Preparing for the Wedding Day, Part 4
We want to continue looking at this subject of the marriage supper of the Lamb and who will be invited. We want to see if we can draw anything from Yeshua's (Jesus') parables.
The Parable of the Marriage Feast
Matthew 22:1-14 compares the kingdom to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. He sends out his servants to call those who had been invited but they are unwilling to come. The king, I'm sure, was a little surprised at the response, so he once again sends out his servants to tell those who have been invited that all the preparations have been made and the dinner was now ready. But once again they paid him no attention, for they were too busy with their own personal lives. Some even mistreated his servants and some even killed them. The king was now enraged and he sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their cities. The king sent out his servant once again. He said, "The wedding feast is ready. Go therefore to the highways and invite as many as you see to come to the feast." So they did, and both good and evil people came and filled the wedding hall. But the king looked at his guests and those not dressed for the wedding and he told them, "Because you did not come dressed in wedding clothes you should be bound and thrown out into the darkness, into a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth," and he turned to the crowd and said, "For many are called but few are chosen."
We see here that the Lord Yeshua spoke to the crowd about His kingdom and what His kingdom expected of its subjects. God calls everyone to the wedding feast; everyone has an invitation but we must respond to that invitation. We must say "Yes" to our King. We must prepare ourselves for this spectacular day. How many times do we see the Scriptures say, "and they made their garments white."
The Parable of the Ten Virgins
Matthew 25:1-13 speaks also of the kingdom which is compared to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. This was an old Jewish custom in which the people would line the path with their torches for the bridegroom as he went to get his bride. Yeshua goes on to tell us that five of them were foolish and five were prudent. The foolish took their lamps but they did not take any extra oil. On the other hand, the prudent took extra oil with them. The bridegroom was delayed in coming and it was midnight when the shout came, "Behold the bridegroom! Come out to meet him." All the virgins quickly rose to their feet and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the prudent, "Give us some of your oil for our lamps are going out." The prudent responded, "No, for we shall not have enough for ourselves. Go and buy oil for yourselves." And while they were gone the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast and the door was shut. When the foolish virgins returned and saw the door had been shut they cried out, "Lord, Lord, open up for us!" But he answered, "I know you not!"
This once again shows the seriousness of being ready and alert for the coming of the bridegroom, Yeshua our King. The Scriptures tell us that we need to be ready; Yeshua Himself tells us that we are to be ready. The shepherds over us should be telling us that we need to be ready, and to be ready we must make our garments white. Revelation 7:13-14 tells us, "And one of the elders answered, saying to me, ‘These who are clothed in white robes, who are they, and from where have they come?' And I said to him, ‘My lord, you know.' And he said to me, ‘These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.'"
We have, these last several months, been looking at the bride and those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. September begins the Fall feasts, God's appointed times according to Leviticus 23. These feasts all represent the second coming of our Messiah, and yet the body of believers do not celebrate these feast days because we are taught that they are of no importance to us. I ask you, do you think that not being ready for the bridegroom is of no importance? Do you think that if He came today that you can be certain that you have made your garments white? Can you say for certain that you have enough oil in your lamp? The foolish virgins thought so. Those who came to the wedding without proper attire thought so. Can you say that you are totally ready to meet Yeshua today and know for certain that you have lived up to his expectations of you as a believer?
I know, "Grace, we are saved by grace and not works!" But I ask you, do not the Scriptures make it clear that everyone that was excluded from the wedding feast had a responsibility that went beyond grace? If we did not have a part in being ready, why would Yeshua tell us to be ready and alert, if we were saved only by grace? Revelation 19 tells us that the bride clothed herself in fine, clean linen which is the righteous acts of the saints. Part of those acts are what we need to do to be ready, to be without spot or wrinkle, and this requires repentance from the heart, a complete turn around.
Are we crucifying the flesh? Are we walking in the Spirit? Have we let go of the world? Have we become living sacrifices unto the Lord? I could go on and on. Each one of us must read God's word and live by it and keep God's commandments. This is what the fall feasts do: they remind us that the Bridegroom is coming and that we need to prepare for His return.