My text from the Lord Jesus today for those who have ears to hear is “How did you come in here without a wedding garment?” With all the chatter online from Christians about the end times and being ready this passage came to me this morning. It is the passage of Jesus at the wedding among those who were invited to the feast. It comes in the context of Jesus confronting the Pharisees in the previous chapter when He by the Spirit zeroed in on their claim to be the ones who shall rule and reign in the Age to come.
Jesus finished by saying to them
“Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. 44 And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”Mtt 21: 43
Jesus made it clear that He is the foundation Stone and the Chief Cornerstone which the Kingdom is built upon. If anyone wants to be in that Kingdom they must be broken by that Stone in order to become a living stone in His house. Only those who have accepted The Cornerstone -Jesus Christ are able to then bear the fruit of the Kingdom. The Jews (Pharisees) sought to take God’s Kingdom authority WITHOUT coming to the Cornerstone. They were intent on showing their worthiness to Rule by their own religious efforts. Thus they were disqualified and rebuked by Jesus. He told them that they better get ready for a big disappointment which would certainly come to them if they continued trusting in their own works.
In that context Jesus told the following parable…
Matt 22 And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: 2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, 3 and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. 4 Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.” ’ 5 But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. 6 And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. 7 But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ 10 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.
Mtt 22:11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. 12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?
In other words how did you get in here without being broken by the Stone…same thing. How did you circumvent God’s ordained WAY into the Kingdom? How did you get around the DOOR?
You see, the heart of man is deceitful. We Humans will find a way around any perceived problem which is trying to stop us gaining our desire. We are very determined creatures! When it comes to gaining entry to the Kingdom of God Jesus said that “the violent take it by force.” Mtt 11:12. The violence Jesus is alluding to here is this proud attempt to gain entry into the Kingdom by one’s own righteousness.
The word for “the violent” in Greek is: biastēs :a forcer, that is, (figuratively) energetic: – violent….It comes from biazō–to force, that is, (reflexively) to crowd one self (into)..
The Violent are described by the noun: A FORCER
Oh wow how descriptive is that?! A forcer!
If you have ever been to a night club you know that you must go through the door, usually a small door which has a Bouncer or two standing there to admit you or to send you away.
Some Clubs have a Dress code which you must adhere to if you want to get in. It could be any number of criteria that is set by the Establishment which will determine if you can get in or not. The length of your skirt, the footwear you have on, your age, your demeanour, your colours(gang) tattoos or other identifying marks showing your allegiance. These Bouncers are also there if anyone tries to FORCE THEIR WAY IN.
The meaning of the word translated as “the violent” also carries with it the idea of ‘to crowd one self (into)’. By sheer weight of numbers a large group of people can push through the doors and gain entry. Two bouncers are not going to be able to stop a determined crowd of FORCER’S. It is this group of “Forcers’ ” Jesus is dealing with when He speaks to the Pharisees. The violent take or seize the Kingdom by force. These ones are still trying to do that today. They do not care about the Establishment’s protocols –they have their own Protocols..and they are implementing these Protocols to FORCEFULLY SEIZE the Kingdom by some other way.
They know that the Establishment has a Dress Code so they will disguise themselves in order to get in but once inside they stand out by their fruit.
The Dress Code required for entry into the Kingdom is the WHITE GARMENTS of God’s Righteousness found ONLY IN JESUS CHRIST.
When a person is drawn by God Himself to come to Jesus-he or she is given grace by God to repent of their sins and grace to believe in Jesus. God then CLOTHES them in Christ Jesus Himself. Jesus is put onto them. Jesus is put into them. Jesus becomes ONE SPIRIT with them. He is JOINED WITH THEM. Even if that person does not feel righteous–God has made them the righteousness of God inside of Christ Jesus. They have on the WEDDING GARMENT. They have on the correct attire to gain entry into the Establishment.
Those seeking to get in some other way apart from the DOOR will be turfed out.
The Violent ‘crowd their self’ into the Kingdom….They exert pressure upon the Door. This is the STRONG HARD FOREHEADS described in Ezekiel…
Ez 3:7 But the house of Israel will not listen to you, because they will not listen to Me; for all the house of Israel are impudent and hard-hearted. 8 Behold, I have made your face strong against their faces, and your forehead strong against their foreheads. 9 Like adamant stone, harder than flint, I have made your forehead; do not be afraid of them, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house.”
But this is not about the Jews only. For they have been singled out by God to represent all of humanity!! We are all like this. We are all hard hearted and rebellious. We are all enemies of God and seeking our own way and do not want to submit to God’s Way which is Jesus Christ Himself. We all have this tendency to trust in self and to vaunt our self in front of God’s throne. We make the claim that we are surely good enough to get into the Wedding. We point out what Good Christians we are. We go to every church meeting, we tithe, we pray, we fast, we preach the good news(which is usually not good news but a Hell message) and we imagine that God must be well pleased with us. But the Wedding garment is WORN BY THOSE UPON WHOM THE STONE HAS COME.
Unless we FALL UPON THE STONE which is JESUS…and be BROKEN….He will FALL UPON US and grind us to powder. These hard hearted forceful ones must be broken or crushed to powder to make them fit for the Kingdom. Unless that happens first we will NOT WANT TO WEAR HIS GARMENT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS…instead we will PREFER OUR OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS. Only the broken can wear Jesus as a garment because they have ceased trying to impress God.
HARD FOREHEADS pressing against the DOOR shall be broken and crushed by the weight of His Love and Conviction.
And yet in this parable Jesus is speaking to someone who got into the Wedding Feast somehow without wearing the Righteousness God gives a believer in Jesus.
Now if you look at the Parable as if Jesus is speaking about Heaven one day when a great Feast is held I think you miss the point here. The Wedding Feast –The arranged marriage God has prepared for His Son is NOT ONLY a one time event in the future someday in Heaven. I am not saying that that will not happen. But consider this…that the Wedding with it’s feasting is a CURRENT REALITY for all those born again NOW as we live in these bodies.
Right now we are to be wearing God’s Chosen Garment upon ourselves
“Put on the Lord Jesus Christ…” said God through Paul…Romans 13:14
The hard forehead of self righteousness — speaks of a mind that is alienated from God. A mindset that imagines itself to have some kind of ability to be a good enough person for God. This is the mind set on the flesh…it is a mind of death. This mind imagines that God is demanding perfect obedience from him and that he must somehow manage to obey God. Therefore because he fails many times to obey God he must lie to himself and pretend to be RIGHTEOUS. Because to admit that he is a total failure before God will send him into a spiral downwards into weakness –which could make him VULNERABLE to the appeals of God pleading with him to RECEIVE JESUS AS HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS AND TO LET GO OF HIS OWN.
The wedding guest Jesus CONFRONTED became speechless when Jesus challenged him …
Matt 22:11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. 12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless.
Speechless G5392 – phimoō — From φιμός phimos (a muzzle); to muzzle: – muzzle.
All the boastings of the false self – that imagined self we think we are –a self which must produce pleasing fruit for God…MUST COME TO THIS PLACE OF SILENCE!
Paul explains that all have sinned and fallen short –that NONE ARE RIGHTEOUS NO NOT ONE!! He says these things to show that God REQUIRES that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. WE MUST BECOME SPEECHLESS!
“Stopped” in Rom 3:19 is G5420-phrassō–to fence or inclose, that is, (specifically) to block up (figuratively to silence): – stop.
God wants to muzzle and stop the voice of the boasting self. We don’t do that by trying to stop boasting. We meekly accept God’s verdict of our old self and agree with Him. We then PUT ON JESUS as our only LIFE…and OUR only righteousness before God.
We put Him on by faith. That is: by speaking in agreement with God’s Word.
The truth is that we believers in Jesus are clothed in His wedding garment…but we need to be renewed in the spirit of our minds.
Eph 4:20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
Put off–Put on.
To put off in this case is to be UNCLOTHED…NAKED. Before you put on Jesus you must first be wearing NOTHING ELSE. Do you get out of bed in your pyjamas and put your day clothing on top? No…you take your pyjamas off and then put your day clothes on.
God did that for you when you came to Jesus. He removed the garments you were wearing –stained in sin and self righteous pretending…and He CLOTHED YOU IN THE PURE GARMENT OF CHRIST JESUS.
This is what we renew our minds to…so as to catch up with WHAT GOD HAS ALREADY DONE FOR US IN CHRIST JESUS.
So…as far as looking to a future day when there will be a Wedding Feast –the Marriage supper of the Lamb…Will you be wearing the right garment? My point is that if you are a believer and been born again – YOU ARE WEARING JESUS! You are in Him, and God sees the PERFECTION OF CHRIST.
But it is worth noting that the man without the wedding garment BECAME speechless as the King (Jesus) was talking to him. I have found personally that after 33 years sometimes that voice of the old self still speaks. It still wants to vaunt itself and to prove it is something apart from Christ. It is still wanting to be separate little self trying hard to prove to God that it is worthy. That is why Paul exhorts us to be renewed in the SPIRIT OF YOUR MINDS…The deep mind! The hard drive!
May God continue to wash over us with His love and patience! May He grant us the spirit of revelation in the knowledge of Him…and may we come to see that Christ Jesus is filling us full with Himself and covering us over with Himself so that we are as He is and He is fitting Himself to all that we are.