12/28 Matthew 22:11-12

11 "But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. 12 And he said to him, 'Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless.

Jesus told a parable about a king who held a great wedding feast. When all was ready he sent his servants out to invite the guests. The guests made excuses and even killed some of the servants. The king sent the servants back out to invite everyone in until his house was full.

In Jesus' day a wealthy person would provide an outer cloak for every guest as he or she entered the wedding celebration. Someone slipped in this feast without receiving the cloak. He did not go through the door. While the invitation was open to all, guests had to go through the door and receive the covering to be welcomed. When the king saw a man without a wedding garment, the king asked how he got in. There was nothing the man could say. He was cast out.

Jesus was describing entering the kingdom of God. All are invited, but many will refuse to come. They make all kinds of excuses. Others will even persecute God's servants. Those who do respond will come and go through the door (John 10:9) and receive the covering of the righteousness of Christ. Everyone there will be beautifully clothed in Jesus (Romans 13:14). You can't be there unless you come through Him and receive Him as your covering. Any who try another way will be cast out.

Consider: Jesus spoke in parables so that those who were willing to hear could hear and receive His message. But those who were unwilling to hear would not understand and therefore would not be even more accountable for rejecting Him. For those who are willing to hear, the message of this parable is clear. Jesus is the way to the Father. We must go through Him and receive Him as our covering to enter the kingdom of God.