Thursday, March 2, 2023

The Parable of the Failed Wedding Feast

First problem: a true lord knows who is and isn't worthy of invitation and doesn't get their servants killed trying to find out. Incompetence that severe is tantamount to murder. Subproblem: should be armed. Subproblem: both servant and lord should know they need to be armed based on who they're being sent to talk to.

Second problem: if you leave a steak in front of a dog or a marshmallow in front of a toddler, securing it only by telling them sternly not to eat it, you can't then turn around and get mad at them if it disappears the instant you turn your back. Entrapment plus: it's not only unlikely, but impossible, to commit the offence without the entrapping officer helping.

If the lord's reputation preceded him, it is not surprising that folk would decline his offer.
Perhaps Jesus didn't mention how the servants were harassing folk into changing their response, which is what got them rightfully slain. It would be in character.

Third problem: after having invited the unworthy, he then invited folk under no conditions at all. Why weren't additional foolish servants of this foolish lord killed attempting this even more foolish action? Alternatively, why didn't they quit instead of allowing themselves to be sent to die again?

Fourth problem: get a guest list and prepare the food based on the guests, don't prepare the food and then try to fill seats at the table. Especially because, if the food is any good, you'll end up with too many attendees, not too few.

Were the cattle fatted? Or were they scrawny, tough, and musty? It would be in character, and reversing this prevarication plain makes the story make more sense.

Admittedly the free food strategy does tend to attract the class of folk with a propensity to kill your servants without provocation. You will be swamped with callous mooching strangers even under unrealistically ideal conditions.

Fifth problem: how hard is it to have a maitre d' who checks the guests for wedding attire before letting them in? Entrapment+ again. Jesus' story is self-consistent.

Bonus problem: the "outer darkness" party sounds like more fun. Nobody has to bind me hand and foot, they can find me willingly knocking on their door.

"1And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: 2“The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, 3and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. 4 Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.” 5But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. 6And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. 7But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ 10So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.

11“But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. 12So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, [b]take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

14“For many are called, but few are chosen.”


Is there already a special name for the act of committing self-sabotage for the express purpose of violently blaming someone else for it? This entrapment+ hyper-guilt-tripping behaviour? If not, I'm going to call it Wedding Feasting from now on. 

A book written by divinity would have better writing skills than I do, rather than worse ones.


That said, it's not all bad. It's a decent effort if you assume it was written by desert goatherders instead of a god.

To truth, many are called. Everyone, really. It's clear only a few can answer the call. Alethia is inegalitarian. Extremely so. Most of those who can't answer the call indeed worship Satan in a violently resentful way, rather than doing so as if it was their voluntary preference. There is indeed weeping and gnashing of teeth.

If you do not answer the call of truth, if you (try to) kill the messengers of truth, yes Gnon will remove your guts. Slowly, as likely as not. May Aani have mercy because Aletheia sure as hell won't.

Truth is immortal and eternal. Alethia's calfs are always fatted, and, with some caveats, there's a seat for everyone. No amount of feasting at the table leaves less truth for everyone else.
The main caveat being that you do genuinely have to value truth over e.g. starving to death, because the physical universe is finite and population growth is not. Truth can postpone the famine but ultimately the famine itself is True. The death is inevitable. Someone has to die of hunger, or you have to commit euthanasia or suicide on famine's behalf.

The heavens really are incomprehensibly generous. Sol shines equally upon all of us, good and bad. Every passer-by is invited to their glorious party. 

The guests really do cast themselves out due to their own poor behaviour. Rather than failing to commit meaningless rituals, they go out into the garden without a guide and get lost. "It's not raining that hard," they say, as they walk out into the hurricane. They take up a shady character on his invitation to a different party, ending up deep in the wilds, and ultimately deep in a wild animal's belly. Some plain defenestrate themselves. 

It is really true that the difference between good behaviour and poor behaviour is kind of subtle, analogous to wearing the wrong clothes. It does not appear to be very different, especially as a bystander. The sudden defenestration seems to result from something innocuous, if you're not paying close attention.


M said...

Matthew decided to add too much of his own ideas to Luke 14:15-24 which originally just meant the Jews were replaced with the Gentiles. The addition of the detail about killing the servants probably came by interpretting Old Testament prophets as among the servants by not understanding the parable originally came from Marcionism. The addition of the guy without a wedding garment was from Matthew's own pet peeve of some sort. The outer darkness and gnashing of teeth are also Matthew's additions.

Alrenous said...



If I were compiling a canonical gospel I would find that disqualifying. Of course, I would be willing to have no books at all if none met the standard. "Go back and prophecise again. This is nowhere near good enough."