Matthew 22:1–14—As we near the end of the Church Year, so the readings come closer to the end of our Lord’s earthly life, and begin to reflect on the Last Day, when we shall come into His heavenly kingdom. There are a number of themes in this parable.
Those wedding guests who shunned the king’s invitation may be compared to those, to who the Word of the Lord was given and whom the Lord chose as heirs of His kingdom. By and large, they have rejected the long-promised Messiah, and have no place at the eternal wedding feast in heaven. Likewise, those who come in unprepared, without a wedding garment, without a garment of salvation, trying to enter the feast of their own accord. These, too, will be rejected, for no one makes himself worthy of the kingdom of heaven; it is the Lord and King Himself who gives us the garment of righteousness.
God in His mercy desires all to be saved. He wants all to be included into the family. Yet each guest must have the proper clothes. The King Himself provides everything. Even the necessary garments.
To refuse to wear it is to show contempt to the host. To insult the king. Refusing to sit at the banquet on the king’s terms is to become self-righteous. Discarding, Eliminating. Denying. Refusing. Rejecting the righteousness God offers through Jesus Christ.
Anyone who thinks he does not need the garment of righteousness Jesus secured for him must suffer the consequences. Everyone is welcome at the wedding feast. All have been invited. Yet you can be a guest only on the King’s terms. So take seriously the Father’s offer of grace. No excuses allowed. Your King not only invites all to come. He provides them with the necessary garments.
The Father calls, “Come…for all things are now ready!” The Father has prepared a dinner – salvation, forgiveness, life. That’s quite an offer. This invitation has been ready for a long time.
Enlighten our minds, we pray, O God, by the Spirit who proceeds from You that, as Your Son has promised, we may be led into all truth – Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing, St. Louis