The Wedding Garment

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
It was graduation day. Sixty-six grade eight girls had assembled in their Clifton, Arizona school for the event. But amid all the pomp and happiness one of the graduates was ordered out of the ceremony, because her dress did not conform.
They had all been instructed to wear plain pastel dresses. The penalized girl appeared in a yellow flowered dress; but only to be sent home in tears.
“She was defying authority," explained the school board chairman.
May this unhappy turn of events at an otherwise glad affair, remind us of a far more serious breach, with eternally sad consequences.
It is the sequel to the Lord's parable concerning "a certain King, who made a marriage for His Son" (Matt. 22). The festivities were about to commence and the supreme moment had arrived "when the King came in to see the guests.”
It is not hard to imagine the joyous impact which the royal Presence made upon the assembled company. Surely they arose as one to bow and thank Him for inviting such as they to such a kingly banquet.
And how the great King rejoiced to see the happy guests, each arrayed in a wedding garment which spake to His eye and heart of the sufferings of His Son, of the grace that led Him who knew no sin to be made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor. 5:2121For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)). How those marriage robes must have brought it all before the King's heart, while the guests proclaim,
“He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels." Isa. 61:1010I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. (Isaiah 61:10).
But look! Among the guests "the King saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment"—a man who preferred his own clothing to the wedding garment provided by the King.
Whether this man's garment was showy or shabby was not the question. The decisive fact was it was not the wedding garment. As another has commented:
“Nothing could excuse this man's contempt for the King's grace and honor—or excuse his preference for his own robe, especially on the grand occasion planned by the King to honor His Son. It was therefore a direct offense against the grace which did provide according to the King's majesty and magnificence.”
And what was the penalty? Banishment forever from Him who is love and light, from Him whose grace was so utterly despised!
How final, how terribly solemn are the words of the King to this presumptious, self-righteous guest!
“Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?
“And he was speechless.
“Then said the King to the servants,
“Bind him hand and foot, and take Him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matt. 22:1212And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. (Matthew 22:12).
Today the gospel invitation goes forth to all; and God's grace is ample for everyone. But since His grace is abused by so many and Christ is received by relatively few, the words of the Lord Jesus on closing this illuminating parable are: "Many are called, but few are chosen.”