Pentecost 18, Year a 12 October 2014 Isaiah 25:1-9; Psalm 23; Matthew 22:1-14 The violent nature of the parable of the wedding feast of the king’s son almost obscures any ability to appreciate what the gospel writer is saying. The feasting imagery is familiar, but then the first group rejects the invitation and kills the slaves. The second group is scraped up, redressed, and set to party. The last man is standing there, thinking, “Do I stay or do I go?” and then it is decided for him. What was Matthew thinking? When Luke tells this parable, it’s not so violent and the ending is certainly far preferable. Why is this version so intense? Matthew is writing to a group of believers in Christ, Jews and Gentiles, who find themselves in tension with Jews who do not believe that Jesus was the Messiah. Frustrated with each other, they have begun to lose sense of the bigger picture- the nature of God and how God chooses to reveal that nature.