45th Sermon of Jesus… Parable of the Marriage Feast
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April 26, 1872
“And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.
Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnishd with guests.
And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how earnest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants. Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.”
1. Here you have before you the parable of a marriage feast with which I intended to draw the attention of the Pharisees to their own machinations and their consequences; for they were under the delusion that no one saw through their games. But since I was anxious to achieve their betterment, I veiled My words and warnings to them on many occasions by parables, which the Pharisees did understand, but the people not always. I did not want to completely destroy their image with the people whilst they were still capable of betterment. However, since I always hit the nail on the head, their anger against Me kept growing until, as was ordained, they were given the chance and power to fulfil, with regard to Me, what the prophets had predicted for ages and what I, too, had prophesied to My disciples as My future fate and end on earth.
2. In this parable I compared the Kingdom of Heaven, or the Father in Heaven, with a king who sent invitations to the feast for his son to friends and acquaintances, but received everywhere evasive or negative replies. The king in his anger took revenge on them by having them killed and their property burnt.
3. When sending his servants out for the second time he made them invite all whom they would find in the streets and squares, and the servants brought the good and the bad to the table of their master. Among these guests there was also one who was not dressed for the occasion. When he had no excuse for this, he was cast into outer darkness, there to suffer for his shortcoming. And the parable ends with the significant words: “Many are called, but few are chosen!”
4. This is the contents of the parable, but in order to comprehend it in its spiritual sense, we have to examine all the circumstances mentioned until we discover the actual spiritual meaning of this parable and its application to that time as well as to the present and future. You must always keep in mind that there is a much deeper meaning in My words than the listeners at that time suspected and many readers now and in the future will suspect. Let us begin with the form of this parable so that you may see how everything has its deep spiritual meaning if put – spiritually illuminated – before the inner eye of the mind.
5. I compared the Kingdom of Heaven with a king who wanted to give a marriage feast for his son. Well, in the highest sense this comparison refers to the future marriage or complete unification of the material with the spirit-world, or the dissolution of matter and liberation of the spirit imprisoned in matter in order to realize its unification with that which is higher.
6. The first picture – a wedding – denotes the unification of two to one spiritual being, even if separated in two bodies. The wedding represents the great or sublime time when that which is congenial meets and jointly performs what would not have been possible to the individual.
7. To this unification or marriage, which usually on earth is celebrated with a wedding feast, all those who were considered worthy of taking part were invited; but the parable says that those invited refused to come.
8. Behold, this wedding feast denotes the entire period from the creation of man to the deluge. The earth, adorned in its wedding garment, invited all men to spiritual unification. It wanted to invite to this feast men, spiritual beings, as the material image of the joyful evolution-process of all creation. These, however, paying homage rather to the physical world and its pleasures than to the spiritual, ignored the invitation and challenge to strive upwards, but preferred to take the opposite direction. And, consequently, in order that the unification of My spiritual kingdom with matter could still take place, the deluge had to destroy the human race of that time, that is, those men whom I had endowed with great superiority and had taught and educated by every possible means.
9. Following this catastrophe, the remaining descendants, at a later time, were again invited to the feast of unification, and actually the then living human race, alarmed by the previous judgment and also driven by an inner feeling, desired a unification of the spiritual bound in their body with the higher regions of the spirit-world. However, this desire was not sufficiently distinct and was interpreted by different people in dife-rent ways. Therefore, as the parable states, the good and bad came to the wedding feast.
10. Now there was – so the parable continues – among the invited guests also a man who did not have a wedding garment and, therefore, was cast into outer darkness. This means to say: All those who at least felt an inner compulsion towards spiritual growth were hopeful of seeing their wishes and ideas fulfilled. Therefore, they were full of happy anticipation, that is, every one of them – figuratively speaking – dressed in the best he had as a wedding garment. Thus the good openly displayed their inner love, their innermost, true aspiration towards becoming purer and better. Also the less good and even the bad adorned themselves outwardly with the mark of the pious, wishing to appear better than they actually were.
11. Only one man – as the parable states – did not bother about any pretence. He wanted to present himself as he was, but wished to take part in this unification, provided it complied with his views. And this one person who boldly defied Me, the King, is none other than Lucifer, or Satana, the spirit whom I expelled long ago and who, as the personified evil principle, represents the opposite pole to My own Self. Well, this deliberately most evil spirit was cast into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth or – in other words -where he may wait in the darkness of his own mind until a betterment from within will make his return possible.
12. That which Satan is as a person is represented on your earth by that type of people who know very well what is good and noble, but prefer the evil and do it deliberately. The “good” and “bad” at the wedding feast comprise all those who sin because they are too weak but, although they fall victim to their own weaknesses, they have never lost the desire for betterment and do not scorn or spurn it. The most evil and incorrigible spirits and souls, also the most backward in all creation, are those who do know what is good, but do not do it because they hate it and also, wherever possible, induce others to stray from it. Such aspiration is of a hellish nature because the love-impulse I have planted in all spirits and beings has turned to evil instead of good.
13. The Pharisees felt that the metaphor of the man without a wedding garment referred to them and became very angry. They saw that because of their own fault they would be excluded from all future pleasures in the realm of spirits until their voluntary conversion made them worthy of advancing towards Me. Therefore, this parable ends with the words: “Many are called, but few are chosen”, which means to say that the doors to My great realm of spirits were and are open to all the spirits of My creation, but only few will succeed in entering the spheres of everlasting peace, tranquility and beatitude. This will not be possible until they have expelled from their heart all that which is of the world and the senses. Only then can they be chosen to participate in My Kingdom. And their spiritual eyes will only be able to bear the brilliance of My heaven of love and light when a similar celestial ray shines from them, which can and must find complete satisfaction solely in the reflection of the great spirit-heaven of light.
14. This is the spiritual interpretation of this parable, which has retained its significance until this day.
15. Since that time, I have been sending out My servants to invite everybody to the wedding feast in My house, but often they returned without having achieved their purpose. As century after century rolls down into the abyss of the past, I have never ceased to invite. Some of the invited did come, but they foolishly expected of Me and My Kingdom what I demanded of them. They turned their backs on the spiritual kingdom preferring instead the long road to the shorter, rougher one.
16. I still keep sending out messengers who proclaim My will and are to explain to people the true purpose of their existence and that they, notwithstanding their resistance, sooner or later must arrive at the point where I want them. Many turn a deaf ear to the voice of love and peace; they will be lost for a long time. I watch with sadness how the majority begin to turn their backs on Me and instead of following Me, follow that which they know as evil.
17. When My invitation was unsuccessful, I once had to save lost mankind through the deluge, and again I shall be forced, for the sake of the good and so as not to lose sight of mankind’s destination, to allow a similar catastrophe to happen. Only that the former material water shall be replaced by the spiritual water of My truth. And as once men tried to save themselves from the rising material flood, they shall now be inundated with My light, and I will awaken better spirits to spread it. And when the light will have pervaded everything, the ignoramuses will have to flee from its brilliance and hide in the outer darkness of their own weaknesses.
18. Thus, what I told the Pharisees in a metaphor shall be fulfilled spiritually. Now, too, some will get very angry at this mighty light, since it will be illuminating what they have held in darkness for so long. However, it must become light, irrespective of Satan’s resistance, for My Kingdom is a kingdom of light! It is the destiny of the spirits and beings I have created, including the entire human race, either to go through a lengthy purification process in the eternal darkness of their own soul, equivalent to the densest matter or, with sacrifice and great effort, with suffering and battling, take the shorter road of cognition. This is the destiny of the spirits and beings I have created as well as of all mankind.
19. All are invited as spirits, but woe betide him who would try to enter the kingdom of light without a wedding garment! He would fare as the one mentioned in the parable; he would be cast into outer darkness until it will begin to dawn in his heart. Just as I, during the time of My visible sojourn on earth, wanted to illuminate all the dark corners of the human heart with My words, thus at the time of My return, which is close at hand, all hearts must have light or must, at least, have been made receptive for the light, so that the wedding feast can be celebrated. Then I, as King and Father, shall prepare the wedding feast for the son, My spirits, and we shall then as one heart and one mind celebrate the feast of the greatest spiritual unification for the sake of which, in those times, I set the greatest example of humility and love for all of you. Amen.
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