The kingdom of heaven is like a King Who prepared a wedding banquet for his Son
A bit later in this chapter of Matthew’s gospel, a Pharisee approaches Jesus to test Him, not love him. (v36)
Try reading Matthew 22: 36-37 like this:
The Greatest Commandment
Imagine a man and woman stood before each other, looking at each other. Both are dressed in expensive clothes:– the man in a suit, very finely tailored, sharp, buffed shoes, shaven, physically strong, with a crisp shirt and tie. The woman is wearing a stunning ball gown and pretty shoes – a dress that shows off her beauty modestly but in a breath-taking way. Her hair and make-up are like an irreplaceable work of art, her jewellery sparkling. Their masculine and feminine fragrances lingering before them as they laugh excitedly, talking, dreaming, enjoying – their desire for each other strong. There is a deep glory and mystery about the moment.
But then the woman slowly folds her arms and tension rises. She raises an eye brow and a loveless, condescending spirit begins to spoil the scene, a dark atmosphere clouding the glory. It’s awkward and anxious and the man’s heart begins to race out of all rhythm as he wonders what’s wrong, fear gripping his exposed soul as he imagines the worst. The man is still looking at her with adoring eyes, admiring her beauty, all her beautiful qualities racing through his mind, faster than his heart can manage as he feels her slipping away like a vapour.
Now the woman looks stern and selfish, her smile has disappeared, almost disinterested as an absence of love crescendos. And she says to him “What is it that you want from me – what’s the first, most important, the greatest, the most sacred thing to you?”
The man inhales deeply as he looks at her with all the love of His life invested, no real thought needed, and says –
“Why, that’s easy…for you to love me with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind and with all of your strength – that’s the first and most important thing to me and it always will be”
The woman’s expression in response conveys awkwardness. She bites her bottom lip glancing around furtively. She pauses then leaves hurriedly without finding the courage to honour the man’s answer with a dignified response. Her fragrance gradually fades.
And the man remains alone in the scene now with someone missing – His heart naked and exposed and vulnerable. But He is unrelenting, He keeps loving his beloved on whom His affection is set – tears in His eyes, his heart churning, memories swirling…loving still…loving on…unrelenting.
The kingdom of heaven is like a King who prepared a wedding banquet for His son