I recently attended a beautiful wedding. Everything about it was lovely, including the attire of those who were attending. Men were decked out in suits or shirts and ties; ladies fluttered in dresses of every color and design. It was evident that all who attended had put a little extra gloss on their usual wear because this was a special occasion. Our clothing—and our attitudes—reflected our understanding that this was something that doesn’t happen every day.
I was thinking of this when I read Matthew 22:11-14 Matthew 22:11-14 11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
12 And he said to him, Friend, how came you in here not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
American King James Version×: “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 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.”
As Christians, we have been called to clothe ourselves carefully. The clothing that Christ is concerned about is not our physical clothing, but rather our spiritual clothing. He who clothes the lilies of the field will clothe our bodies (Matthew 6:28-30 Matthew 6:28-30 28 And why take you thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29 And yet I say to you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 Why, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
American King James Version×). If we plan to attend the grandest wedding that will ever occur (Revelation 19:7 Revelation 19:7Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife has made herself ready.
American King James Version×), we must take note of the invitation and dress accordingly.
The clothing God wants us to put on
How does one dress for the marriage supper of the Lamb? How should the bride of Christ array herself? Revelation 19:6-8 Revelation 19:6-8 6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunder, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigns.
7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife has made herself ready.
8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
American King James Version×says, “And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, ‘Alleluia! For the LORD God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.’And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”
Here we have a big hint: the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. And in Colossians 3:12-14 Colossians 3:12-14 12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering;
13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do you.
14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfection.
American King James Version×, we can read further instructions as to how we ought to dress: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (New International Version, emphasis added).
When I dressed to attend the wedding, I checked my outfit carefully, applying all of my knowledge of special occasions, etiquette and the expectations of my friend, the bride. As Christians, we should be checking our spiritual outfits every day. Are we busy arraying ourselves in fine linen? Are we putting on the qualities of Christ? When that wedding comes, will our clothing be adequate?