Not Dressed for the Occasion

Summary Matthew 22:1-7

Jesus Christ told a parable regarding the kingdom of heaven. A king gave a wedding feast for his son, so he sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. So he called for them again, but they paid no attention and went off to do what they did, and some of them seized the king’s servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. So, the king was angry, and he destroyed those murderers.

Matthew 22:8-14 ESV

“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.

“But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Now, in context, I believe this is speaking of the Jews who were the first to be invited to the wedding feast, but they, as a people collectively, but not all individually, rejected Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as their Lord and Messiah. And throughout biblical history, some of them did kill the Lord’s servants and messengers, first the prophets, then Jesus Christ, then later those who were/are followers of Jesus Christ who were/are proclaiming the truth of the gospel and who are calling people to repentance and obedience.

So, when the Jews, as a nation, rejected Jesus Christ as their Messiah, which thus meant that they refused to come to the wedding feast of Jesus, our husband, with his bride, the true church (the body of Christ), then the Lord sent his messengers to the Gentiles (non-Jews) to invite them to faith in Jesus Christ. And these messengers called the people to repentance and to obedient walks of faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord. So, in essence, the non-Jews were now invited to the wedding feast of the Son with his bride.

So, now we are looking at a whole bunch of people, both Jew and Gentile, who have been invited to the Wedding feast of Jesus (the groom) with his bride (the true church). But among them is a man who had no wedding garment. Now I don’t believe this is speaking of a singular individual, but of all those who are still of the flesh of man, perhaps who are making a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, for they seem to have at least welcomed the idea of being invited to the wedding feast.

And the proper wedding garment, I believe, means to be clothed with Christ and his righteousness, in white garments, which are a symbol of moral purity, uprightness, and godliness (Revelation 3:5; Revelation 4:4; Revelation 7:9-13). And it means we have put on Christ, and we have made no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires (Romans 13:14; Galatians 3:27). So it means we have died with Christ to sin, we have been reborn of the Spirit of God, and now we walk by the Spirit and not by the flesh.

So, the flesh of man has no wedding garment, and the flesh of man will not enter the kingdom of heaven. So, even if you make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, and so it appears you have accepted the invitation to the wedding feast, but you show up improperly clothed, you do not have eternal life with God. For not having a wedding garment means you are not genuinely saved, and usually this is because you did not surrender your life to Jesus Christ, you did not forsake your sins, and you did not obey Him.

So, the result is that you will not enter the kingdom of heaven, and you will not inherit eternal life with God, for you did not die to your sins, but you continued in deliberate and habitual sin, and you did not submit to Christ as Lord, for you remained in charge of your own life, and you did not walk in obedience to our Lord’s commands, but you shunned them, instead. And so, even though you profess Jesus as Lord and Savior, he is not truly your Lord and Savior, and so Jesus is going to say to you, “Depart from me you workers of lawlessness! I never knew you!” (Matthew 7:21-23)

For just because you are invited to believe in Jesus Christ, and just because God has called you to follow him in truth and in righteousness, and just because you make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, it doesn’t mean you are truly saved from your sins and on your way to heaven. For many are called, but few are chosen. And the chosen are those who have on the proper wedding garments, and who have died with Christ to sin, and who were raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, no longer in sin, but now in righteousness and in holiness, in obedience to our Lord.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer

Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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