09.03.04 Lk. 12:35-40
PARABLE OF WATCHFUL SERVANTS FOR WEDDING BANQUET 
35 “Be ready for service and have your lamps lit. 36 You must be like people waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet so that when he comes and knocks, they can open the door for him at once. 37 Those slaves the master will find alert when he comes will be blessed. I assure you: He will get ready, have them recline at the table, then come and serve them. 38 If he comes in the middle of the night, or even near dawn, and finds them alert, those slaves are blessed. 39 But know this: If the homeowner had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also be ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.”
The parable of Luke 12:41-48 is similar to this one. It is the same theme with two points and was probably given to a different audience. The points are:
- The return or Second Coming of Jesus, and
- Encouraging people to be prepared to meet their God.
This is clearly a reflection on the words of the prophet Hosea:
What will you do on a festival day,
on the day of the Lord’s feast?
National Israel had rejected the message of the Kingdom of God and thereby postponed the heavenly wedding banquet for Jesus and the children of Abraham as promised in the ancient covenant. Now Jesus was going to include the Gentile nations as wedding guests, but first He was going to leave, without indicating when He will return. When He does return, there will be a wedding feast for all those who placed their faith in Him. Be sure to see the video 14.02.05.V2 where Professor John Metzger discusses the the purity of the (L)lamb during the Passion Week and the related imagery of the bride and groom to the Messianic Wedding Banquet.
Video Insert >
09.03.04.V1 First Century Wedding Imagery. Messianic Rabbi John Fischer, discusses first century Jewish wedding imagery as reflective of the relationship between Jesus (Heb. Yeshua) and His church. (21:45)
In Luke 12:41-48, Jesus used the typical first century wedding feast. The guests had to be dressed and have their lamps lit because the bridegroom normally came to the bride’s home to “steal” his bride. The bridal party never knew for certain when the bridegroom would appear, so they had to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. This was generally a time of great celebration.
Jesus also illustrated this lesson with the story of a homeowner who should have guarded his home and anticipated a thief. If the owner had been watchful, he would not have been robbed; if the bridal party is watchful, they will not miss the bridegroom. The focus of the story is that Jesus wants His followers to be watchful for His return. There can be little question that the wedding banquet narratives give hints of the coming messianic banquet in which Jesus will be the central figure and His saints will be the guests.
In this parable, it was the master of the house who was gone and expected his servants to open the door for him when he returned. It is assumed that his return would be at night, or at a time when he was least expected. Those who will be awake when he returns will be blessed. The implication is that those servants who would not be ready for him will miss the wedding banquet.
. The significance of the messianic banquet was very important to Jesus (Heb. Yeshua) as the subject was discussed and recorded several times. See the following as well: Wedding garments needed at the wedding in Mt. 22:1-14 (13.03.07); discussion of the “best place” in Lk. 14:7-14 (12.02.05); the great messianic banquet in Lk. 14:15-24 (12.02.06); the wise and foolish virgins in Mt. 25:1-13 (14.01.07); only the father knew Mt. 24:36 (14.01.05); the preparation of a new home in Jn. 14:1-4 (14.02.14). Also, see the video 09.03.04.V1 by Rabbi John Fischer who discusses the first century wedding imagery as reflective of the relationship between Jesus and His church, and a second video 14.02.05.V2 where Professor John Metzger discusses the purity of the (L)lamb during the Passion Week and the related imagery of the bride and groom to the Messianic Wedding Banquet.
. For more information on wedding customs, see 04.03.08.Q1.