Matthew 22:11-14 (NIV) 11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend ?’ The man was speechless.
13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
14 “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
It seems that there is a direct correlation between clothing and being chosen. So often there is a conflation of the concept of being chosen to mean that all are not included in the opportunity. This, however, is first in direct contrast to the character of God in that He is “not willing that any should perish”. He is not presenting the option to some, while others that He might not like as much are given the cold shoulder. The invitation, in fact, is to all. It’s what is done with that invitation that has everything to do with whether or not you are a part of the festivities.
There was an invitation first given to all who were a part of the family. This invitation was not only ignored, but treated with disdain and a reaction of harming the messenger who brought it. It was, therefore, now given to anyone, family or not, who would come to the marriage banquet. Many were called. However, even in responding to the invitation by arriving at the feast, there is also a requirement of provided clothing that reflects honor in preparing for the feast. Acceptance of the invitation will be more than just showing up at the door, but will include cleaning up and putting on the appropriate clothing.
All of mankind has been called to come to the marriage supper of the Lamb. However, it’s not family association or simply showing up that qualifies for being chosen as an attending guest. It will only be those who have put off the old identifying garments of the world and flesh to become clothed instead with garments of righteousness and holiness. There is essential purpose in the blood Jesus shed on our behalf. It’s not to just dump us all in the same chosen bunch quite apart from our will or desire. It is to present us with the most amazing invitation to be translated from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. This is where the old dies completely, and all things, from head to toe, are completely new. This transformation is not optional for being qualified as the chosen. It is the determining factor and the exclusive choice of the one that will be chosen. Where true new birth occurs, there is identity and likeness represented in the garments chosen. Christ, in His humility, holiness and righteousness is put on with great honor and deference. Being chosen, for those who are, is of the highest priority and preference. It will be blatantly obvious in the garments selected.