(This is #4 of the presentations for the series “Fashion Statements: Lessons from Garments in the Bible.”)
If you are invited to a big formal wedding, what would you wear? Would you go in your sando and puruntung? Or would you go in your duster? Most likely not.
How about if you are invited to a Royal Wedding, like the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, would you really dress nicely? By the way, I saw some photos and clips from the wedding of Doctor Vicki Belo and Doctor Hayden Kho held in Paris, and that was close to a Royal Wedding if Philippines will have one. It was really lavish. and her gown alone was estimated to have cost $1M or 50 million pesos. If you are one of the guest, what would you wear?
In the Bible, found in Matthew 22, there was a parable of the wedding feast. In this parable, the king invited guests to attend the wedding of his son. But his invited guests did not want to come. So the king instructed his servants to call any person on the streets and byways that they can find, and invite them to come and attend the wedding.
Then when the king entered the wedding hall, he saw one man who was not wearing the wedding garment, and he became furious.
You might think, since it was a last minute invitation, perhaps that person did not have the chance to have a wedding garment tailored or made. Perhaps this person has no money to get a beautiful wedding garment, so it’s not his fault, right? Well, that’s not the case.
The custom in those days was for the one hosting the wedding feast—in this case, the king—would provide garments for the wedding guests. How cool is that. You don’t have to worry what to wear, as it was provided. This wedding garment is a gift of the king to his guests. These wedding garments were simple, nondescript robes that all attendees wore. It will make everybody equal in the sight of the king. No ranks or stations. No rich or poor. Everybody are in the same footing.
I believe that this guest was not wearing clothes that is poor quality or ugly. But in the contrary, I believe this person was wearing clothes that may be expensive and beautiful. He might be thinking that the clothes he was wearing was better than the uniform prescribed wedding garment provided by the king.
By wearing the prescribed wedding garment, guests showed their respect for the giver of the feast. But one guest did not wear it. He had refused the gift given by the king. He refused to wear the proper wedding garment required by the king, the garment provided for him at great cost. By not wearing the wedding garment, is to show an extreme disrespect for both the king and his son.
So when the king ask him: “Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?” (Matthew 22:12). The sense of his question is one of disbelief. It might be better phrased, “Why are you not wearing a wedding garment, even though one was provided for you?”
The scripture said that “he was speechless,” indicating that he was without excuse. It was not just that he lacked a wedding garment, but that he did not wear one on purpose. He had defiantly refused to put one on.
This is why the king reacts so swiftly and harshly: “Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 22:13). His judgment is not against the man’s lack of a wedding garment per se, but that he did not intend to wear one.
My friends, the only way to be right with God, is through the merits of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and His righteousness that He is giving to us as a gift. Our own self-righteousness, even though how hard we try, is like filthy rags. The only way we will be lost, is if we refuse to accept God’s offer of salvation.
Let’s put on the righteousness of Jesus given to us as a gift.
(*photo from gmanetwork.com)