The chief priests and Pharisees were much upset by Jesus’ parable of the husbandman and his vineyard, “But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet” Matthew 21:46. Not intimidated, Jesus continued with another parable aimed at the hearts of these church leaders.
“The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come” Matthew 22:2, 3. Not only did they spurn the invitation and show disrespect for the king, but they actually killed the servants! In response, they were destroyed and their city burned by the king’s army (verses 4-7).
“Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. 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” verses 8-10.
Once again Jesus is attempting to show the Jewish leadership their condition that they might repent. They had been “bidden to the wedding,” but had despised the invitation. Jerusalem and the Jewish nation were soon to be destroyed. At that time, the gospel invitation would go to the “highways” which connotes the Gentiles. Note that those gathered included “both bad and good.” This point is found in many of Jesus’ parables. If one is looking for a bunch of perfect saints in the Christian church they will be disappointed. The separation will be made, but not until the end. Let us continue with the story.
“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. 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. For many are called, but few are chosen” verses 11-14. Here we see a work of judgment. The guests are examined and though all were invited, only those wearing the wedding garment can stay. What is that garment?
In the symbolic language of Revelation, speaking of the marriage of the Lamb, it says of the Lamb’s bride “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” Revelation 19:8. And where does that righteousness originate? “For he(the Lord) hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness” Isaiah 61:10. Are you wearing Christ’s righteousness? It’s a must!