2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son,
3 and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come.
4 Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.”’
5 But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business.
6 And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them.
7 But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy.
9 Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’
10 So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.
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 (Matthew 22:1-14 NKJV).”
This parable is hallmarked by symbolism. The Jews represent those who were initially invited to the great feast; the Jews were and still are God’s chosen people, and He continues loving them very much, but as a people, they were the first to reject Jesus. And so the gospel was sent out to the Gentiles, that is, those not of Jewish ancestry. Two thousand years later, the vast majority of Christian believers are non-Jewish. And these are represented in Jesus’ parable as those who responded to the master’ second invitation.
But what of the one who was not dressed in the appropriate attire? Why was he banished? Those guests who arrived in their proper attire represent the true believers who are indwelled by the Holy Spirit of God. But the man not appropriately dressed represents the religious phonies—the hypocrites who claim to follow Jesus, yet they are filled with envy, deceit, greed, and pride. God’s Spirit does not abide in them. They are empty vessels—counterfeit Christians who do not love Jesus.
The great English preacher, Charles Spurgeon, described the banished guest like this: "He came because he was invited, but he came only in appearance. The banquet was intended to honor the King's Son, but this man meant nothing of the kind; he was willing to eat the good things set before him, but in his heart there was no love either for the King or his well-beloved Son."
Who was this man? He was a man who was indifferent to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was a man who was nothing more than a religious phony. His life had not been transformed by the Gospel. He was a fake and a fraud. There was no love for Jesus in his rebellious heart.
Are there indeed such people as this? Hear the words of Jesus: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness (Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV)!’