Weddings. Jesus referred to them often in His teachings and parables. He even used marriage language fitting to the culture to talk to His disciples, so that they could understand the depth of relationship He desired with them. The first miracle recorded in John 2 was at a wedding. A marriage between a man and a woman was the closest earthly relationship to describe the relationship Jesus was offering, and yet so many rejected His offer. Ever felt the sting of rejection? Jesus felt it from His own people.
Jesus continues in Matthew 22 with another parable for the chief priests and Pharisees. Jesus describes the Kingdom of Heaven as a wedding banquet. Sounds mighty familiar, huh?
“And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” (Revelation 19:9)
However, those that He invited (the children of Israel: Jews) “paid no attention“. The king responds, “those I invited did not deserve to come“. Then, he tells his servants to go and get anyone they can find (Gentiles). But the king noticed a man not wearing “wedding attire”. Wedding attire is referring to those who are forgiven and made clean and pure.
“Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Revelation 19:7-8)
Then, the king asks how this man got into the banquet without his proper covering. This covering is his garment of salvation (Isaiah 61:10; Romans 3:21), and his works of service produced as fruit by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:10). Because the man was not “covered”, he was thrown into darkness. All of this a prophetic word of what was to come for those who reject Jesus.
Jesus ends the parable with “For many are invited but few are chosen.” This is so important for us to understand. The word “invite” is “klesis” and means “a Divine invitation for salvation”. The word “chosen” is “eklegomai” and means “to be hand picked to become a disciple“. Jesus was saying that He would offer salvation to all but few will believe on Him and become His disciples. Many take this to mean that Jesus chose the “elect” and therefore, if you desire Jesus but you are not part of the “chosen” then you are just out of luck. Not so. The Bible says that it is God’s Will that no one should perish but all come to salvation. Jesus has chosen ALL of us. This aligns with 1 Corinthians 1:26-31:
“Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called (same word “klesis”). Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose (same word “eklegomai”) the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.“
Praise God, He chose us all and we have the opportunity to chose Him in return. Many are invited to the banquet but few actually receive the proper covering (the blood of Jesus). What a gift. CALLED. CHOSEN. COVERED.
MARRIAGE IS AN INVITATION TO INTIMACY
When one marries, there is no divided loyalties; so I found it interesting that after this marriage parable, the Herodians question Jesus about His loyalties. They thought they would surely catch Him giving allegiance completely to God, giving them grounds to accuse Him of disloyalty to the governing authorities. Instead, He told them to obey the current laws in place but also honor God. While on this earth, we are to honor our government and pray for our President and leaders. God makes that very clear in Romans 13:1-2. There is no divided loyalties based on this Scripture because God placed them in their roles. I love how they described Jesus: “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are.” (verse 16) Oh, God, that I would be like this! Holy Spirit help us to have this said about us! INTEGRITY. TRUTH. STEADFAST.
MARRIAGE IS EXCLUSIVE ALLEGIANCE
Finally, Jesus is asked yet another question regarding marriage. This time it is about if a women is married to several different husbands, who would Jesus say she will be married to in heaven. Jesus answered them plainly: “You are in error (means “deceived”) because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. At the resurrection, people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.” If you’ve wondered what we will be like, there you go, straight from Jesus. We will be like the angels in heaven. [Side Note: Jesus took the opportunity to answer another question of the Sadducees regarding the resurrection. Jesus said that God declared to Moses that He was the God of the patriarchs, who had died long before; and God is the God of the living, not the dead. This proved that the doctrine of the resurrection is clearly taught in the Old Testament as well as in the New.]
MARRIAGE IS ETERNAL
Make no mistake about it: there is a Wedding above all weddings coming soon. Jesus, the Groom will come and get His Bride. We must make ourselves ready. The earthly marriage will fade away as all of us who know Jesus will be united face to face with our Groom. What a day.
Jesus said, “Behold, I am coming soon!” (Revelation 22:12)
“Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. (Revelation 22:20)