Readings for the Day
2 Samuel 10, 1 Chronicles 20, Psalm 20, Matthew 22
Verses of the Day
11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless. 13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
It is helpful to know the context of Jesus' teaching, especially as it relates to weddings in His day. Note, "In Jewish society, the parents of the betrothed generally drew up the marriage contract. The bride and groom would meet, perhaps for the first time, when this contract was signed. The couple was considered married at this point, but they would separate until the actual time of the ceremony. The bride would remain with her parents, and the groom would leave to prepare their home. This could take quite a while. When the home was all was ready, the groom would return for his bride without notice. The marriage ceremony would then take place, and the wedding banquet would follow." (GotQuestions.org)
In this passage those who have been invited represent the Jews, who were the chosen ones in the Old Testament. From them came Jesus, who came to save all people including both Jews and Gentiles. But since Jesus was Jewish, he first went to his own people, but His own people received him not. These were those who were originally invited to the banquet but refused to respond to the invitation. Note they choose to not come even though they were invited.
But the Father of the groom wanted the wedding banquet full so he sent his servants out into the streets and invited all people. And some of them accepted the invitation and came. But one man in the verse came to the wedding banquet without the proper wedding attire. Again tradition says at the wedding banquet the father of the from provided clean wedding clothes fit for the banquet. In essence the man reject the free gift do clean clothes and preferred his own soiled garment.
So what does this mean? As we interpret we must remember how the metaphor of clothes or garments is related to the concept of being clothed with Christ. Galatians 3:27 says, "For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ."
Zechariah mentions similar when talking about how Joshua the King would be given clean garments, "Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes. Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.”
Although those from the streets chose to respond to the invitation, it was still the gracious gift of the host to provide the gift of the appropriate wedding clothes. Jesus has invited all people to the wedding feast, where one day all people will be gathered in heaven. But as we respond to his invitation it is his gift that makes us worthy. A lot of people think that it is their choice that makes them acceptable, but it is Jesus our host who has clothed us in righteousness so that we can come into God's presence some day.
Do you rely on the free gift of being clothed with Christ, or are you still trying to get in with your old and soiled clothes? Jesus has already given us all we need to join the wedding feast, we just need to receive the free gift by believing in Him. Then, he can say, "Let the feast begin!"