All our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment.
In the parable of the marriage feast, the king was throwing a party for his son. When all the guests rejected his invitation, he invited people off the street instead. Had Jesus ended the story here, we might have thought He was saying that those who are going to be in the kingdom of heaven are the poor and the disadvantaged. But our salvation has nothing to do with our socioeconomic status in life.
To illustrate the real point of this parable, there is a surprising third act that begins in Matthew 22:11: “When the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes.” The king walked into the great banquet hall, and he zeroed in on one guest who was not dressed appropriately. The king said to him in verse 12, “Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?” You have to feel sympathy for this guy. After all, he was dragged in off the street, and he probably did not carry a spare tuxedo around with him. How could he be expected to dress properly for an event he was invited to at the last moment?
You see, it was common in Jesus’s day for the host of a wedding banquet to provide a garment to every guest. Everybody else at this party had accepted the garment and was dressed properly. But when this one guest was offered the garment to put on, perhaps he looked at his own clothes and said, “I think I will just wear what I have on. If that is not good enough, so be it.”
Anytime I talk to somebody about their relationship with Christ, there is one question that to me determines whether they are saved or lost: If you were to stand before God, and He were to ask you, “Why should I let you into heaven?” what would you say? Most people would say, “I live by the Golden Rule,” or, “Although I am not perfect, I am good enough.” That is what most people are banking on: that they are good enough to enter God’s presence.
The wedding guest’s excuses for not putting on the wedding garment seemed logical until he stood in the presence of the king and saw him in all his majesty. The Bible says, “The man was speechless” (v. 12). He realized he was underdressed. It is going to be the same way when some people stand before God. All their excuses for not trusting in Christ as Savior will seem so logical until they find themselves standing in the holiness and the majesty of God the Father. Romans 3:19 says at that moment, every mouth will be silenced. They will realize that “good enough” is not good enough in the presence of a holy God.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Kingdom Of God Is A Party” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org