You probably know the parable about the king and the wedding guests, If not, go to Matthew 22.
To understand what I am going to talk about, you need to know about the cultural norm of the day. When people were invited to a wedding, the Semitic custom was for the host to provide proper clothing for the guests when they arrived. The guest would then use those clothes and in this way everyone was properly dressed. Although it is not specifically stated here, since the people were invited to come from the streets, the alleys, wherever the servants could find them, how could they have all had proper clothing unless the custom of providing the clothes was in effect?
The one man who did not have the proper clothing was singled out because to be there with the wrong clothes meant that he had refused to accept the clothing he was given. He did not “put on the Lord”, as the saying goes. As such, having refused to accept the “terms” of the invitation, he was rejected.
So…did the host reject the man, or did the man reject the host?
We are all called by God to accept His Grace, the gift of salvation. Whether Christian, Messianic, Jewish, or just plain confused we all are called by God, to God. That’s because God wants all His children saved. In Ezekiel God says that the death of a sinner does not please Him, rather that He would see the sinner do T’Shuvah (turn) and live. That’s why the parable states that all people, good and bad, were invited. Those that came were then offered the clothing that was appropriate for them to wear at the wedding. In real terms, that means we need to strip ourselves of our own clothing (sinful nature) so that we can put on the new clothing, i.e. we need to be “covered” by the sacrificial death of the Messiah, who is Yeshua (Jesus). Or, as the Christian world likes to say, we need to be covered by the blood of Jesus.
I know Jewish people don’t like that saying, being “covered by the blood”, and I think the main reason is because they don’t really know the Torah. When Moshe anointed Aaron as Cohen HaGadol (High Priest) he sprinkled the blood of the sacrifice on him. Same for Pinchus, and all the priests after that. The sprinkling of the blood of the sacrifice upon something is what made that thing holy, whether it was a person, the altar, or the Tent of Meeting. It is totally “Jewish” to be sprinkled or covered with the blood of a sacrifice to make one holy.
The people who were called and accepted the “clothing” of the host represent (today) those who accept Yeshua as their Messiah and make a commitment to change their lives to live in accordance with God’s way. That means living in accordance with Torah, since that is the only “way” God has told us to live. Yeshua lived according to Torah, so if you are being told to do as Yeshua did, well, guess what that means?
The man who was not wearing the proper clothing represents those who reject God’s call. You may have been taught that it is the Jews, but after reading a couple of different commentaries about this, the general consensus is that it is about Jews and Gentiles, anyone who rejects God’s call to holiness.
So next time you meet someone who says that God rejects the Jews and references this parable, please set him or her straight. And remember to always think of the cultural environment at the time when trying to understand what the Bible is saying( go to the Search button at the bottom of this page and search for Circles of Context to learn about this.)
God has already invited you to join Him in eternal joy; it is up to you to choose Him.