Matthew 22 One Way

The union of a man and woman and the union of believers to a triune God is marvelous and worthy of celebration. There will be a day when believers will rejoice and give glory to God at the marriage supper of the Lamb. Believers will be His bride “arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright”. However, we do have an illustration of a wedding feast that does not have such a jovial ending.
In Matthew 22:1-14, Jesus tells a story of a king who hosts a wedding reception for his son. Notice Jesus is comparing heaven to a marriage. He describes the unknown by using the known. He is using a familiar event to show us a hidden reality only visible to those with “eyes to see” and “ears to hear”.
Marriage is a sacred and significant union between a man and a woman. In Genesis 2:24, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” God established the marriage union, so the man and woman become one entity or one body. She takes on the husband’s name and his name becomes the family name. The husband becomes the head of the wife, for God did not create the man for the woman, but He created the woman for the man.
Likewise, marriage is also a symbolic picture of the church and its relationship to Christ. Christ is the head of the church and the church is His body working on this earth. Believers become one with Jesus and take on His name, for the root word of Christian is Christ.
In both of the above cases, what God has joined let no man separate. Nothing can break the bond of security a believer has in Jesus, and nothing on the earth can break the bond of marriage; not a certificate of divorce or any “legal” document. The two have become one.
In the parable of the wedding banquet, a “certain king”, who represents God the Father, and the “son” who represents Jesus the Christ, there happens to be a guest at this reception, who is not wearing the white garments. “And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: “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. But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 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. 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 his 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.” Matthew 22:1-14
The guest at this reception is not wearing the white garments and as a result, he is removed from the reception. He is cast out into outer darkness and there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. How did it come to be that this man is at the banquet and not wearing the necessary apparel? Could it be that God is telling us something often overlooked about the marriage relationship? This relationship is the physical and spiritual union between a man and a woman. Once the two have entered into this covenant, God sees them as one unit, one flesh both physically and spiritually. There is only one way this guest got into the banquet hall. His wife brought him in.
Only saints – Christians - believers in Jesus Christ wear the appropriate wedding garment; see Revelation 19:7-8. The guest without a wedding garment represents an unbeliever. The king addresses him as “Friend” and asks him how he came in without a wedding garment. The man stood there speechless. The king calls the guest “friend” indicating he knows him, but the guest does not know the king. He is there because he came with a believing spouse; the two are one, united in marriage.
God snatched them up together and brought them in together. Whether divorced or not, they are going to be raptured together, but God will separate them. This is where the separation takes place.
“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.”
This is a vivid word-picture to illustrate the heartbreaking truth that many spouses will weep, not celebrate, at the banquet. Here is where God separates the believing spouse from the unbelieving spouse, so there will be tears (Rev.7:17… “for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountain of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. (Rev. 21:4 “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.”), the believing spouse for the unbelieving spouse, and the unbelieving spouse for his/her eternal fate in hell. God will grieve this divorce of sorts, for he wants none to perish, no not one, but that all should accept the invitation to have eternal life, and dwell in heaven, and wear the white garments of righteousness given to us by the groom Jesus. No one can come to God the Father except through Jesus Christ. “Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him.” John 14:6.
Monty Spencer, Assistant Chaplain Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office