Isaiah 25:  1-9; Philippians 4:1–9; Matthew 22:1–14

Oh, Matthew.  Why couldn’t you just have stopped while you were ahead? When you were putting together your Gospel, and you wrote this story that is shared in other gospels, why didn’t you end where the others do?  Why did you have to add that awful part at the end about the guest being bound and thrown into the darkness simply for not wearing the right clothes?

It seems so contradictory to what Jesus taught.  Did he just mishear the story?  Or did he have his own agenda in mind, without any regard whatsoever to those of us who, 2,000 years later, would have to preach on these words he wrote?

Of course, modern scholarship tells us that Matthew did add this ending to a parable that is shared with other Gospels to further his own agenda.  Matthew wanted his largely Jewish audience to know that all are welcome to the party, but just showing up isn’t enough.  He wanted his audience to know that they needed to put on the wedding garment, meant to be the wedding garment of Christ, if they expected to stay at the party. 

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