“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
What would you do if someone you’d never met stopped you on the street, gripped your shoulder, looked you in the eye and said, “I’d like to invite you to a huge feast tonight. The king’s son is getting married and he wants everyone to come. All you have to do is show up in your best clothes—remember, you’re going to a wedding!”
Would you go?
Jesus told a story like this in the Matthew 22, and can you believe it?—everyone he invited turned him down. Some just walked away and some even mistreated the servants who were sent to invite them.
In Jesus’ story, the king sent more servants out, but this time he told them to invite everyone they could find. He instructed them to invite the homeless, destitute, outcasts and criminals. He wanted to have a full house to celebrate his son’s wedding! The rules were the same: Just come dressed in your best wedding clothes.
This time, everyone came. The banquet hall was packed. The king entered the room and smiled. Suddenly, he noticed one man in the back of the room. He wasn’t wearing nice wedding clothes. Instead, he was still dressed in his dirty street clothes. The king approached the man and asked, “Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?” The man didn’t answer him.
The king was furious and instructed his servants to throw the man out.
Jesus often spoke in parables and some of them are hard to understand, but this story points to God’s free offer of salvation to anyone who will believe in His son, Jesus Christ. Romans 13:14 describes receiving salvation, forgiveness and Jesus righteousness in place of our sin as “putting on Christ”, just like putting on clothes.
Isaiah 61:10 explains the same concept, “For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness.”
In the story, the king invited everyone to come enjoy free food, the only thing they had to do was come dressed for a wedding. In the same way, God invites everyone to believe in Jesus, to receive the free gift of eternal life; the only thing they have to do is dress themselves in Christ’s righteousness.
What are you wearing–Christ’s righteousness or your own filthy rags? Now what will you do? Will you accept God’s invitation to free eternal life? Will you put on Jesus’ righteousness instead of your own efforts to be good?