Matthew 22:1-14 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
The Great Banquet
22 Once again Jesus used stories to teach the people:
2 The kingdom of heaven is like what happened when a king gave a wedding banquet for his son. 3 The king sent some servants to tell the invited guests to come to the banquet, but the guests refused. 4 He sent other servants to say to the guests, “The banquet is ready! My cattle and prize calves have all been prepared. Everything is ready. Come to the banquet!”
5 But the guests did not pay any attention. Some of them left for their farms, and some went to their places of business. 6 Others grabbed the servants, then beat them up and killed them.
7 This made the king so furious that he sent an army to kill those murderers and burn down their city. 8 Then he said to the servants, “It is time for the wedding banquet, and the invited guests don’t deserve to come. 9 Go out to the street corners and tell everyone you meet to come to the banquet.” 10 They went out on the streets and brought in everyone they could find, good and bad alike. And the banquet room was filled with guests.
11 When the king went in to meet the guests, he found that one of them wasn’t wearing the right kind of clothes for the wedding. 12 The king asked, “Friend, why didn’t you wear proper clothes for the wedding?” But the guest had no excuse. 13 So the king gave orders for that person to be tied hand and foot and to be thrown outside into the dark. That’s where people will cry and grit their teeth in pain. 14 Many are invited, but only a few are chosen.
Matthew 22:1-14 New International Version (NIV)
The Parable of the Wedding Banquet
22 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.
4 “Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’
5 “But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. 6 The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. 7 The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
8 “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. 9 So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ 10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.
11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless.
13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
14 “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”