All of the interpreters, whom I examine in this article (with the exception of the last), regarded the first invited guests as the Jewish nation and the second invited guests as Gentiles. They all believed that the destruction of the city of the first guests represents the devastation of Jerusalem, which is God’s judgment on Jews. Chrysostom asserted that God foreknows the Jews’ refusals of Christ. He first sent his prophets and Christ to them in order to stop their mouths. Now they have no excuse to blame God for the expulsion. Augustine depicted the entire Jewish nation as cruel persecutors of Stephen, in order to elaborate his ‘garment of love’. Luther even claimed that God’s judgment on Jews, …show more content…
For the evangelist, the former should bear the responsibility of the devastation of Jerusalem. Both Jews and Gentiles are welcome to the kingdom of heaven and have the same responsibility to wear their own wedding garment. The replacement theory is indeed a deplorable misinterpretation.
4.2 The Interpretation of Chrysostom
Chrysostom, who may be the most influential ancient Greek preacher, had four insights into our parable. First, he believed that the parable is concerning the resurrection of Christ, for the son who had been killed by the wicked tenants is now alive and gets married.
Second, by quoting Luke 14:18–20, he pointed out that the refusals of the king’s invitation are reasonable, because all the things that the first invited guests have to do are necessary for their daily life. He claimed, however, that the parable indeed encourages us to give up necessities for the sake of spiritual things.
Third, our daily life, for Chrysostom, is a battlefield of the spiritual war with Satan. A true Christian needs to be a soldier of God and win the war, so that he can get the eternal prize. On this basis he held that the wedding garment represents spiritual practice, which is the way to obtain righteous life, and is therefore the weapon against …show more content…
The interpretation of Augustine is not less influential than that of Chrysostom. First, it becomes the foundation of the theology of Sacrament. Since the church comprises both ‘good’ and ‘evil’, and none of the believers can be recognized as ‘good’, no human being can be the means of divine grace. On this basis, the sacraments should be solely consecrated by God Himself, and therefore become the means of grace regardless of its ministers. Nowadays both Roman Catholicism and Protestantism cling to this view.
Second, his ecclesiological reading of the parable affects the ecclesiology of Protestantism. Luther, for example, followed the teaching of Augustine and pointed out, ‘the guests cannot judge and recognize them (the evil) all, but only till God Himself comes with his judgment.’ Because every believer needs the same divine grace and will be judged by the same God, they are all equal in the sight of God, which means that the priesthood should also be consecrated by God alone. This kind of interpretation inspires the Protestant idea of ‘the Priesthood of All