When the king came - When God shall come to judge the world.
Wedding garment - Among the orientals, long white robes were worn at public festivals; and those who appeared on such occasions with any other garments were esteemed, not only highly culpable, but worthy of punishment. Our Lord seems here to allude to Zephaniah 1:7, Zephaniah 1:8, The Lord hath prepared a Sacrifice, he hath Bidden his guests. And it shall come to pass, in the day of the Lord's sacrifice, that I will Punish the princes, and the King's Children, and All Such as are clothed with Strange Apparel. The person who invited the guests prepared such a garment for each, for the time being; and with which he was furnished on his application to the ruler of the feast. It was this which made the conduct of the person mentioned in the text inexcusable; he might have had a proper marriage garment, if he had applied for it.
To afford accidental guests clothing suitable to a marriage feast, was a custom among the ancient Greeks. Homer relates that Telemachus, and the son of Nestor, arriving at Lacedaemon when Menelaus was making a marriage feast for his son and daughter, were accommodated with garments suited to the occasion, after having been bathed and anointed.
Τους δ 'επει ουν δρωμαι λουσαν και χρισαν ελαιῳ,π
Αμφι δ 'αρα χλαινας ουλας βαλον ηδε χιτωνας,π
Ες ρα θρονους εζοντο παρ 'Ατρειδην Μενελαον
Odyss. l. iv. ver. 49-51
They entered each a bath, and by the hands
Of maidens laved, and oiled, and clothed again
With shaggy mantles and resplendent vests,
Sat both enthroned at Menelaus' side.
Among the Asiatics, garments called caftans, great numbers of which each nobleman has ordinarily ready in his wardrobe, are given to persons whom he wishes to honor: to refuse to accept or wear such a dress would be deemed the highest insult.
This marriage feast or dinner (the communication of the graces of the Gospel in this life) prepares for the marriage supper of the Lamb, Revelation 19:7-9, the enjoyment of eternal blessedness in the kingdom of glory. Now, as without holiness no man can see the Lord, we may at once perceive what our Lord means by the marriage garment - it is Holiness of heart and life: the text last quoted asserts that the fine, white, and clean linen (alluding to the marriage garment above mentioned) was an emblem of the Righteousness of the Saints. Mark this expression: the righteousness, the whole external conduct; regulated according to the will and word of God. Of the Saints, the holy persons, whose souls were purified by the blood of the Lamb.
A man which had not on a wedding garment - In ancient times, kings and princes were accustomed to make presents of changes of raiment to their friends and favourites, to refuse to receive which was an expression of highest contempt, Genesis 45:22; 2 Kings 10:22; Esther 6:8; Esther 8:15. It was, of course, expected that such garments would be worn when they came into the presence of the benefactor. The garments worn on festival occasions were chiefly long white robes, and it was the custom of the person who made the feast to prepare such robes to be worn by the guests. This renders the conduct of this man more inexcusable. He came in his common and ordinary dress, as he was taken from the highway: and though he had not a garment of his own suitable for the occasion, yet one had been provided for him, if he had applied for it. His not doing it was expressive of the highest disrespect for the king. This beautifully represents the conduct of the hypocrite in the church. A garment of salvation might be his, performed by the hands of the Saviour, and dyed in his blood; but the hypocrite chooses the filthy rags of his own righteousness, and thus offers the highest contempt for that provided in the gospel. He is to blame, not for being invited - not for coming, if he would come, for he is freely invited but for offering the highest contempt to the King of Zion in presenting himself with all his filth and rags, and in refusing to be saved in the way provided in the gospel.
This chapter is based on Matthew 22:1-14.
The parable of the wedding garment opens before us a lesson of the highest consequence. By the marriage is represented the union of humanity with divinity; the wedding garment represents the character which all must possess who shall be accounted fit guests for the wedding. COL 307.1Read in context »
There is a work to be done for the wealthy. They need to be awakened to their responsibility as those intrusted with the gifts of heaven. They need to be reminded that they must give an account to Him who shall judge the living and the dead. The wealthy man needs your labor in the love and fear of God. Too often he trusts in his riches, and feels not his danger. The eyes of his mind need to be attracted to things of enduring value.—Christ's Object Lessons, 230. ChS 202.1Read in context »
If the needs of the Lord's work were set forth in a proper light before those who have means and influence, these men might do much to advance the cause of present truth. God's people have lost many privileges of which they could have taken advantage, had they not chosen to stand independent of the world. CS 186.1
In the providence of God, we are daily brought into connection with the unconverted. By His own right hand God is preparing the way before us, in order that His work may progress rapidly. As colaborers with Him, we have a sacred work to do. We are to have travail of soul for those who are in high places; we are to extend to them the gracious invitation to come to the marriage feast. CS 186.2Read in context »
To Defend the Right—The local editor of the Review and Herald will have occasion to speak with earnestness and firmness. He should stand in defense of the right, exerting all the influence his position grants him.—Testimonies for the Church 4:456 (1880). CW 109.1
Good Food for the Flock—At my door, I found the latest number of the Review and Herald, and I read this for a while. It is full of good food for the flock of God. The truth, plain, positive truth, is set forth just as it should be. The experiences that it relates of the workers in mission fields, are very interesting. CW 109.2
In these last days the one who was once an exalted angel in the heavenly courts is to take the philosophy of men under his training. The people of God are to guard carefully against the seductive influence of the deceiver. They are to hold firmly to the truths which called them out from the world, and led them to stand as God's denominated people. CW 109.3Read in context »