Sunday, June 25, 2017

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By : Lonnie Branam [ Sermon The Wedding Garment ]

Lonnie Branam

Matthew 22 -1-14

There is a difficult verse in the parable of the royal marriage feast is verse 12. The king said to one person in attendance, “Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?” And he was speechless.” The wedding garment raises a troubling question. These people had been bought in off the streets both bad and good. It's a wonder that any would have had a dress garment for such an occasion. It has been suggested that kings provided festive robes for all invited to such royal events. If so, why didn't this man receive a robe?. There was some kind of a problem here, but what was it?

All of His parables were about the Christian religion. This one has to do with the coming of Christ into the world, the establishment of His church, and His coming at the end of the world to receive the church to Himself. Taking away the parabolic symbolism, the kingdom of heaven is the church, the king is God, the king's Son is Christ, and the marriage is the second coming of Christ for His bride the church. The Messianic prophecies of Christ were the first invitations to Israel.. The time of the marriage activities were to begin with the appearance of the Bridegroom on earth in the first century. The servants in v. 3 who gave the second invitation to the Jews were John the Baptist, the twelve apostles and the 70 missionaries sent out by Jesus. This was the preparatory period of the wedding preparations. Their message was, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand or near, and they were commanded to obey John's baptism and give the Messiah a royal welcome when He makes His appearance in Israel. However, most of the Jewish nation refused the invitation by refusing John's baptism. They would have no part in the preparatory marriage celebrations which began during the earthly ministry of Jesus.

The third invitation to the Jews was given by the apostles of Christ. Their message was, “All things are ready, the feast is about to be prepared. Come join the great festivities which will precede the wedding itself. Those who joined in received the forgiveness of their sins and a joyously welcome awaiting them by their Messiah. But they refused to come and join the celebration. The other servants in v. 4 sent out were the apostles and early Christians after the church had its beginning in Jerusalem abut 33 A. D. The primary marraige preparations began in 33. A.D. and will continue until Christ returns. Then the marriage supper of the Lamb will really begin. However, the Jews killed the apostle James, murdered Stephen and


persecuted the early Christians. It is believed that most all of the apostles died violent deaths at the hands of those who rejected the gospel. There are man martyrs with no preserved record in history, but their names are written in heaven. The first persecution of Christians was the Jewish persecution as related in this parable. The great feast mentioned in this parable is the establishment of the church and all the blessings it brings to Christ in this present world and those they will receive in the world to come. Each worship service, each time of Christian fellowship is part of the marriage festivities. This feast will last throughout the Christian age of the world.

The king in verse 7 said to be infuriated at the insult of the Jewish people who destroyed the murderers and burned their city, refers to the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus and the Roman army in 70 A.D.
We read in vs. 8,9 the king declared those He invited to be unworthy and sent his servants to get anyone they could from the streets good and bad, and invite them to the feast. This meant the invitation was no longer exclusive to the Jews. The whole human race was invited as bad as many of them were. Many Gentiles from all nations have accepted the invitation and a re members of the church. Verse 10-14 takes us to the end of the world and the second coming of Christ This is the marriage supper of the Lamb and only Christians are invited to that gala celebration.

Finally, this brings us to the man who was at this great marriage Supper in the parable and was not dressed for such a lavish affair. He didn't have on a festive robe. Everyone else had a robe on. It has been suggested that kings in ancient time provided special garments for all guests at such events. Maybe so, but that doesn't explain the problem. All the others got a robe; why didn't he get a robe.? The fact remains when all others were properly dressed, this man had not presented himself in attire befitting. the occasion. He came in his every day garb. and with no preparation .he dared come to this great festival.

What is the spiritual meaning of this wedding garment is much, much disputed. There can be no question but that man represents a Christian, a careless Christian, who was building his life on the sand rather than on Christ the Rock of ages.. This parable is about the church and Christians who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. Every person at this supper in the parable represent Christians, but one of them had no right to be there. A clue to the meaning is given when the king said to the man, “Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment? And he was speechless. He made on excuse; he had no excuse. Whatever the cause, it


was his own fault. There was no answer he could give. This shows he was responsible for not having a garment, not the king. Another clue is given by Jesus who said, “For many are called but few chosen.” All who become Christians are called by God, but not all will make the necessary preparation to go to heaven. The chosen a re faithful Christian who overcome the evil of the world, those who hear the sayings of Christ, and build their lives on His teachings. The garment represents Christian character, holiness of life.. The word of God declares, “Without holiness no one will see the Lord.”

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