HOW CAMEST THOU HERE,
NOT HAVING A WEDDING GARMENT?
Matthew 22:1-14 (KJV)
1 And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,
2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,
3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.
4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.
5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:
6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.
7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.
9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.
10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.
11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
again by parables
The Lord has cleansed the temple of the moneychangers twice in this week already. The plot to have Him killed is progressing as He speaks here in this sermon. The last supper is in several hours, and Jesus is relating some important truths for His followers to contemplate in the next few days, as He will be in the center of the earth, in paradise. The parable is a story, that illustrates truth, but is not something easily used to charge someone with heresy. The truth of the parable is evident, and then can be applied to the truth that the Lord truly wants His followers to realize.
This parable illustrates the truth found in verse 14: "For many are called, but few are chosen." Many had been called into this kingdom about to emerge, and yet, only a few will choose to enter it, to be a part of it.
kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king ...
The ‘certain king’ of the parable is not stated, for this is but a parable. The king represent God, the Father. The marriage is illustrative of the marriage supper of the Lamb, to happen in heaven during the last part of the tribulation here on earth. The Lord has been inviting guests to that wedding for millennia. The groom is the Lord Jesus, the ‘bride’ is the New Jerusalem, the eternal home of the Trinity, and of all the family of God. That union is likened to a marriage.
We, the guests, are like the ‘adornment’ of the bride, i.e. the city.
Jesus had promised to go and prepare for us this city, and the marriage supper of the Lamb is the day of the opening of that heavenly city for us.
"IF I GO AWAY, I WILL PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU..."
Some have thought of heaven as a ghostly, unreal, indefinite state. Heaven is as physically real as the city and building in which you live. There are actual streets of gold, and actual rooms, and mansions. We will literally stand before the manifest presence of the real God, on a real throne. We will throw our literal crowns about the real, nail scarred feet of Jesus, our Savior. We will have real bodies in heaven. Jesus went to heaven in a physical body.
"BEHOLD, MY HANDS AND MY FEET, THAT IT IS I MYSELF; HANDLE ME AND SEE, FOR A SPIRIT HATH NOT FLESH AND BONES AS YE SEE ME HAVE..."
7. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come and His wife hath made herself ready.
8. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white; for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
9. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they who are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
The marriage supper of the Lamb, is a time, when there will be a feast celebrating the grand opening of the New Jerusalem... The bride of the Lord is that city, the saints are the 'linen' adornment of that city.
After all the saints have gotten to heaven, this event can take place, we see it inserted here in Revelation just before the description of the battle of Armageddon. At that time, the church has already been in heaven, the trib. saints (those saved after the rapture) are also there, the 144,000 finished their 3 and a half year ministry, and are there. The two witnesses have been slain, and a few days later resurrected, and there is a reunion, celebration day, in which we get to walk the streets of the New Jerusalem shortly before the return to conquer the Antichrist and his armies at Armageddon.
This will be a 'blessed' day, and we are told here to 'be glad and rejoice' when it comes. Jesus said that He would not drink of the fruit of the vine again, until He would drink it with us in heaven (Matthew 26:29). We are told that the New Jerusalem is in heaven.
9. And there came unto me, one of the seven angels who had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.
10. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.
11. Having the glory of God; and her light was like unto a stone most precious,
even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
The New Jerusalem is the heavenly city, built and prepared to be our eternal home, but more important, prepared to be the eternal home, the bride of Christ. The celebration of that event is what the wedding feast that Jesus is speaking of in this parable illustrates.
The visions of the New Jerusalem:
live in a tent willingly, for many years,
living in a nomadic tent amidst a pagan people in a strange land,
for his hope was in that city built by God,
and he lost all desire for a city, or home, built here by mankind.
able to serve Manasseh, whom Isaiah knew would someday kill him,
but the vision of the "Lord, high and lifted up",
upon the city of New Jerusalem, gave Isaiah the courage and strength he needed.
able to be shown all the horrible judgments to come,
suffer exile and loneliness on the prison isle of Patmos,
and still pray "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." (Rev. 22:20)
who was shown paradise, able to endure the thorn in the flesh,
battle a wicked world, suffer imprisonment,
be beheaded at the end, and still face such times with joy.
The Lord does not pass out visions as videos from Netflix. The visions are to prepare us for battle, to uplift us. If we avoid the visions of battle and trials, we will miss the revelations of victory and triumph to come following that judgment. Many remain in darkness today, sitting in the pew not knowing the joy that is soon to come. Jesus is preaching this sermon, this parable in the sermon, to illustrate to them in that trying time of the crucifixion, and in our day now, being attacked by the devils, as the rapture approaches, that there is a joyous wedding feast that we are invited to attend. Many will be called, many will reject, and even persecute the ones doing the inviting, but have hope and joy, for that feast will of certainty take place.
Again, he sent forth other servants
It was customary for two invitations to be sent. One announced the feast, and it was to make sure the people were aware, could prepare for it, and have their lives organized to allow attendance. The second invitation came when the host had all things ready, and was announcing now is the time to come.
This second group were slain, killed. John the Baptist was one of this second group. He announced the ‘kingdom of God is at hand’, and they slew him. Jesus preached the same message, and they were in a few hours to slay Him. But though Israel rejected here, there would still be another invitation given, which would be to the ‘highways’, the places of travelers, the places of those without their own homes, and those would be invited. The good, the bad, the most moral, the least moral, are all invited to find salvation, and invitation to the marriage supper of the Lamb.
Israel did to God's messengers what the men of this parable did to the king's servants. Israel was to be judged for this rejection of the ones inviting them to the marriage feast.
they which were bidden were not worthy
The Jewish leaders, the ones plotting with Judas to kill Jesus, as Jesus was speaking here in this sermon, were part of the ones that history has shown were not worthy to be chosen. The Lord revealed to the early church, that the invitations to the marriage supper of the Lamb was to go out to the Gentiles, now, for many of the Jewish people had proven unworthy.
Acts 13:46-52 (KJV)
46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.
48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.
49 And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.
50 But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.
51 But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium.
52 And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.
Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage... both bad and good
The king of this parable had his servants search out other guests. God loves all the world, not willing that any should perish. His plan called for Israel to be the messengers of His great mercy, of the invitation to fellowship with God again, as intended before the fall. Israel rejected that chosen goal for them, and now the church is given the message, the invitation of God to the marriage feast, to take to all, good and bad, of the world.
This was not a normal occurrence, for all people, good or bad to be invited to such a feast. The king was intent on filling the feast with guests. The poor would not have clothes fit for such an event. Therefore, the king has robes prepared to dress the attenders. The ones who would come willingly, would be dressed in robes of the king, with none to appear better than another. We are promised robes of righteousness in heaven. We too, will not be dressed any longer in our garments of filthy rags. We will be part of the family of God, dressed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
king came in to see the guests... how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?
The wedding garment was given at the entrance door. To be in the feast, and not have a garment given at the door, meant that the person had broken into the feast, was not there by invitation, had not wanted to wear the wedding garment. The only way to be at this feast in heaven is to accept the garment of Jesus, be clothed in His righteousness. Any desire to show off our own garment, our own righteousness, is prideful and evil. We have no inner purity to claim, other than the purity of Jesus. He died for our sins, we must wear His righteousness, and not ever brag on our own.
The man was speechless and was without excuse. When we face humans who are frail and not omniscient, we may be able to convince them of our purity, goodness, and sinless nature. When we stand before the King, we will be speechless, in desiring to convince the all knowing God.
Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth
Those that do not come by the One way provided, and receive the righteousness of Jesus to be their garment in heaven, will be sent to hell, to the darkness of eternity, weeping, gnashing teeth in suffering pain of having missed the opportunity provided to be at the marriage feast in heaven.
For many are called, but few are chosen
Many have rejected the message of the Old Testament, and the final call of the church age. We in the last days are now to call all we can, from the highways and hedges, from the rich and the poor, and from any who will heed the call.
During this last call before the feast, some will be found in the church who do not have a wedding garment on. Those who came into the wedding feast were greeted at the door, and they were given a special robe of celebration to wear. If someone came in uninvited, they would have to sneak in another way, and they would not have the garment on them.
These are like the tares of Matthew 13, and represent the false prophets, the troublemakers, the abusers, the hypocrites of the church congregations of today. The Bible clearly warns of a judgment upon those who did not come in through the right door. Their judgment will come in the last days, as warned by I Peter 4:17-18, by Ezekiel 9, and by Matthew 13.
Let us follow the example of Jesus and weep before the Lord. Many have neglected to come to the feast... and many have tried to appear to be part of the kingdom... but their judgment is definitely predicted... and certain.
Jesus had these things on His mind when He wept upon the day we call His triumphal entry. Palm Sunday was not a day of rejoicing for Him, though many others rejoiced, Jesus wept, for He had these things related in the parables on His mind.
The disciples were enthused, the scribes and the Pharisees were angered. Yet, Jesus had on His mind the rejection of many, the false professors of faith, the judgment to someday come upon the fake and hypocritical ones who profess a relationship with the Lord.
On the original Palm Sunday, Jesus was reminded of this coming judgment, and wept openly about such sinners and their judgment to someday come. He spoke of these things to the disciples. He rebuked the chief priests and the moneychangers. And Jesus warned others of the rejection and its consequences.
Beware of enthusiasm on Palm Sunday, for some enthusiasm is surface, and many have not counted the cost of being in Christ's kingdom. The disciples did not listen to these parables and lessons of Jesus, and several days later were filled with doubt, confusion and fear. The scribes and the chief priests did not listen, and were soon plotting the crucifixion. Many other people did not listen, and were soon shouting "Crucify Him!"
These parables of this sermon were meant to prepare the disciples for the hard days ahead. The pain of seeing Jesus betrayed, arrested, beaten, falsely tried and then put to death, was very difficult. We find this sermon recorded in the gospels, for the sermon was recalled later, but had they heeded the message of this sermon earlier, there would not have been the fear and dread of the next few days. We need to study the Word, for these sermons of Jesus still have need of preparing us for what we face in our ministries.
The Lord expects us first to have on the robes of righteousness, the garments of ministry, and will interrogate us if we do not. His welcome is for those who have come through the One Gate, i.e. Jesus Christ.