Thank you for your patience. I am walking us through this story in Matthew 22 very slowly. In fact, we are taking a week.
Because it is a story that can easily be misunderstood.
I mean, you read this, “The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city” and you think,
“Wait a minute. I know how parables work. If Jesus is telling a story about a king and his son, he’s got to be talking about his Dad and him, right? And if so, this has God killing a whole town and I thought God is loving. So what’s with that?”
That’s why we are reading slowly, trying to understand how it feels to hear it for the very first time.
A king scheduled a party, a well-planned party. There had been “save the approximate date” cards out for a long time. The people who had been invited had known that there would come a day when the servants would show up. The king sends out servants to let those people know that it was time to come to the party and the people ignored the first invitation and then killed the messengers carrying the second invitations.
This response of the king comes after these people so rejected him and rejected his son and killed his servants that there was no chance of them ever being loyal subjects again. Because, after all, these were subjects. He treated them as friends, but he was the king. And this wasn’t skipping a party. This was open insurrection, treason, rebellion.
Everyone listening to this story would have thought that this was exactly the appropriate response for murderous traitors.
But the story doesn’t stop there. And the next part is even more shocking. And hopeful.