Matthew Chapter 22

In Matthew 22 the Parable of the Wedding Banquet illustrates to me God’s expectations in what he calls the ‘Kingdom of Heaven’. 
The king has some expectations of those attending, and they’re very personal. The first one is obvious, accept the invitation and come.  The second is be prepared. I see this expressed by wearing wedding day attire.  Do not disappoint the king for this wedding. Less you be ‘bounded, thrown outside in the dark where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 
Then Jesus says something quite haunting. “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”  
To engage with the king is not good enough, there is some level of preparation for this wedding banquet.  The metaphor is clothes in this case.  The occasion of the son’s wedding is important to the Kingdom of Heaven.  This raises a question for me.  How does an invitee prepare for the wedding?
The next four dialogs Matthew tells us are intended to trap Jesus. Each questions asked reveals something true about relationships in the Kingdom of Heaven.
First, where does God fit relative to powerful people like Caesar, the political ruler of the day?  Is one over the other?  No, they are two separate realities. ‘Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” 
The second dialog concerns marriage. Marriage does not exist in the Kingdom of Heaven! When I first read that sentence, many years ago, I remember being astounded, assuming marriage would be present. Especially since a healthy marriage is one of the greatest examples of intimacy, love, care and giving of oneself to someone else. This reality speaks to the primacy of our individual relationship to God above all other relationships.  
Thirdly, God has expectations of me personally as I live out my life.  Through a question, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus answers. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.  Focusing on these two commands, and living with kind of outlook and actions this gets you close to the ‘Kingdom of Heaven”. In my observation this take’s a lifetime to become like that.
Jesus’s last question to the Pharisees, “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?”,  joins the parable and the three earlier questions into a tight and remarkable message. All of a sudden the main event in the parable, the celebration of the son’s wedding comes into focus.  If the son is the Messiah, then this is the Son of God.   
If those invitees represent people from the past, present, and future on earth, then it is a picture of most of the people ignoring God, and doing whatever they want.  This feels true with many people in the world today.  But for those who are drawn to the Kingdom of Heaven there is another way to live.  Accept God’s invitation to the wedding banquet, recognize your relationship with God is primary, then prepare for the wedding banquet. Seek the Kingdom of heaven. Focus on integrating into your life the greatest commandment to celebrate the Son of God.