ACQUIRING THE ROBE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS: THE KEY TO HEAVEN
THE FIRST CALL…, AND THE SECOND CALL
(Mat 22:1-3) And Jesus answered and spake unto them [“the chief priests and Pharisees” Mat 21:45] again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven [visible on this earth] is like unto a certain king [Father God], which made a marriage for his son [Jesus Christ], And sent forth his servants [my/his/thy “servants the prophets” 20x] to call [“summon” Amplified Bible] [i.e., the first call for preparation] them that were bidden [“those who were (already) invited” NKJV] [i.e., the second call for attendance] to the wedding: and they would not come.
1. The Nelson Study Bible: “marriage” = (all the following italics are mine) refers to a wedding feast. Jewish weddings in biblical times involved a number of steps. First, the couple made a marriage contract [the eternal salvation covenant], which was the basis of the marriage. About a year later, the groom went to the bride’s house [the Second Coming or return of Jesus Christ to the earth], where the bride was presented to him. This was followed by a nighttime wedding procession to the groom’s home [the rapture: Ezek 37:1-14; 1 Thes 4:13-18; Rev 20:4-6], where a festive wedding banquet was held [and clean robe garments were handed out by the host at the door]. The banquet could last up to a week [seven days: Gen 2:1-3; 2 Pet 3:8], depending on the resources of the groom’s family.
2. The Living Bible: In this culture, two invitations were expected when banquets were given. The first asked the guests to attend; the second announced that all was ready.
3. The Nelson Study Bible: Two invitations were sent out. The first was sent long before the celebration so that people would have plenty of time to prepare themselves for the banquet. “Those who were invited” [NKJV] had received this original announcement. A second invitation was sent to them to announce that the banquet was ready and they should come right away.
THE THIRD (somewhat exasperated) CALL
(Mat 22:4-7) Again, he sent forth other servants [John the Baptist and Jesus Christ], saying, Tell them which are bidden [“have been invited” NIV], Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings [“fattened cattle” NIV] are killed [“butchered” NIV], and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it [“But they were not concerned and paid no attention – they ignored and made light of the summons, treating it with contempt” Amplif.], and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise [“business” NKJV]: And the remnant [Gk: the remainder] took his servants, and entreated them spitefully [“treated them shamefully” Amplif.], and slew them [“and put them to death” Amplif.]. But when the king [Father God] heard thereof, he was wroth [Gk: enraged]: and he sent forth his armies [plural: what kind of armies? answer: angels and men (rendered “army” in the NIV)], and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
1. Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary: As Jesus had prophesied in Matthew 24, the city of Jerusalem and the Temple was completely destroyed in A.D. 70 by the Roman leader, Titus, and the Roman army, and the high priesthood and the Sandhedrin were abolished. Eventually a Roman city was erected on the site, and Jerusalem was regarded as forbidden ground for the Jews.
2. (Mat 21:41) They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out [lease] his vineyard unto other husbandmen [us, you and I], which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.
THE FOURTH CALL
(Mat 22:8-10) Then saith he to his servants [us, you and I], The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden [invited] were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid [Gk: call] to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good [no longer seeking to gather the Jews only, but now seeking all men, the Gentiles as well: and the wedding was furnished with [forgiven] guests.
1. (Isa 64:6) But we are all [“both bad and good”] as an unclean thing [Heb: foul: defiled, polluted], and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities [Heb: sins], like the wind, have taken us away.
THE WEDDING GARMENT
(Mat 22:11-14) And when the king [Father God] came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment [covering his resurrected body]: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless [he cannot understand the “tongue” of God; nor can a sinner utter speech in the fullness of the kingdom of Heaven lest he bring in sin, sorrow, or pain]. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him [for all eternity] hand [his work] and foot [his foot], and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness [total separation from love, i.e., no mingling]; there shall be weeping [Gk: lamentation: wailing] [profound expressions of regret, grief, or sorrow] and gnashing of teeth [intense regret, and anger]. For many are called [Gk: invited], but few are chosen [Gk: selected: elected] [few of the many “called” respond positively, but those who do respond positively are chosen].
1. (Gal 3:26-29) For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized [to make whelmed (i.e. fully wet)] into Christ [the anointed] have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
a. put on = Gk: (in the sense of sinking into a garment); to invest with clothing:--array, clothe (with), endue, have (put) on.
2. (Isa 61:10) I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
3. (Rev 19:6-9) And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude [at the marriage supper, wedding feast], and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife [us, you and I] hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in [a garment, robe of] fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen [garment, robe] is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
4. (John 10:1) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. (John 10:9,10) I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.