In this story, we see continued warnings from Jesus about rejecting him and the consequences of doing so.
He told the story of a king who invited people to his wedding banquet. But when all was ready, the would-be guests refused to come. Another translation puts it, “They were unwilling to come.”
And though time and again, the king sent messengers to plead with them to come, they “made light of it and went their ways.” (KJV)
More, they even turned violent, beating and killing those sent to them.
This was a picture of Israel as we’ve seen in the other parables, but it’s also a picture of how many respond to the gospel today. God pleads with us to come into his kingdom. He himself makes all the preparations; all we have to do is come. But many people make light of his invitation and go their own way. And some even abuse and persecute those who offer the invitation.
The result? Judgment and death.
The king then sent invitations to all, both good and bad, a picture of how after Israel rejected the gospel, the gospel was then taken to the whole world. And many who were invited responded and entered the kingdom.
But then we see a twist in the story. As the king looked at those in the banquet, he noticed a person without wedding clothes. He was simply dressed as he wanted to be with no regard for the host’s requirements. The king went up to him and asked,
Friend…how did you get in here without wedding clothes? (12)
The man had no answer and was cast out in the darkness, “where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (13)
In the same way, many people today hear God’s invitation to the kingdom, and they try to enter. But they try to enter on their own terms with no regard for God’s requirements. What is God’s requirement for entering the kingdom. John tells us,
God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. (I John 5:11-12)
In other words, in order to enter the kingdom of God, we must be clothed with Jesus Christ. Apart from him, there can be no entering the kingdom.
But many people do not want to enter on God’s terms. They want to enter on their own, spitting on the very invitation God has sent them and the price Jesus paid on the cross that they might come.
We cannot do that.
You can either go to heaven on God’s terms or to hell on your own. There is no in-between.
How about you? Are you coming to God on his terms? Or are you trying to come to him on your own?