When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Mat. 8:10-12)The “sons of the kingdom” are the Jews. They are the ones who were initially invited to the marriage supper, but refused to come. Therefore, the invitation went out to all nations (Mat. 22:2-14).The ones who are blessed are not the ones who were invited, but refused to come. It is the ones who were called according to God’s election and predestination. See commentary on Revelation 17:14. They are the ones who are not only invited, but accept the invitation and turn to faith in Christ. Jesus indicated that although many would be called (κλητοί [klētoi] ) to the marriage feast, few were chosen (εκλεκτοί [eklektoi] ) (Mat. 22:14). Only the chosen ones come to faith in Christ and actually attend the feast. This includes the saints of all ages who will sit down and eat with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.Since the bride needs no invitation to the marriage supper,2 those mentioned here are a separate body of saints who are not part of the church, having never been baptized into the body of Christ. They are the saved who died before the Day of Pentecost or who came to faith after the Restrainer was removed in the Rapture of the Church. See Who is the Restrainer?Since the banquet includes the saints of all ages (not just the bride), this also indicates the feast will be held during the Millennial Kingdom. In order for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to participate, it will have to follow their resurrection (Isa. 26:19; Dan. 12:2+). In order for the Tribulation martyrs to participate, it will also have to follow their resurrection (Rev. 20:4+).
It is with the Marriage Feast that the Millennium will begin, . . . the invitations . . . go out to all the redeemed who are not members of the Church, i.e., the Old Testament and Tribulation saints soon to be resurrected.3It is in the kingdom of God, when the Messianic Kingdom comes on earth, that Jesus will once again eat the Passover:
Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” (Luke 22:15-18)
Since the marriage supper consistently is used in reference to Israel on the earth, it may be best to . . . view the marriage of the Lamb as that event in the heavens in which the church is eternally united to Christ and the marriage feast or supper as the millennium, to which Jews and Gentiles will be invited, which takes place on earth, during which time the bridegroom is honored through the display of the bride to all His friends who are assembled there.4Jesus promised those in the church at Laodicea who opened to His knock that he would dine with them and that they would sit with Him on His throne. Since His throne, the throne of David, is taken up during the Millennial Kingdom, the promise likely extends to participation in the marriage supper. See commentary on Revelation 3:20.Some see the need to include the millennial saints and the mention of the New Jerusalem as the bride of the Lamb as an indication that the feast will be prolonged into the eternal state:
[The marriage feast] cannot transpire on earth in a completed sense until after the Millennium when the rest of the faithful from the thousand-year period combine with the martyrs and other saints to complete the body of the redeemed (Charles). The language of Rev. 21:2+, 9+ is quite explicit regarding the bride in the new heaven and the new earth (Lee). The better part of wisdom is to include both the Millennium and the new heaven and the new earth as the prolonged wedding feast of the Lamb and His bride (cf. Rev. 19:9+). It will commence with Christ’s glorious appearance to initiate His kingdom on this present earth.5These are the true sayings of God
1 Concerning Jesus as the Lamb in Revelation: Rev. 5:6+, 8+, 12-13+; 6:1+, 16+; 7:9-10+, 14+, 17+; 12:11+; 13:8+; 14:1+, 4+, 10+; 15:3+; 17:14+; 19:7+, 9+; 21:9+, 14+, 22-23+, 27+; 22:1+, 3+.
2 “That they are invited guests marks them as a distinct group from the church, since a bride would hardly be invited to her own wedding.”—John MacArthur, Revelation 12-22 : The MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 2000), Rev. 19:7.
3 Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, The Footsteps of Messiah, rev ed. (Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries, 2003), 351.
4 J. Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come: A Study in Biblical Eschatology (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1958), 228.
5 Robert L. Thomas, Revelation 8-22 (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1995), Rev. 19:7.