Matthew 22:1-14 is a parable spoken by Jesus about the kingdom of heaven, in which a certain king arranged a marriage for his son. He sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding, and they were not willing to come. Again, he sent out other servants to tell those who were invited that dinner was prepared and all things were ready for them to come to the wedding feast. Some made light of it and went their own ways. Others seized his servants and treated them spitefully and killed them. When the king heard this he became furious and sent out his armies to destroy the murderers and burn up their city. Again he sent his servants into the highways to invite as many as they could find, both the good and the bad and the wedding hall was filled with guest. When the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man who did not have on a wedding garment. He asked: “Friend how did you come in here without a wedding garment?” And he was speechless. The king said to the servants: “Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness.” There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, “for many are called, but few are chosen.” Notice that in verse 12, the king asked the guest how he got in “without a proper wedding garment.”
The majority of Christians today are heading toward the great wedding feast, unconcerned about whether they are clothed in the right wedding garments. Jesus warns that some will be shocked when they arrive at the great wedding feast because their clothing is considered unacceptable for entrance. Worse still, those improperly dressed guests will be bound hand and foot, taken away and cast into outer darkness. It’s important that you first understand that Jesus is not asking sinners to accept Him. Jesus will only accept those who are given to Him by the Father (John 6:36-3).
The only proper wedding garment for entrance into the wedding feast is to be clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, credited to us from God. “For He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the Righteousness of God in Him,” 2 Corinthians 5:21. If we come dressed in any other righteousness, such as the filthy rags of our own self-righteousness, we will be cast out (Isaiah 64:6).
The problem is, we are told in the parable that one showed up wearing the wrong garment and was bound and cast out with the words: “many are called” [invited to the feast] “but few are chosen” [given the proper wedding garments]. If the object of your faith is the righteousness of Jesus credited to you, then you are wearing the proper wedding garments, and you can have confidence that you will be received into the great wedding feast.
If, however, you are clothed in the hope that your faith is the condition meriting your salvation, then you are still dressed in the filthy rags of your own self-righteousness. It does not matter how sincere your faith is. It is not a saving faith if you are never granted to repent and totally surrender your mind, body and soul, trusting in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone.
You are heading to the wedding feast in the wrong garment. And though you expect to be seated at the table, you will be bound hand and foot and cast out with the words, “depart from me you workers of iniquity, I never knew you,” Matthew 7:21-23.
Ask yourself this question: Have I truly been born again from above? Start by reading the Word of God and offering up intercessory prayer that you may help transform someone’s life.
My daily prayer is that the reader of this commentary becomes spiritually inspired of God. Contact Expressions of Faith at P.O. Box 330127, Nashville, Tenn. 37203; or e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>. God bless!