The Man Who Rejected the King's Provision of Wedding Clothes

In our daily meditations, we are thinking about the time when Christ will come in all His glory, and the wedding of the Lamb will begin (Revelation 19:7-9). In the Parable of the Wedding Banquet, the Lord spoke of a time that is soon coming, when King Jesus will come for His people, all those who have entered into a covenant relationship with God through the substitutionary death of His Son. He will be at the wedding banquet.

The passage tells us of His coming into the midst of the wedding celebration and seeing a man that is not wearing the provision of the King, the gift of wedding clothes. This custom we read about in the story of Samson's wedding in Philistine country, when Samson had to supply the wedding guests with the customary linen garments (Judges 14:10-13). Jesus spoke a parable to illustrate what it will be like at the time of His coming again:

1Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2“The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come. 4“Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’ 5“But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. 6The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. 7The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. 8“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. 9So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ 10So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless. 13“Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14“For many are invited, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:1-14).

The king in the parable is a picture of God who supplies all of His wedding guests with a robe of righteousness. There will be none at the wedding feast better dressed than others—we will all be one in Christ Jesus and clothed in God's righteousness:

I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels (Isaiah 61:10).

The man who came without the king’s gift of wedding clothes illustrates to us that some will try to enter the wedding banquet with the rags of their own provision—their good works (Isaiah 64:6). The man in the parable purposely rejected the king's provision. This rejection of the wedding garment is a greater insult than those who refused to come to the wedding. This man chose to insult the King in the presence of all His guests. Christ spoke this parable to those standing around Him as He taught, those acting as if they were believers but trying to trap Him in His words (Matthew 22:15). It is a warning to those who think they are believers; but they have never submitted their lives to the Son and been born again of the Spirit (John 3:3). Sadly, they will find out too late that the only way to come to the Wedding Feast in the Kingdom of God is to wear the Kings provision of His righteousness in Christ. Maybe today is your day to turn to Christ and put on His robe of righteousness! Keith Thomas