11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. 12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 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.’ 14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
We now come to the second scene in the parable of the wedding feast.
“But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment.
The person without a “wedding garment” was from the category of “bad” in the previous verse. It was a shock to go to the wedding of a son of the king without proper wedding garments. It was outrageous to Jesus that those dressed in the rags of religion showed up at His kingdom disheveled and expecting entrance. A new kind of apparel was necessary for the kingdom.
So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless.
There was no excuse for a man coming to a wedding without proper attire. There was a custom to provide wedding garments for those who did not have them. No wonder this person had no excuse; he was left “speechless.” He had no excuse for coming to the wedding on his own terms.
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.’
This verse suggests he was cast into “hell.” Religious leaders in Israel will land in hell because of the way they treated the Messiah. These people cannot participate in the kingdom.
“For many are called,
The gospel invitation goes out to many. This phrase relates to man’s will. Many are invited into the kingdom but few accept the call. Many hear the summons of the gospel but few respond to it.
but few are chosen.”
Those who refuse the invitation are not chosen. Those who respond to the invitation are “chosen” because they accept that the death of Christ forgives sin.
God clothes us with the righteousness of Jesus when we become Christians.
The invitation is to the “many.” The Great Commission is to make disciples of all the nations (Mt 28:19).
The proper wedding garment of a person going into the presence of God is imputed (accounted) righteousness. Imputed righteousness is God’s own righteousness that He accounts to our balance sheet with Him. When a person becomes a Christian, she or he has absolute or perfect righteousness in status with God. We are not experientially righteous, but we possess positional righteousness. When God looks at us, He looks at us with the same status of righteousness that Jesus has (Romans 3-5).