But when the king came in to see the guests, he spotted a man who was not dressed in wedding clothes.
1. The Jews, as a nation, must be destroyed.
2. The Gentiles, as individuals, must be drawn into the Divine favour. Those Jews had conceived that the Divine favour was held in strict limitations. It belonged exclusively to those who were of Abraham's seed. And this idea had led them to presume; and in their pride they even rejected God's Son. They felt as if they might do as they pleased even with the invitation to the feast. Compare the way in which St. Paul found it necessary to turn away from the Jews, and give free offer of eternal life to the Gentiles.
I. THE GOSPEL IS OFFERED TO THOSE WHO HAVE NO NATURAL CLAIM TO IT. These folk in the highways had no claims of birth, or education, or fitness. They were just men who wanted food; and to them the offer of food was made. The gospel goes beyond all the special claims and rights that men think they have, and just deals with men as men - with men as sinful men; with men as having lost by their sin even their natural rights to the favour of God. It is not until we can give up all confidence in our own merit that we are prepared to hear the gospel message, "Whosoever will, let him come."
II. THE GOSPEL IS OFFERED TO THOSE WHO HAVE NO DISPOSITION TOWARD IT. These folk in the highway, perhaps, had not even heard of the king's marriage feast. If they had, it never entered their heads that they would like to be guests at it. It was no place for such as they were. Some of them were beggars at the wayside. All of them were in their workday clothes. A comfortable meal at home they would enjoy muck more than a grand feast at the palace. It was even needful to use forceful persuasions, and compel them to come in. Still, we are confronted by this difficulty - so many have to be made to want and welcome the gospel; to be taught their need, and to be persuaded that the fulness of Divine provision is really opened to them. The gospel is offered freely to whosoever will, but the work is committed to Christ's servants of making men will to receive the gospel. "We persuade men." - R.T.
He saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment.
I. BY THE WEDDING GARMENT. It is the costume or spiritual dress necessary for the enjoyment of heaven — holiness often described as a garment (Job 29:14; Isaiah 61:10; Psalm 45:13; Revelation 3:18;. 7:9).
II. THE SOLEMN SCRUTINY.
1. Was Divine.
2. Was personal, Religion is a personal concern.
III. THE AWFUL DETECTION. We may form three conjectureS as to this robeless character.
1. It might have resulted from carelessness. He did not attend to the requirements of the king, etc. How many like him, etc. 2.:From procrastination. How many Such are always in God's house.
3. From proud and wicked preference. Perhaps thought it not essential; had other views; would trust in the mercy of the king, or his own beautiful habiliments. How many of this class are there!
IV. THE AWFUL INVESTIGATION.
1. It was public. Before all the guests. The enemies of Christ will be publicly confounded at the last day; clothed with shame and contempt.
2. It was reasonable. It gave an opportunity for the exhibition of righteousness. God will allow the sinner to plead.
3. It was overwhelming. He had no reason to assign, hence he was confounded.
V. THE DREADFUL PUNISHMENT.
1. The removal.
2. The sentence.
3. The misery.Application.
1. Now, all that is necessary for heaven may be obtained, and that by all.
2. Let professors examine themselves, etc.
3. Let sinners be entreated. Listen to the voice of the gospel and live.
(J. Burns, LL. D.)I. AT THIS FEAST THERE WAS BUT ONE CONDITION OF ACCEPTANCE — the wearing of a particular garment, Faith in Christ.
1. The wedding garment had no merit in itself: faith has no intrinsic worth.
2. It was all-important because commanded by the king: the fact that faith, as the instrument of justification, is ordained of God endows it with importance.
3. It was no arbitrary symbol.
4. It was highly significant.
II. THERE WAS ONE WHO FAILED TO COMPLY WITH THIS CONDITION. Of whom is he the type?
1. He was in the guest-chamber.
2. He desired to eat of the feast.
3. He remained in the guest-chamber until the king came.
4. He may have been highly esteemed by the rest.
III. THE PROBABLE REASONS OF HIS NON-COMPLIANCE. Pride, self-deception, pride of intellect.
Studies.The guest referred to was speechless because —
I. He could not plead ignorance of the will of the king who had invited him to the feast.
II. He could not plead that in his case the wedding garment was not necessary.
III. He could not plead that a wedding garment was not placed within his reach.
IV. He had despised the wedding garment.
V. He was overwhelmed with a sense of guilt. Learn the worthlessness of mere profession, and the necessity of being prepared for coming judgment.
I. The points of RESEMBLANCE.
1. He Was an invited guest. We are all called to the great feast.
2. He was a needy guest. All equally needy.
3. He was an expectant guest.
II. The points of DIFFERENCE.
1. They differed in their appearances.
2. They not only differed in appearances, but in their principles, in their states, in their conduct. He had neglected to observe the conditions on which admission was granted, etc.
III. THE CAUSES OF THE DIFFERENCE. Perhaps it was carelessness, pride, mind pre-occupied, etc.
IV. The consequences to which it led.
2. Overwhelming confusion.
(A. Weston.)I. THE SCRUTINY OF THE KING.
1. The manner of his discovery. He was not discovered till the king came in. Though the Lord knoweth them that are His, they that are His do not always know each other.
2. The language of the address, "Friend," etc. God's judgments proceed upon our self-assumed character. The man was not obliged to accept the king's invitation. "Not having a wedding garment." This was the affront.
II. THE CONFUSION OF THE CRIMINAL "He was speechless." There was no excuse. Conscious guilt struck him dumb. Before the bar of God man will not be able to plead — the soul's inborn sin. He could not plead inability to procure the garment.
(D. Moore, M. A.)I. THE POINTS OF RESEMBLANCE BETWEEN THIS MAN AND THE OTHER GUESTS.
1. He was an invited guest.
2. He was a needy guest.
3. He was an expecting guest.
II. THE POINT OF DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE MAN HERE SPOKEN OF AND THE OTHER GUESTS. The wedding garment is, in short, a wedding spirit.
III. To WHAT CAUSES MUST WE TRACE THIS DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HIM AND THEM. It must be traced to himself.
1. Perhaps carelessness, mere inconsideration, led to his refusal.
2. It may have been pride.
3. There was great irreverence in his conduct.
IV. THE CONSEQUENCES TO WHICH IT LED.
(C. Bradley.)I. THE DISCOVERY.
II. THE TRIAL.
III. THE CONDEMNATION OF THIS MAN.
(T. Drummond.)1. The folly of the human heart as seen in the way in which men attempt to impose upon God.
2. Though only one rejected, the guests admitted far less numerous than those invited.
3. It was the man's own fault that he had not the wedding garment.
4. The wedding garment is something more than outward conduct, for it escaped human observation. It was something which the king could alone discover.
(C. J. P. Eyre, M. A.)1. You cannot say that the gospel plan is unworthy of your acceptance as a rational and immortal being.
2. You will be speechless because you cannot plead ignorance of the plan of salvation.
3. You cannot plead as an excuse for your wickedness the necessity of an irreligious life from the decrees of God.
(Morgan Dix, D. D.)
1. It is a clothing of humility; no robe of pride to dress up the sinner.
2. It truly corresponds to what the wearer is; no masquerade dress disguising the idle reveller or the stealthy conspirator.
3. It is a habit of the inner as well as of the outer man. A dress of the soul, the everyday costume of the devout and religious spirit, the inner habit which goes together with the outer, orderly, and sober life.
(Morgan Dix, D. D.)I. THE MAKER. It must be woven by our own hands, if ever woven at all. No such thing as getting it made for you. Every man is his own artisan: there are no workshops, and no workmen, here or elsewhere, to fit for heaven the souls of those who will not make themselves ready. We can buy, according to our means, sufficient, or more than sufficient, of lavish or gorgeous apparel, for this world and this life; but not one thread or one finger's breadth of that which we need for the life to come.
II. THE MATERIALS. These are from God. They are the redeeming work of Christ, His perfect righteousness, and absolute holiness, His merits, the benefits of His cross and passion, His mighty resurrection and glorious ascension. To weave these materials into a garment, skilled and industrious fingers are needed: faith, hope, love. We must weave a true Christian habit by Christian acts; we must take what the Lord has done for us, and of it we must work a holy life; we must become like Him.
III. WE SHALL HAVE HIS HELP IF WE WORK HARD. If we do our best, God will supply all the defects in our work, and make it good; sufficient for every need. Such garment as the child of God tries to make, in accordance with God's will, may need much altering and setting right; it shall need to be shaped, and washed, and made white, till it become that radiant dress which the King shall see with pleasure.
(Morgan Dix, D. D.)
(W. Archer Butler, M. A.)
(T. Manton.)I. THE ORIGINAL AND GROUND OF THIS FIGURATIVE EXPRESSION, of having on the wedding garment. The constant and prevailing temper or disposition of any man's spirit, can no way be Set forth more expressively than under the similitude of bodily garments, so investing the person as to be his proper and distinguishing attire.
II. USEFUL AND PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS.
1. How absolutely and indispensably God expects and requires, that every man who hopes to be admitted into the kingdom of heaven, should have his mind endued, and as it were clothed, with those habitual virtuous qualifications, which can no otherwise be acquired than by righteous practice.
2. There is such a thing as a false or ill-grounded hope; there are deceitful expectations, which may betray men into perdition.
3. The judgment of God will be according to right, in the sense that we understand just and right; in the sense, that even the wickedest of men shall not be able to deny, is according to righteousness and justice. The man convicted was speechless.
4. The reality of the concern God has for the salvation of men.
5. A very moving admonition, how dreadful at last will be the state of those whom the great goodness and long-suffering of God have not been able to bring to repentance, and to effectual amendment of life and manners.
1. There is a personal visit, "When the king came."
2. There is a personal scrutiny, "He saw a man."
3. There is a personal interrogation, "'Friend, how camest thou in?"
4. There is a personal conviction, "He was speechless."
5. There is a personal bondage, "Bind him."
6. There is a personal exclusion, "Cast him into outer darkness."
7. There is a personal torment, "Weeping and gnashing of teeth."
(J. T. Woodhouse.)Matthew 6:19; James 5:2), and it was part of his glory, as in the case of the assembly which Jehu held for the worshippers of Baal (2 Kings 10:22), to bring -them out for use on state occasions. On this assumption, the act of the man who was found " not having a wedding garment" was one of wilful insult. He came in the "filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6), of his old life, instead of putting on the "white linen " meet for a kingly feast (Ecclesiastes 9:8; Revelation 3:4, 5), which had been freely offered him.
(Marcus Dods, D. D.)
(Marcus Dods, D. D.)I. The multitude of guests.
II. The unfitted one.
III. The merciless end.
(R. Davey.)1. An enemy at the feast.
2. The king at the feast.
3. The judge at the feast.
4. The criminal at the feast.
5. The executioner.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
(H. Melvill, B. D.)
1. He must be a humble man.
2. He may walk into the feast boldly in his confidence.
3. He must be joyous. It is a feast.
4. He must be loving. It is a feast to commemorate love.
5. The Christ that is on him will be the Christ that is in him.
(J. Vaughan, M. A.)
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