And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. -Matthew 22:11, 12 (KJV)
In recent years a previously unknown term has come into existence. “Wedding crashers” refers to uninvited people who show up at weddings pretending to be invited guests. They then partake of the food and celebration intended for those who had been invited. Why someone would do this is a mystery to me, but then again a great amount of the odd behavior which people exhibit is considered strange and inexplicable to most of us. So popular has this term become that a movie was produced a number of years ago based on the concept. For the record, I haven’t seen the movie and have no intention of doing so. I will also only attend weddings to which I have been formally invited.
Matthew 22 gives us the parable Jesus told about a king who held a wedding banquet for his son. After a number of delays such as guests refusing to come and assaults on the messengers, the king declared the wedding would be open to anyone the servants could find who were willing to attend. The doors of the banquet were then opened to all. However, all invited guests had to be presented with their official wedding clothes. Jesus said during the celebration the king found a man at the banquet who was not dressed in wedding garments. Upon questioning the man he was found to be without an answer. The unfortunate wedding crasher was then bound, carried out, and thrown into the outer darkness.
This powerful parable paints a picture of Christ’s coming and our need to be ready. When we receive Jesus Christ as Savior we are cleansed from sin and given the Holy Spirit. We “put on Christ” (Romans 13:14, Galatians 3:27) much as a wedding guest puts on wedding clothes. We are then prepared not only to serve the Lord right now, but we are ready for the great banquet which will take place in heaven one day. The banquet Christ will give in heaven some day with be attended by people from all over the world. People of all races, ethnic origins, and nationalities will be in attendance. However, no one will get in without having put on Christ – the wedding garments He has provided.
Have you put on Christ today? Are you walking in the fullness of His grace, love, and mercy? Through Jesus Christ we walk in spiritual victory each day, not focused on ourselves or our problems, but rather we have fixed our eyes on Jesus. When the Lord then invites us to sit at His table we will be ready, for we will be wearing our wedding clothes.
Until the day comes, let us serve the Lord with glad, joyful, and grateful hearts.