine.
The feast was prepared and ready to go. The only thing that was needed was guests to partake of it. Initially the invitation was sent to the king’s first choice of guests (Vs. 2). All they had to do to obtain a part in the feast was show up prepared for it. Upon the refusal of the first list of guests the king then sends his servants everywhere to find the lesser members of society and bring them in to the feast (Vs. 9). Therefore, by the time the orders were finished, all had been invited to partake in this feast.
Consider the honors bestowed to those who chose the feast. They were given the opportunity to set at a feast in the very presence of the king. This should have been considered a great honor by all, yet only a few took advantage of it. The same holds true for the kingdom of God today. Though many are called, only few take advantage of the opportunity to remain in the very presence of God.
They were not given seating based upon social status. It did not matter from whence they came or who they knew, only that they had answered the call to come to the feast. This is God’s attitude toward men today also. He does not care who we know, what we have done, or where we live, but only whether or not we are willing to take part in the appointed feast.
Hence, this feast was a great opportunity for all to come forward to be in the presence of the king and to take part in the glorious nature of the feast set before them. So the option is also laid before us today. We have the opportunity to take part in a great Heavenly feast in eternity, but we must be willing to make our plans to be present.
On the other side of the coin is the famine, which the remainder of the individuals portrayed in this parable received. They laughed and scoffed at the king when he invited them to his feast. They refused to come and participate with him and thus were not again offered entrance into the feast. Instead, the king gave them famine. The king sent forth his armies to destroy them and their city (Vs. 7). They had nothing left by the time the king was finished with them, and did not have any opportunity to take part in the feast after that point. There are many in the world today that fit this bill. They are unwilling to answer the call of God with anything other than derision and scorn. God says that He will take care of them and their attitude at the appropriate time.
There is also another type of individual which received famine in the parable. The one who tries to come to the feast unprepared will not be allowed participate in the feast (Vs. 11-14). This individual is one who seeks to gain the rewards, but because he seeks to do things his own way is unprepared and not given entrance. Unfortunately, this is typical of many in the religious world today. They want to come to the feast, but they want to come on their own terms. However, the terms of the king are the only terms that matter and those who refuse to adhere to those standards will receive nothing but famine in return.
The parable of the wedding feast is a very powerful and vivid parable in portraying the judgment of God upon mankind on that final day. We must ever prepare ourselves to be seated at the feast, so that we are not left with famine.