“The wedding is ready…” (Matthew 22:8)
Jesus told a parable comparing the kingdom of God to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. The king sent out servants to call all those who had been invited to come but they refused. Then he sent out other servants to persuade the invitees to come and enjoy a lavish feast, but they again refused and became indignant, mistreating and even killing the servants and going their own way. The king, not to be denied, sent his servants into the highways and byways to invite anyone who was willing to come. It seems that those who came were the common men and women of the day who came in humility and without pretense or privilege.
The King’s invitation to come to the banquet table of His Son is extended to all people without cost. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8) Sadly, however, many who receive the invitation choose to reject it. Jesus said, “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:14)
Just as the king in the parable was persistent in his invitation, God is likewise persistent with us. The Bible tells us that God is patient…not wishing for anyone to perish but for all to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) Accepting God’s invitation of salvation through faith in Christ Jesus is a personal decision and it is a choice that every person has to make.
We see in the parable that there was one who came to the wedding banquet improperly dressed – choosing not to wear attire provided by the king. When the king invited the common men and women, there were no preconditions. They were simply to come as they were, and the king would provide suitable attire for the affair.
In the same way, Jesus invites us to come into a saving relationship with him just as we are. It doesn’t matter what we have accomplished, our position in life or religious upbringing. It doesn’t matter that we may have committed grievous wrongs, lived an immoral lifestyle or failed in other ways. The King, Himself, will adorn us with the garments of forgiveness, love, and righteousness while stripping off the rags of sin and being lost.
In the parable, the king came to the banquet hall where he found the guest who was not dressed in wedding attire. When the king confronted him, the man was speechless and without excuse. The king then instructed his servants to bind the man hand and foot and throw him into outer darkness. Those who are not dressed in the love of Christ and accept His provision for salvation will one day stand before the King who will banish them to everlasting punishment in a place called hell.
Each of us should take seriously the invitation that Jesus extends to come to him in faith for the remission of sins and to receive His gift of eternal life.