Monday, March 5, 2012

A Perplexing Parable

The parable Jesus told about the wedding garment has left people scratching their heads saying, "I don't get it!"  A king gave a wedding feast to honor his son (Matt. 22:2-14). In this parable, the king is God the Father and the son is Jesus. In those days, they would send out two invitations. The first was to let the person know they were invited to the event, and the second invitation went out when the feast was ready.  The king sent his slaves out with the second invitation to let his invited guests know that everything was ready. Instead of coming to the feast, they ignored the invitation and went about their daily business.

The king decided to open up the feast to everyone. He sent his slaves out on the streets to invite strangers to the wedding feast. This was unheard of!  Kings only invited prestigious people to events like this, but this king invited everyone--including evil people (Matt. 22:10). Just imagine all the thieves, murderers, and prostitutes at this feast to honor his son. This shows that God loves everyone and wants every person to be saved, no matter how evil they may be.

As the king was looking at the wedding hall filled with the guests, he spotted a man who wasn't dressed in wedding clothes. He asked him why he wasn't dressed properly.  He couldn't give an answer, so the king threw him into hell!  Now you're scratching your head, trying to figure out what it means.  To understand this parable, you need to know an important piece of information.

In those days when a wedding was held, the host bought a wedding garment for each person to wear.  It was a free gift to the invited guests.  All the person had to do was put it on, which showed honor and respect for the person being married.  This man had no excuse because he refused the free gift from the king.  The interpretation is the wedding garment was "the robe of righteousness" (61:10).  He was at the feast just to get the free food and had no interest in honoring the son. Many people today want to go to heaven to get the free food, but have no interest in living for the Lord.  On Judgment Day, they will be like the man who refused to wear the wedding garment.

God is giving an invitation to you to spend eternity with Him, but you must accept the invitation and receive the robe of righteousness.  Will you be at the wedding in the next life?