Parable of Conditional Grace

Many Christians believe in God’s grace that freely justified them and their garments are washed in the blood of Jesus Christ. But several does not know that this grace of God comes with an important condition of not defiling the garments that was washed by His blood to purchase the wedding garment.

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Jan Luyken: the man without a wedding garment, Bowyer Bible.

Ignored Invitation

Matt 22:2-6 The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding. But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them.

The King is God the Father and the wedding is for His Son, Jesus Christ. God chose Israel and called them into His Kingdom.

Matt 23:37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!

John 1:11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.

The children of Israel not only killed the prophets who were sent to foretell the coming of the Messiah, but they also crucified the Son of God. Through this parable, Jesus Christ is also foretelling His own death.

Judgment on Jerusalem

Matt 22:7 But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.

The city of Jerusalem was besieged and captured in 70 AD. According to Josephus, 1.1 million non-combatants died in Jerusalem (some scholars speculate it is an overestimation), mainly as a result of the violence and famine. Many of the casualties were observant Jews from across the world such as Babylon and Egypt who had travelled to Jerusalem wanting to celebrate the yearly Passover but instead got trapped in the siege. This significant event was prophecised by Ezekiel hundreds of years before.

Ezek 22:18-22 Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross to Me; they are all bronze, tin, iron, and lead, in the midst of a furnace; they have become dross from silver. Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Because you have all become dross, therefore behold, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. As men gather silver, bronze, iron, lead, and tin into the midst of a furnace, to blow fire on it, to melt it; so I will gather you in My anger and in My fury, and I will leave you there and melt you. Yes, I will gather you and blow on you with the fire of My wrath, and you shall be melted in its midst. As silver is melted in the midst of a furnace, so shall you be melted in its midst; then you shall know that I, the LORD, have poured out My fury on you.

God will gather the house of Israel into the midst of a furnace to blow fire. He did so by allowing them to come into the city of Jerusalem for the Passover to worship Him. He left them there and they were surrounded by the Roman armies who crushed them in the midst of Jerusalem. The siege of Jerusalem exactly happpened as God spoke.

Free Grace

Matt 22:8-10 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding. So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.

The wedding for the King’s Son is ready but those who were invited rejected His invitation. God in His fury destroyed the city of the children of Israel and now invites everyone for the wedding of His Son.

Eph 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

We did nothing to become worthy for being invited to the wedding of God’s Son. It is an unmeritted favor by God which is a free gift. Unlike the children of Israel who rebelled, if we have faith in God to come to the wedding, we can be saved. But the parable which Jesus spoke didn’t stop there. Even though we are invited to get saved by His grace, it comes with an important obligation.

Grace Obligation

Matt 22:11-14 But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen (elect).

The King comes to see the guests and finds a man who did not have a wedding garment. Because He didn’t come to the wedding of the King’s Son in his wedding garment, He was cast into outer darkness. What is this wedding garment that is so important that those who don’t have it will lose the grace of God that was poured out on them initially? Is it supplied by the King? Is it our garments? Coming to the wedding of the king’s Son is entering the kingdom of God. To understand what the wedding garment is, we need to listen to Jesus Christ Himself  for what makes a person thrust out of Kingdom of God.

Luke 13:24,27-28 Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. … But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out.

Those who didn’t enter through the narrow gate, or those who didn’t depart from their iniquity will be thrust out of the kingdom of Heaven. God will close the door of kingdom of Heaven and the workers of iniquity who knew Christ will be knocking from outside because they were thrust out.

How does a wedding garment relate to departing from iniquity?

Rev 3:18 “I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

The white garments for attending the wedding of the King’s son must be purchased from Christ.

Rev 3:4-5 “You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

White garments are only provided to those who had not defiled their garments. Keeping your garments undefiled can cost your eye, hand (Matt 5:29-30), relationships (Luke 14:26), your entire wealth (Matt 13:44-46) and even  your own life (Lke 9:23-24).

Luke 13:24,27-28 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. … But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out.

Those who had not kept their garments from defiling cannot purchase the white garments from Christ for the wedding. Those who cannot purchase will not have the wedding garment and will be cast out of His Kingdom where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Conclusion

Are you being deceived that the wedding garment is given to you just by believing in Jesus Christ?  Beware! You must purchase it from Christ by keeping your garments undefiled. The cost of keeping your garments undefiled can be anywhere from losing your body parts, relationships, your entire wealth or your own life.