The king in this Sunday’s parable is a man not to be crossed. When the invited guests fail to turn up to his son’s wedding feast, he sends soldiers to burn their city to the ground. Then everyone is invited to the banquet – the good and the bad alike. But the man who enters the feast without a wedding garment is condemned and thrown out into the darkness.
Can we really see this king as representing God? He seems to have more in common with human rulers like King Herod or the emperors of Rome – who, as Matthew knows, did dispatch troops in 70 AD to burn down the city of Jerusalem. If so, perhaps the guest without a wedding garment represents Jesus, who was silent before his accusers and who was condemned on our behalf, and thrown out into the darkness. But Jesus’ death and resurrection was the price of our salvation. Thanks to his sacrifice, we can all share in God’s banquet.