It’s been said the Church is full of hypocrites. Its true. So many of us say one thing and do another.
If the parable in Matthew 22 gives us any clue, us hypocrites are in deep, deep doo doo.
I’m helping my daughter plan her wedding, and it just so happens I read the parable of the great wedding feast in Matthew 22 this morning. Funny how that works.
The gist of the parable is this great king puts on a huge wedding feast for his son, but the invited guests blow him off. Not only did they blow him off, but they beat up and killed the guy who delivered the invites. Yikes! This king was furious, and, being a king, with rapid response seal teams at his disposal, sent his armies and pretty much nuked the ungrateful, murderous invited guests.
I took a little interpretive license here, but you get the idea.
So, the wedding reception goes on. Then the king finds this guy munching on the food, drinking a Heineken from the open bar and dancing the hokey pokey with the other guests.
But this guy isn’t dressed properly for a wedding. He’s got holy, raggedy jeans on, and a T-shirt.
While being dressed down like this for a formal event is tacky and even a bit rude, the king doesn’t ignore him, nor humor him, or ask him to leave. He tells the ushers to grab him, zip tie his arms and legs, and throw him out on the street!
Whoa! Now that’s serious!
I wasn’t sure what that scene was meant to symbolize in the parable. I get that the invited guests who blew him off were the Jews, but this dressed down guy was a mystery to me. So I looked up Matthew Henry’s commentary on the passage in my Olive Tree bible app. Mr. Henry was very helpful, and cast a sobering light on the passage:
The case of hypocrites is represented by the guest that had not on a wedding- garment.
It concerns all to prepare for the scrutiny; and those, and those only, who put on the Lord Jesus, who have a Christian temper of mind, who live by faith in Christ, and to whom he is all in all, have the wedding- garment.
The imputed righteousness of Christ, and the sanctification of the Spirit, are both alike necessary. No man has the wedding- garment by nature, or can form it for himself.
The day is coming, when hypocrites will be called to account for all their presumptuous intruding into gospel ordinances, and usurpation of gospel privileges.
Take him away.
Those that walk unworthy of Christianity, forfeit all the happiness they presumptuously claimed. Our Savior here passes out of the parable into that which it teaches.
Hypocrites go by the light of the gospel itself down to utter darkness. Many are called to the wedding- feast, that is, to salvation, but few have the wedding- garment, the righteousness of Christ, the sanctification of the Spirit.
Then let us examine ourselves whether we are in the faith, and seek to be approved by the King.
While I may be a hypocrite, I’m a reformed hypocrite. More accurately, I’m a reforming hypocrite. God isn’t done with me yet. He continues to make me more like Christ, yet it’s often hard to see that progress.
The church is still full of hypocrites, and I’m a shining example of one. But, thankfully, God will be letting me, and a bunch of other hypocrites, sit down at the great wedding feast in heaven some day. Our clothes are grubby, tattered and entirely inappropriate for a wedding when we arrive at the wedding ceremony. But we will be issued beautiful, white as snow, perfect wedding clothes… painfully tailored by the Lamb of God, washed by His blood. When we put on this wardrobe, we put on Christ and His righteousness. The King won’t see me. When He looks at me, he’ll see His Son, and I’ll be escorted to a seat of honor.
I will be there. I got my invite and sent in my RSVP.
Are you going? Need an invite? Learn more here. I hope to see you there!