In Jesus’ Parable of the Wedding Banquet, during the celebration, the king observed the guests who had jammed the wedding hall. To his dismay, he had found someone without proper wedding clothes. The king treated him in similar fashion to those who had rejected his invitations by ordering his death sentence. At first glance, the sentence of the wedding guest who had come directly off the streets seems harsh. However, we must view Jesus’ story through the lens of His day. In Palestine, wedding clothes were customarily provided by the king (see Genesis 45:22). The man not wearing wedding clothes had been offered clean garments and yet had proudly rejected them, an external sign of his internal condition.
Our righteousness is like filthy rags to a holy God, the King. The only acceptable RSVP to the King’s invitation to the celebration of His Son is humility (see Matthew 18:1-4). We must humbly receive the righteous clothing of Christ (see Romans 13:14; Galatians 3:26-27).
Jesus concluded His parable with one of His most frequent sayings: “For many are invited, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14). Many is translated from the Greek word, polloi. This was a common word used as an inclusive expression in Israel. It meant all. The King invites all to the celebration of His Son, but He chooses only those who humble themselves to the righteous clothing of Christ.
How will you RSVP to the King’s invitation? Will you proudly reject it with an excuse pulled from a list of self-absorption, or will you humbly receive the righteous clothing of Christ who gave His life for you? Confess your proud excuses for rejecting the King’s invitation to His kingdom. Humbly receive the righteous clothing of Christ and invite anyone you find to the King’s celebration. It won’t be you, but Christ in you, making the invitation.