Matthew 22:2-14(HCSB) 2 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent out his slaves to summon those invited to the banquet, but they didn’t want to come. 4 Again, he sent out other slaves, and said, ‘Tell those who are invited: Look, I’ve prepared my dinner; my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’ 5 “But they paid no attention and went away, one to his own farm, another to his business. 6 And the others seized his slaves, treated them outrageously and killed them. 7 The king was enraged, so he sent out his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned down their city. 8 “Then he told his slaves, ‘The banquet is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 Therefore go to where the roads exit the city and invite everyone you find to the banquet.’ 10 So those slaves went out on the roads and gathered everyone they found, both evil and good. The wedding banquet was filled with guests. 11 But when the king came in to view the guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed for a wedding. 12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless. 13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
The King prepares a great feast for the wedding banquet. He has invited certain people to come. In verses 3- 5 they ignored the messenger,Notice that it is not because the invited guests could not come to the wedding feast, but that they would not come. Everyone had an excuse. How tragic, and how typical of human nature, to be offered the blessings of God and to refuse them because of the draw of dull, boring, worldly things!
a. This speaks of people who just outright refuse the gospel.
b. one went his own way, other religions, his own version of Christianity,etc
c. one to his farm, meaning he was satisfying his flesh by spending his time with the things that sustain his flesh.
d. one to his business, he served his money.
In verse 6 they insulted and killed the messengers
a. those are the ones who do all in their power to shut the mouths of the prophets and the preaching of the gospel. Governments, Atheists,Some scientist,people in outright rebellion to the kingdom,etc
Verse 8 stated they were not worthy of honor. A person was not randomly picked to go to the king’s banquets. A person had to have been known to the king for him to invite them. And those people took the kings request so lackadaisical, like it didn’t mean anything to them. So the king opened the invitation to everyone that would accept it.
Verses 1-8 speak of the nation of Israel, they were God’s chosen people yet they ignored the request to come to the Kingdom through Jesus. So God opens up the invitation to everyone Jew and Gentile. There were only two types of people in the bible Jews and Gentiles. To be a Jew you either:
a. Had to be a descendant of Abraham knowing and can recite your lineage back to him.
b. Be converted by proselyte. Proselyting was the ceremony in converting to Judaism. Judaism is a religion of Works not Faith. One does not have to have faith in God,they just have to follow the laws of the Torah and the feast days and all the other laws the Pharisees put on you.
Verse 9 they bring in everyone they could find good and bad alike. The banquet hall was filled.
Verse 11 when the king came in he noticed that one man was not wearing the wedding garments.
In those times people didn’t have a huge amount of clothes and wardrobes. Mostly because they were simple people houses were small and you had just the bare necessities then. When a wedding was planned the father of the groom was responsible for the banquet or now a days the reception. He would hire a seamstress to fit a person to a garment to enter into the banquet. He would fit the garments to the people as they were entering the banquet. But this one man snuck pass and was in the banquet without the proper garments. One of the first things the king saw when he entered was this man did not have the proper garments. See many of us want to reap the benefits of the wedding feast without actually changing into the proper garments to enter in. Jesus is the garment to enter into the wedding feast.
The matter of the wedding garment is instructive. It would be a gross insult to the king to refuse to wear the garment provided to the guests. The man who was caught wearing his old clothing learned just how serious an offense it was as he was removed from the celebration. 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 clothed in “menstrual rags” Isaiah 64:6(LEB)And we all have become like the unclean, and all our deeds of justice like a menstrual cloth, And we all wither like a leaf, and our iniquities take us away like the wind.
After the fall in the garden, Adam and Eve tried to cover their shame, but they found their fig leaves to be barely sufficient. Genesis 3:7(HCSB)7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves. When God comes walking in the Garden and they hide themselves. And when God calls out and asks Adam where he’s at, Adam replies:
Genesis 3:10(HCSB)10 And he said, “I heard You[a] in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.”
Think about is, up until that moment they thought their fig leaves were doing the job. But suddenly the leaves left them feeling naked. When did Adam realize his fig leaves weren’t doing the job? (when God came visiting). It was when Adam found himself in God’s presence that he began to realize his man-made coverings weren’t enough.
Nakedness has been the symbol of our sinfulness ever since the garden.
Whenever a person’s sins are discovered, we say they have been exposed.
Jesus warns us not to be found “naked and exposed” when He comes again.
Revelation 16:15(HCSB)15 “Look, I am coming like a thief. The one who is alert and remains clothed so that he may not go around naked and people see his shame is blessed.”
Now, people understand this reality. They know their own nakedness… they know their own sin/shame personally. They’ll be blithely living their lives, working out in the garden, doing something in the house, or working at the shipyard or dock and suddenly it hits them out of the blue: a thought will overwhelm them reminding them of a something they’d said, done or thought in the past that brings a sudden wave of shame over their lives.
Robert Louis Stevenson wrote “All of us have thoughts that would shame Hell.”
People know their own nakedness. They just don’t want you knowing about it… and so they try to cover that nakedness.
There are at least 3 different ways people try to cover their nakedness:
- They try comparing their nakedness to someone else’s. “My fig leaves cover up more of my nakedness than yours do!
- They’ll try hanging out with all the right people – going to church/ belonging to church. I’ve seen pagans who have become Elders/ Deacons/ Sunday School teachers/ even Preachers. I’ve seen Pagans try to cover their nakedness by all kinds of religious activities and Facebook posts.
- Then there are others who will skip the religious clothing and just try to get by on their good deeds.
Now what’s interesting about all these folks is that they do everything they can to avoid getting too close to God. Because once they get too close to God or to other Christians their nakedness becomes obvious. We know we’ve acknowledged our nakedness when we begin to view church as a privilege. When we think of how lucky we are that God not only lets us come to church… but that He lets us LIVE. When we realize how honored we are to have received His love and mercy. And we think about it every day.
THAT’S how we know that we’re not one of those people who try to hide behind their fig leaves… because we realize we don’t have any fig leaves worth anything.
So the 1st intriguing thing about the story of Adam and Eve was that they already had clothes, they just weren’t very good clothes because they were man-made.
The 2nd thing that’s intriguing here is that God supplied their clothing.
He gave them clothing that He had made for them.
God did it all – they did nothing.
All they did was put the clothes on.
God took away their handmade clothes and replaced them with skins of (sacrificed) animals. Genesis 3:7(HCSB)7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves. Genesis 3:21(HCSB)21 The Lord God made clothing out of skins for Adam and his wife, and He clothed them. Now where would God get garments of skin from? (From an animal) And how do you get skin off an animal? (It’s got to die) When God killed these animals to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness this was the beginning of animal sacrifices. Animal sacrifices were made throughout the Old Testament to pay for sin. The Law of Moses repeatedly taught the Israelites that every sin that they committed was punishable by death. But since everyone sinned, God allowed them to pay for their sins by offering up a sacrifice of a pure and spotless animal in their place.
Hebrews 9:22(HCSB)22 According to the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
God takes away our self righteousness and clothes us with the blood of Jesus. We trust in God’s righteousness, not our own.
Fig leaves wither and must be changed while the animal skins are lasting, therefore if we are relying upon our own righteousness it must be renewed vs having an everlasting covering in the blood of Jesus.
What gets me is none of the other guest of hosts paid any attention to the man. That tells me he wasn’t all that different from the others but when the king entered He noticed.
A lot of us can fake it. Make it look like we have the garment, we can talk christianese, fake the fruits, look like we have it all together, BUT when the king enters he see right through that dung. He asked the man and the man did not even answer. The king then ordered him to be bound then thrown into the outer darkness where there was weeping and gnashing of teeth. Many are called but few are chosen. In other words, many people hear the call of God, but only a few heed it.
Sad reality is that the call goes out to everyone but not everyone will make it to the wedding feast, some will be too tired, too busy, just don’t care. They would rather walk the line and try to sneak in. With that you can fool the other guest but when Jesus comes He will see that you are not wearing the proper garments and you will be bound and thrown into Hell.
Just as the king provided wedding garments for his guests, God provides salvation for mankind. Our wedding garment is the righteousness of Christ, and unless we have it, we will miss the wedding feast. Romans 3:23-24(HCSB)23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 24 They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
This righteousness we receive is imputed righteousness–that is a theological term which means removing the guilt and penalty of sin while at the same time declaring a sinner righteous through Christ’s atoning sacrifice. God legally declares us to be righteous because of Christ’s work on the cross. This is Justification, to stand before God with all debts paid, and clothed in the righteousness of His only Son, Jesus Christ. To be able know that you have “peace with God”–there is no more war between you and the Almighty. Romans 5:1(HCSB) Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
When the religions of the world are stripped down to their basic beliefs, we either find man working his way toward God, or we find the cross of Christ. The cross is the only way to salvation.God sent His Son into the world, and the very people who should have celebrated His coming rejected Him, bringing judgment upon themselves. As a result, the kingdom of heaven was opened up to anyone who will set aside his own righteousness and by faith accept the righteousness God provides in Christ. Those who reject the gift of salvation and hold on to their own “good” works will spend eternity in hell.
If we would be ready for Christ’s return, we must be born again through saving faith in Jesus Christ… Saving faith in Jesus Christ will manifest itself in every aspect of our lives. The fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control)will begin to show. Galatians 5:22-23(HCSB)22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. A desire for greater holiness and less sin will be apparent. And a consistent looking for His coming will mark our lives. One of the best passages on what saving grace and faith look like in a believer’s life is Titus 2:11-14(HCSB)11 For the grace of God has appeared with salvation for all people, 12 instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. 14 He gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people for His own possession, eager to do good works.