The Required Attire: Matthew 22:11-14

One of the main things you want to know when you are invited to something is what  should I wear? It is embarrassing to show up to an event and not to be properly dressed.

Clean clothes were mandatory to be allowed into a wedding feast and white was the norm for the attire. This was the picture of a Royal wedding so formal and clean would have been required.

Friend, how did you get in here without proper clothes on?

Friend is a compassionate term and demonstrated the Kings genuine love for the person. This guest did not bother changing and thought that what he had on would be good enough. Somehow he got past the people at the front who would have been checking for the proper clothing and was sitting at the banquet table. This would be an insult to the King who would have required a certain dress code to enter in to the banquet.

The reason this would be such an insult is that Kings would provide the proper clothes for the event so there was no excuse. The person would have ignored the Kings request to change and would have the audacity to believe that the way he was dressed was good enough.

Our proper clothes have been purchased for us through Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Or do you not know that the unrighteous[a] will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,[b] 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

It is not what you were but if you have been washed and dressed properly for the banquet. Everyone of us knows the difference between clothes worn to do  yard work and clothes worn to a nice event.  The religious leaders did not think they needed to be washed and it was obvious that Jesus was addressing them and their attitude about who they thought they were.  They thought the way they were was good enough to get into Heaven and Jesus was letting them know that everyone has to come in the proper attire or would not be accepted.

And he was silent

In our country when people know they are guilty or they can see no way out they become silent so not to incriminate themselves any worse.  Some say that the wedding clothes show repentance and this man knew that he was guilty of not repenting.

Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Some say the clothes demonstrated righteous works and this man knew his lifestyle never changed.

Revelation 19:7-8 Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”—

The Wedding clothes demonstrate both repentance and righteous works

James 2:17-18 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

Matthew 7:21-24 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

One group said they were believers but their actions did not show it and the other group did all the works but they did not have a relationship with Him. There are a lot of “Spiritual” people in this world doing wonderful acts but are missing Heaven. One group accepted Christ yet did not change their actions.One group (religious leaders) changed their actions but did not accept Jesus

2 Corinthians 7:10  For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.

You may have experienced a child who said they were sorry but were not really sorry for their actions. They are sorry they got caught but they were not ashamed of what they did. People who have a genuine repentance do not make excuses for their lives and they do not blame others for how they act. People who demonstrate true repentance take the responsibility for their actions.

All the excuses we have on earth that we are going to tell God when we see Him are going to be useless and we will know it. We will remain silent before God knowing there will be nothing we can say at this point.  He was exposed for who he was left with no way out because his attire showed who he really was.

He was not a party crasher who was not welcome but he came improperly dressed. He tried to get into the party on his own terms just like religious people want to be accepted on their terms and not the terms of Christ. Jesus says He is the only way into Heaven (John 14:6) and you can either accept it and change or reject it and believe that you can come in with what you are wearing.  Since Cain who tried to offer God sacrifices on his own terms, man has been trying to please God on their own terms. We fall short in what we have to offer God and we need to accept the attire He makes available to us through Jesus Christ.

See Also: Hebrews 12:14; 1 Peter 1:22

Then the King told His servants “Bind Him hand and feet and throw him out”

He went from invited guest to criminal. The binding of hands and feet represent that he would not be allowed to return as well as his refusal to leave. 

Matthew switches from slaves to Servants many saying this means angels

Matthew 13:41-42 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Outermost Darkness with grinding of teethe always stands for eternal punishment in Matthew. (8:12; 13:42; 13:50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30)

Many are called but not all are chosen

Israel believed themselves to be the chosen race of God and if you belonged to that race then you were in. Jesus came to let them know that their acceptance into Heaven was determined by their acceptance of Jesus Christ and what He did for all of us on the Cross.

We find something similar when people talk about growing up in a Christian home or even in America. They believe because they are not bad people that God will let them in on their own terms.

Jesus play on words makes it clear to those listening that just because they think they deserve a seat at the table does not mean they will be granted one.

Called are those invited but you have to accept the invitation.

Chosen are those who accepted the invitation and clothed themselves with righteousness.

God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility are always in balance.

Picture a bouncer at the door with a rope across that determines whether or not you are allowed into the room. You are welcomed in (Chosen) when you are dressed properly (Acceptance of Jesus Christ).

It is not if you think you should be allowed at the table but does the King say you belong there.

Is your attitude I am a Christian and I will live how I want?

Is your attitude I am a pretty good person so God will let me in?

There is required attire for you to be allowed in and you have to accept it because you cannot afford it yourself.  What you have to offer is not good enough.

The King provides the clothes but you also have the responsibility to clothe yourself. You also have the responsibility to keep yourself clean.

Philippians 2:12-13 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

We work on staying clean because we see ourselves as clean. Just like when you are dressed up in a fancy outfit. You do not mow your yard when you have wedding clothes on. A person who sees themselves as cleaned by the work of Jesus Christ and accepts the clothes of righteousness that He has given to us, acts appropriately.

Many Christians are not seeing themselves properly therefore they act wrongly. They say things like “Christians aren’t perfect, Just forgiven” Although that statement is true God sees you as perfect. (Colossians 3)

What if you lived your life as if you were wearing a white suite or white dress everywhere you went. You would stay away from things that could get on it. The same is true as a Christian when you see that you have been washed and robbed with a garment that is pure and spotless. This garment you did not earn but was given to you. When you see yourself the way God sees you then it will change the way you act.

See Also: John 13:6-10; 1 Corinthians 3:12-15

When Jesus washed the disciples feet (John 13) Peter refused to allow Jesus to wash his feet. But Jesus told him you have no place with me if you do not wash your feet. Peter then said wash my whole body but Jesus replied you only need to have your feet washed. We all need cleaning as we walk through this life and we confess our sins to have our feet washed. Just make sure that you are clean and not thinking you just need your feet washed.


This entry was posted in Matthew. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *