Once again, there are some differences with Luke, chapter 14:21-24, who was more descriptive of those who were invited this time. Finally, we have a third invitation. Jesus said that this king told his slaves (τότε λέγει τοῖς δούλοις αὐτοῦ) that the wedding feast was ready (Ὁ μὲν γάμος ἕτοιμός ἐστιν). Those originally invited were not worthy or deserving of his invitation (οἱ δὲ κεκλημένοι οὐκ ἦσαν ἄξιοι). Therefore, they were to go into the main streets or the meeting places on the roads (πορεύεσθε οὖν ἐπὶ τὰς διεξόδους τῶν ὁδῶν). Then they should invite everyone or as many as they could find to this wedding banquet (καὶ ὅσους ἐὰν εὕρητε καλέσατε εἰς τοὺς γάμους). This king was intent on having this wedding dinner. Notice the original chosen ones, the Israelites, were not considered worthy. Now the invitation went out to all people to come to the banquet feast of the son, Jesus.
This verse of Matthew is similar to Luke, chapter 14:27, indicating a Q source. Matthew had Jesus repeat this remark in chapter 16:24, about the same theme of unworthiness. Mark, chapter 8:34 has the carrying of the cross as a condition of discipleship. If you did not take up his cross (καὶ ὃς οὐ λαμβάνει τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ) and follow after Jesus (καὶ ἀκολουθεῖ ὀπίσω μου), you were not worthy of Jesus (οὐκ ἔστιν μου ἄξιος). This assumes knowledge of the cross and suffering of Jesus. To be a follower of Jesus, you had to follow him and take up his cross. The cross was the Roman way of punishment and execution. After the death and resurrection of Jesus, it became a symbol of the death of Jesus on the cross.
This verse of Matthew is similar to Luke, chapter 14:26, indicating a Q source. Jesus called for an unconditional love with this harsh saying. If you loved your mother or father more than Jesus (Ὁ φιλῶν πατέρα ἢ μητέρα ὑπὲρ ἐμὲ), you were not worthy of him (οὐκ ἔστιν μου ἄξιος). If you loved your son or daughter more than Jesus (καὶ ὁ φιλῶν υἱὸν ἢ θυγατέρα ὑπὲρ ἐμὲ), then you were not worthy of him (οὐκ ἔστιν μου ἄξιος). There were no halfway measures.