Devotionals Archive

Daybreak: Matthew 22:1-14

Mar 25, 2021

“And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment.” (Matthew 22:11)

One morning, I received a phone call inviting me to a breakfast that was to take place one week later. There was a hitch: it was a “Come As You Are” breakfast, and I was to appear just as I was dressed at the moment I received the invitation! 

Needless to say, if I had known the call was coming, I would have made sure I was dressed differently than I was! My pajamas weren’t too bad, but the robe I was wearing was absolutely despicable. It was over ten years old and had seen much wear and tear. I had mended a hole in it with material of another color, since I had none to match the robe. The chenille was not in good shape — many of the tufts were missing where the back of the robe rubbed against the chair where I sit to eat breakfast. My personal appearance wasn’t that great either. I had felt lazy that morning and had seen no need to comb my hair and make myself presentable. So I was not a pretty sight!

A “Come As You Are” party, though potentially embarrassing, can be good fun between friends. What I was wearing on that morning did not make much difference one way or another. However, one day we will get an important call from Christ to “come as you are.” What we are “wearing” at that moment will be of eternal importance. If we are not prepared for the Rapture of the Church — if we are not spiritually clad in righteous garments — we will be left behind. There will be no time to “change clothes” after the Trumpet sounds. 

In our text today, the account of one who came to the wedding without a wedding garment gives us insight into the fate of those who are not ready when Christ returns. Check your spiritual attire at this moment. If the call came today to meet Christ in the air, would you be ready? Would you be happy to stand before Christ just as you are at this moment? Let us make sure our preparations are made and that we are clothed in the spotless robes of Christ’s righteousness!


This parable, while similar to the parable of the Great Supper recorded in Luke 14, is different in occasion and details. In this account, guests are invited to a feast prepared for them by a king. By rejecting his invitation, the bidden guests showed disloyalty to the king and disrespect to the son. Because the guests rejected the invitation and even killed the servants who extended it, the king destroyed them and their city.

The king in this parable is God and the son is Christ. The bidden guests are the people of Israel, while those in the highways are the Gentiles. It was typical in this culture to extend two invitations to a banquet. The first asked the guests to attend; the second informed the guests that all was ready. In this parable, the king announced, “The wedding is ready,” and he sent his servants out to bid those who had been invited to come. Christ’s atonement and salvation are available — the invitation has gone out. God instructs His servants to call as many as possible to His wedding banquet, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

The phrase “both bad and good” in verse 10 refers to moral and immoral sinners, all who need God’s gracious invitation. All are called. All are welcome. 

Verses 11 and 12 describe a man who came to the wedding without a wedding garment. It was customary in those times for guests to be provided with a garment to wear at the banquet. It was a great affront to the host to refuse to wear it. A wedding garment also is necessary to participate in the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Those without it will be doomed to the outer darkness of a lost eternity (verse 13).

The closing verse of our text states that many are called but few are chosen. When the Holy Spirit deals with a human heart, that soul is called. Christ calls everyone. However, we are not chosen until we respond to that call. 

Amplified Outline

(Hannah’s Bible Outlines – Used by permission per WORDsearch)
VI.   The official presentation and rejection of the King
       B.   The rejection of the King by the nation
             1.   The conflict with the Priests and Elders
                   c.   His attack
                         (3)   Parable of the wedding feast (22:1-14)

A Closer Look

  1. How did the invited guests respond to the king’s invitation to the marriage of his son?
  2. Most of Jesus’ parables were told for the benefit of His disciples, but this one was directed to the chief priests and Pharisees. (See Matthew 21:45.) Why do think Jesus directed this parable to them?
  3. What specific preparations do we need to make to be ready for the Marriage Supper?


It would be a grave mistake to think that this parable applies exclusively to the religious leaders of Jesus’ day. There is a serious warning for us also. Let us be sure we respond to God’s invitation!

Reference Materials