“But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.” Mt 22: 11-14
When you have an interview for a dream job, you dress in such a way as to bring attention to yourself for the purpose of scoring that job. When you have a date with the one you’ve been dreaming about, you dress a certain way so as to get another date. When you are playing a team sport, you dress a certain way that says you belong to that team. There are many sayings covering the topic of dressing for success. The way you dress yourself shows others a lot about you. Your appearance could tell people you are ready for whatever the day wants to throw your way or it could tell people you could care less what happens with your life. There is an importance attached to the way we carry ourselves in the physical world, how much more does that apply in the spiritual world?
Aside from this parable of the marriage feast, Jesus makes it clear to us that we need to take good care of our soul! He warns us to be alert since we don’t know when the Master will return. “Be dressed in readiness and keep your lamps lit”! (Luke 12:35) He also shows through the parable of the ten bridesmaids the difference between those who clothe their soul properly versus those that don’t. The comparison is jaw dropping! Those who kept their lamps lit were ready for the bridegroom, but those who didn’t were shut out of the wedding, completely!
Aside from Jesus’ words, the apostles had words for believers concerning the spiritual clothes we are to wear in order to make it in this world as Christians. Peter tells us to clothe ourselves in humility (1pet5:5), Paul tells us not only to put on the whole armor of God (Eph 6: 10-18), which are: righteousness, truth, the gospel of peace, faith, the word of God, and salvation, but he also tells us to put on: the new man (Eph. 4: 24), the Lord Jesus (Rom. 13: 14), a heart of compassion, kindness…(Col 3:12).
The man who was kicked out of the wedding must have been one who came in through a different way than was required. He could have been like the modern day party crasher, people who have no sense of order, they just do what they want when they want and whatever happens, happens. Jesus says there is only one way to heaven and that is through Him, not over, under, or around Him but through Him. Once we are born again, there is a commitment required of us to uphold. We are called to live as Jesus lived. Every necessary article of clothing is found in Jesus and we must be found in Jesus.
We must be found doing His work: How are we treating the outcasts? the prisoners? the drug addicts? A better question could be, are we treating them? Or do we avoid them? A heart of compassion is what Jesus was clothed in to those who were down and out.
We must be found imitating His character. Do we still allow bitterness to wreak havoc in our life? Or have we clothed ourselves with a forgiving heart? The problem many have with forgiveness is they don’t walk in that character, but rather, they wait for an offense to arise before deciding on whether to just let it go or hold on tightly to it. If you clothe yourself in love, as Paul tells us to, you won’t struggle as much to forgive. Decide today that whatever comes your way you will react in love, no matter how hard it is to do so. Jesus did it so we can imitate it.
So, the final question would be: Whats in your wardrobe? Are you dressed for success? Are you putting on His character willfully and cheerfully? If you want to go to the wedding feast and not be escorted out, the only way is to get there through Jesus.
Be found doing His work and imitating His character, and be blessed!