“The Gospel According to Matthew.” Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sunday, December 16, 2018
“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” (Matthew 22:9, 10).
When The Invites Went Out
Jesus spoke a parable about a special wedding for a king’s son. The king told his servants to invite people to the wedding. He made certain that everything imaginable was prepared, so that all would have a wonderful experience. Imagine the king’s dismay when those he invited would not clear their schedules to show up, and others beat and killed his servants for inviting them. He instructed the remainder of his servants to execute swift justice.
Another invitation went out, and the same provisions for the enjoyment of the guests were made. This time, many people came and that made the king happy. When the king came in to see his guests, he saw one who was clearly out of place.
“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” (Matthew 22:12-14).
One may infer from the text that since the king was so generous in providing so much for the wedding that he also provided the guests with appropriate clothing. This is why the king was so angry. How could someone accept the invitation, but rudely refuse to wear the appropriate clothing, when it was provided?
This is a picture of the gospel call, as well as a judgment. Notice that the king was excited about inviting guests to spend special time with his son. Is the Lord happy to invite us into relationship with Himself and His Son Jesus? When the king came to see his guests, He was expecting to see appropriate attire. What better attire is there than the garments of Jesus’ righteousness to cover a multitude of sin (Isaiah 61:10; Philippians 3:9)? When He did not see the garment representing the righteousness of Christ, He did the only thing He could do. He ordered the condemnation be executed that the man brought upon himself.
Notice, the only people the king saw in sort of an investigation were those who initially accepted the invitation. This is the case today. The Bible says, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17).
Only those that have accepted Jesus Christ, at least once, appear in this special judgment. In the parable, the only one specifically mentioned at the feast, was the man who neglected to put on the appropriate garment. Based on his punishment, this means that everyone else was safe because they had on the garment representing the righteousness of Christ. This judgment was never intended for condemnation, but God gives us the opportunity to choose whether we will continue in the faith, or take off the righteousness of Christ by returning to our own ways.
There is an investigation of God’s people going on today. This is how He is able, at the second coming of Jesus Christ, to bring His reward with Him. He is determining whether we are continuing in the faith or have chosen another way. When He comes to your name, will you be found faithful? When His work is finished and the book of life is closed, He will soon appear in the clouds. “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be” (Revelation 22:12).
This has been the gospel according to Matthew. Be transformed by it.