Matthew 22:3

ESV and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come.
NIV He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.
NASB And he sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come.
CSB He sent his servants to summon those invited to the banquet, but they didn't want to come.
NLT When the banquet was ready, he sent his servants to notify those who were invited. But they all refused to come!
KJV And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.

What does Matthew 22:3 mean?

Jesus is delivering a parable about a king providing a wedding feast for his son: a great event in any culture or kingdom. The invitations would have gone out in advance, notifying those who would be included in the feast. When the event was ready, the servants would have been sent out to notify the people that the time had come.

In this case, though, the invited wedding guests refused to come to the feast. They did not want to go. The idea that anyone would refuse the king's hospitality and an opportunity to attend a great, royal feast would have been shocking to Jesus' listeners. That none of the invitees accepted is outrageous. This parallels the hyperbole—exaggeration for effect—which Jesus employed in other parables (Matthew 18:23–24).

Given the context of the first two stories (Matthew 21:28, 33), Jesus' meaning is already becoming clear. God is the Father throwing the feast. Entrance into the kingdom of heaven is often described with the metaphor of a great feast (Matthew 8:10–12; 9:15). Jesus Himself is the Son of the King and the Bridegroom for whom the feast is being held. The response of the invited guests will establish a lesson Jesus will continue to expand on in this chapter.
What is the Gospel?
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