Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Matthew 22 -- Worried About Clothes?

Many times in Jesus ministry we find him teaching against measuring by outward appearances. Yet here in Matthew 22 it seems like Jesus is teaching us to do just that. In the parable of the Wedding Banquet Jesus is teaching some pretty challenging things. First he offers the invitation to Israel. They, not 100% of the people, reject the offer, so a reminder is sent. the reminder is ignored. Then God opens the offer to anyone who will come. Once the guests are seated the King does a meet and greet. He comes across a person who is not clothed for the the celebration and the King kicks him out. Kicked out because of a clothing choice?

To understand the teaching we must remember the whole teaching not just the clothing issue. The whole teaching is about the readiness to come to the banquet, and responding to the invitation. Here you have a fellow who has responded to the invitation, but not prepared for the feast. As you might guess this has nothing to do with physical clothing. Jesus was never much concerned with such things. His clothing problem is actually a righteousness problem. He accepted the offer of the King, but did not conform his life to the king.

Many people profess Jesus as Lord and Savior, the invitation of God, but do not conform their lives to Jesus. In the parable Jesus is highlighting the importance of going beyond accepting the invitation. Working to conform our lives to look more and more like Christ is the measure of our readiness. The crime committed was not poor clothing choice, a crime I am guilty of often. No the crime is not living the life of Christ once the invitation was accepted. Would we be allowed to stay at the wedding feast?

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