The Church, the Beautiful Bride of Christ
By H. A. (Buster) Dobbs
A. In his parable of the marriage supper, Jesus teaches some things about the church.
1. "And Jesus answered and spake again in parables unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a certain king, who made a marriage feast for his son, and sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the marriage feast: and they would not come. Again he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them that are bidden, Behold, I have made ready my dinner; my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come to the marriage feast. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his merchandise; and the rest laid hold on his servants, and treated them shamefully, and killed them. But the king was wroth; and he sent his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they that were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore unto the partings of the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage feast. And those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was filled with guests. But when the king came in to behold the guests, he saw there a man who had not on a weddinggarment: and he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a weddinggarment? And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and cast him out into the outer darkness; there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few chosen" (Matt. 22:114).
2. The kingdom of heaven is the church of Christ (Matt. 16:1819).
B. Parable of the marriage supper is near the end of the life of Jesus on earth.
1. As his life drew to its close, he spoke often of the Jewish rejection of him, and of the consequent destruction of Jerusalem.
a. Jesus was not afraid and did not apologize, but repeated the teaching.
II. Features of the parable.
1. Old Testament prophets.
B. Refusal to accept the invitation.
1. The invited guests (the Jews) made light of the invitation.
a. They were busy with farm and shop.
2. The messengers were killed.
C. Others invited to the marriage supper.
1. The invitation is to all who will come.
a. The gospel is a "whosoever will" invitation to heaven.
2. Anyone may accept the invitation by obedience to God's commands.
D. Time of preparation and waiting.
1. The church on earth is the betrothed but not the bride of the Lamb.
a. "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it; that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish" (Eph. 5:2527).
4. No blemish in doctrine.
a. Apostles were to keep the church free from error (Gal. 1:69).
E. The bridegroom comes.
1. Those without a wedding garment will be cast out.