Matthew 22:1And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, 2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, 3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. 4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. 5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: 6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. 7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. 9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. 10 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. 11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 13 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.14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
Jesus is telling the listeners how to get to the kingdom of God. If you miss heaven, there is no one to be blamed but yourself. Here the king announced his son was to be married. He sent out invitations, but those invited refused to come. He sent out more servants asking them again. They refused again and even made light of it. How like that we see people today. They even went out actually killing some of the servants. The king sent his armies to kill them and destroy their city. Then again he sent servants out to invite everybody, whoever they found. I’m glad Calvary included all of us. Jesus died for all! This time everybody was invited except those who had already been invited and refused it. All of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God. The good, the bad, the old, the young, the rich, the poor–all were included. Calvary includes us all even those in the depths of sin.
The king wanted the banquet hall filled. He had them invite everyone. He came in and saw one man not wearing a wedding garment. He asked how he got in. The man was speechless. If a person stands before God having heard this message, he/she will stand defenseless. The king commanded the man to be bound and put into outer darkness, the place of judgment. There is a place of torment. Some don’t believe it, but there is a literal burning hell where people who refuse Jesus will go.
In that culture two invitations were sent out for a wedding. The first was to invite; the second was to say that it’s ready. God wants us to enter his banquet. Life is brief, even a vapor that vanishes away. Heaven is eternal and we’ll be there forever with the Lord. I want to share some truths with you today.
(1) The gospel is available to all. Romans 10:13 says For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Whosoever is me. The moment he called us and we accepted it, we were redeemed by his blood and birthed into the family of God. I may not be what I should be, but I am not what I used to be. I walk a different way. The Lord made a change in me. I don’t think this banquet is referring to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb because of the man there without a wedding garment. Only the saved will be at the Marriage Supper. The Lord sent servants to the Jewish nation. The disciples were instructed to go only to the Jews. Peter’s first sermon at Pentecost was to Jews. But thank God the Gentiles were included. Romans 1:16 says For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. That’s me. I’m not ashamed. Are you? It’s the power to salvation. The Jewish nation rejected God repeatedly. If you invite someone to your house for supper and they don’t come, would you invite them again? I wouldn’t, but if you wanted them to come enough you would. God sent multiple prophets to the Jews because he wanted them. The king was the one inviting. Regardless of politics, if the President of the U.S. invited you to dinner, you’d go. You’d tell everyone. The Jews continued to reject until the gospel was made available to all. In verses 9-10 we see 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. I don’t see anything in these verses that tells those out there to come to church. I do see our commission to go to them and invite them. On behalf of the Lord I extend an invitation to the Son’s wedding. Lots of times people think they have to get better first before they get saved. Some say they can’t live a Christian life. You cannot, but when the Holy Spirit comes to live in you, you can. The Bible says that ‘greater is HE that is in you than he that is in the world.’ You and I are able to live it because of HE who lives in us. This tells people to come as you are. Come with your sin and lay it on the altar.
(2) The going is continual. Again in verse 9 we see Go ye therefore. Be going, nonstop till the banquet hall is filled. How do you know when it’s filled? The king will come. The last person to be saved will come one day. The trumpet will blast and we’re out of here. Take it personally. Be busy inviting others to Jesus Christ. They won’t all come to the Lord. When I go fishing, I’m kind of laid back. I’m there to relax. Some people throw out and reel in time after time and never catch a thing. On that 100th time they catch a big bass. Won’t those first 99 times have been worth it! It would. You may knock on 99 doors and nothing may happen, but on that 100th door someone may accept the Lord’s invitation to be saved. It will be worth it.
(3) The wedding garment was provided. The king came to fellowship with the guests. He saw one without a wedding garment. The guests were provided a garment; it was customary to receive it. This wedding garment is a picture of the garment of righteousness we receive from the Lord. None will get into heaven without it. It wasn’t like this man had not been offered a garment; one was provided for him. Our wedding garment is Jesus Christ himself. Our righteousness is as filthy rags. Our only righteousness is provided by and through Jesus Christ. I’m not going because of my goodness. I’m not going because I preach the gospel. I’m going to heaven because of Calvary. The king was angry. The man had no defense. The Lord provided us a garment; you can accept it or rely on your own garment. Yours won’t do any good. The man didn’t refuse to respond to the invitation. What was the damming thing? He failed to put on the garment. Jesus is the only way to heaven. Without Christ you’ll not enter heaven; you will go to hell.
(4) Many are called but few will be chosen. Verse 14 states this: For many are called, but few are chosen. If you’re not saved, the Lord is calling. Only by receiving the call and accepting Jesus Christ you will become a member of the elect of God. We all have a free will. We’ve never lost that free will. He calls many, but only a few will respond. If God came here today and said this is one more chance, what would you do? One day that will be the case; the last invitation will come. We don’t know when God will come. But you need to receive the wedding garment today because he is coming. That wedding garment will make you ready for heaven. The garments are on the rack and labeled the righteousness of Christ. Accept the invitation.