The Parable of the Wedding Feast (Part 2)
In our prior lesson we began considering the parable of the wedding feast. The king (i.e., God) became enraged when those he had invited were unwilling to come to the feast he had prepared (i.e., salvation by means of the gospel). In fact, they were abusive toward his messengers (i.e., they killed the prophets). So, the king destroyed them (as God would Jerusalem in A.D. 70).

The king then declared - "The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy" (Matt. 22:8). None who reject the gospel message are worthy of it (cf. Acts 13:45ff; Matt. 7:6).

"Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding" - This represents the proclamation of the gospel to all the world (i.e., not just to the Jews). Everyone was (and is) to be invited (cf. Mark 16:15,16)!

"So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests" - The behavior of those who were first invited led to their own demise, but it did not prevent the king from accomplishing his purpose. Although the Jews rejected the saving gospel message, there were those "out in the highways" (i.e., the Gentiles) who would accept it. The wedding hall (i.e., the church) is still in the process of being filled today. Historically speaking, after the destruction of Jerusalem and the curtailing of Jewish persecution, the gospel enjoyed tremendous success (cf. Matt. 24:31), especially among Gentiles.

"But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment" - As a matter of dignity, the king would not enter in until all the guests had. His entrance represents the Day of Judgment. The man without a wedding garment had not properly prepared, but he wasn't the only one (cf. 22:14).

"Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?" - Those who are wearing a wedding garment are those who have "put on Christ" (Rom. 13:14; Gal. 3:27) and are living "righteously" (cf. Rev. 19:7-9).

"And he was speechless" - The fact that he didn't say anything clearly shows that there was no excuse for his behavior, and he knew it. He could have worn a wedding garment but didn't, for whatever reason. Any today who "pretend" to be Christians are really only fooling themselves. To attempt to enter into the kingdom (i.e., accept the gospel invitation) without obeying the Lord's instructions is futile (cf. Matt. 7:21). One must crucify himself to worldly lusts and put on righteousness (cf. Rom. 6; Col. 3). One must be baptized for the remission of sins (cf. Acts 2:38; 22:16). One must have a genuine Christian character if he desires to reside in heaven some day (cf. Phil. 2:3-5). God will not be fooled on Judgment Day, and no one will be able to present Him with a valid excuse for not being prepared (Rom. 1:20; cf. John 12:48)!

One cannot properly answer the invitation of the Lord by "dressing up" in: the creeds and doctrines of men, a man-made church, a man-made plan of salvation, or personal feelings.

"Bind him hand and foot" - This implies the impossibility of escaping (i.e., from divine condemnation).

"For many are called, but few are chosen" (cf. Matt. 20:16). The fundamental reason why only a few are accepted into heaven, of the great many who are invited, is because most do not see the importance of the gospel invitation. Consequently, they neglect it (cf. 22:5). Others, who are not content to ignore a message they deem irrelevant, despise the invitation and treat its proclaimers harshly (cf. 22:6). But, there are some who--despite their interest--will not be accepted into heaven because they have not properly prepared themselves (cf. 22:12).