Summary: Friend you can wear no other garment to the wedding except the righteousness of Jesus. Confess your sins and be baptised then profess your faith and seek a closer walk with the Lord. Those not clothed in wedding garments are cast out into outer darkness.
The Wedding Crasher
Summer is a time for weddings and often Jesus attendance at the wedding in Canaan gets mentioned.
We see in John’s gospel that Jesus His mother Mary and the disciples were all invited guests. The guest list is one of the most difficult things for an engaged couple to sort out. There is a natural desire to include everyone but not everyone will prove to be an honored guest.
We all have those relatives that we tend to overlook for either embarrassing or uncomfortable reasons. Some of the reasons are obvious to us but not so obvious to others. There are those who can over enjoy themselves at a celebration in any number of ways, too much wine, too much food or too many dances with inappropriately aged partners. You get the idea.
But in the end a wedding is a celebration of love, were the love of God has brought two very different people into one another’s arms to have and to hold, for better or for worse etc. etc.
Jesus uses a wedding as a backdrop to one of His most important parables and we will look at it today.
In Matthew 22:1-14 Jesus is speaking to the Jewish religious leaders and the faithful who follow them. After all Jesus came to the Chosen People to call them back to God to introduce to them the Grace of God and the acceptable year of the Lord.
Jesus was for the Jewish Nation the promised Messiah for whom they had long waited for but they were too busy rejecting Him to see the truth standing before them. It was to this truth that Jesus addressed this parable to emphasise how they were behaving and that there were consequences for their rejection of Him.
The parable concerns a wedding for a Kings son. We know that Jesus is talking about God the Father and Himself.
Jesus explains that the King had sent out His servants to those who had been invited.
You will notice that these servants stuck to the invitation list. They did not invite just anyone. However the invited guests refused to come. They did not apologize for being unable to come they refused to come.
That really sheds some light on how these invited guests felt about the King and the Prince.
At this the King sent out more servants adding to the invitation the details of the menu. Some flat out ignored the invitation and others took hold of the Kings servants and mistreated them and killed them.
Now the King addressed their contempt and sent our His army to destroy the murders and their city. This part of the parable is considered to be a prophecy by Jesus predicting the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman General Titus in 70AD.
Now with the murders dealt with and their city in ruins the King in the parable tells His servants to invite “anyone” they find to the wedding feast. The bad as well as the good are invited and the wedding hall is filled.
As the King arrives to the wedding feast He sees a guest that is not wearing wedding clothes.
S. Michael Houdmann put it this way…
“This was Jesus’ way of teaching the inadequacy of self-righteousness. From the very beginning, God has provided a “covering” for our sin. To insist on covering ourselves is to be clad in “filthy rags” Isaiah 64:6 . Adam and Eve tried to cover their shame, but they found their fig leaves to be woefully scant. God took away their handmade clothes and replaced them with skins of sacrificed animals Genesis 3:7, 21.
In the book of Revelation, we see those in heaven wearing “white robes” Revelation 7:9, and we learn that the whiteness of the robes is due to their being washed in the blood of the Lamb verse 14. We trust in God’s righteousness, not our own Philippians 3:9.”
Those not clothed in the wedding garment are cast out into outer darkness. Many are invited Jesus said but few are chosen. Jesus was telling His Jewish audience that they had been chosen as the delight of God as His chosen guests but they had rejected Him throughout history by refusing to listen to the prophets of old and by killing them and abusing them.
Even with the fulfilment of scripture and the coming of the Messiah Jesus, they have refused and rejected God’s offer of forgiveness and grace. Now because of their refusal there will be consequences. The invitation will be extended to all even the Gentiles. Good and bad.
John 3:16 – 17
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.