“But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment.” -Matthew 22:11
The parable of the wedding banquet has always confused me. In the parable, a king invited all types of people to his banquet at the last minute – young, old, rich, poor, etc. But one man in particular did not have on an appropriate wedding garment, and the king cast him into the outer darkness. When reading this, I used to ask myself: Why was this man expected to be dressed appropriately for a wedding? What if he didn’t have a wedding garment? What if he was too poor, or unclean? What if he came off the streets?
But I always had to remind myself of one thing: that the king is good. He would not invite people and expect them to magically create garments and punish them if they weren’t wearing any – he would have supplied them somehow. Even if a man was poor or dirty, he would still have access to these garments, and would be expected to wear them.
In light of this, when we were reading Colossians 3 (aka, clothe yourself with humility, gentleness, compassion, patience, kindness, and love), we asked ourselves: what is the significance of clothing?
I guess the answer I received is: anyone can wear clothing. Jesus doesn’t expect us to be compassionate or gentle naturally – in fact, He knows we can’t be so because of our sinful nature. But he does expect us to clothe ourselves in these traits anyway, and to clothe ourselves in Him.
I am not expected to live up to this clothing I put on. Instead, I make the decision to clothe myself, and slowly, as I begin to change from the inside out (and the outside in), the clothing begins to fit me better.