29. Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?

Matthew 22:12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless.

Read: Matthew 22:1-14

Setting:

Monday of Passion Week, after Triumphal Entry (Matt. 21:7ff) — cleansing Temple (2nd time) v.12 — healed blind and lame v.14

authority challenged by chief priests, scribes on Sunday v.15-16 — again on Monday v.23 — Jesus responded by teaching with parables v.28ff: two sons (21:28-32), tenants (21:33-46), wedding banquet (22:1-14)

so… in the Temple, religious leaders and Pharisees along with multitude of Jewish people including the Twelve (v.20, 23, 45-46)

first part of parable addresses issue of rejection – failure to acknowledge the importance and identity of the king’s son, second part focuses on authority

Person(s) being questioned:

directly, the one improperly dressed at the wedding

indirectly, any in the crowd to whom it might apply — given v.45, possible if not likely that religious leaders were Jesus’ primary target — immediate response by Pharisees: “then the Pharisees… plotted how to entangle him in his talk”

Question behind the question:

By what means did he gain entrance to the wedding? — was a “by invitation only” kind of event

By whose authority was he present among the guests? — proper garment supplied by the king evidence of invitation from the king

iow, what right did he have to be there? (strongly implied… he had none)

Expected response:

possibly “special invitation”, late arrival, no time to get dressed, some other excuse

or… the one given, nothing – what could he honestly say that would legitimize his presence?

only way into the venue “guarded” by the one giving out wedding garments – to be inside w/o meant coming in by another way

Jesus’ point:

is a “kingdom” parable – Jewish leaders convinced kingdom belonged to Jews, they were in it, and… they had right handle on who could enter / stay in and how

entrance into the kingdom not one of birth or religion – by either being born a Jew or becoming a Jew

staying in the kingdom not achieved through obedience to the Law and at the discretion of religious leaders

same for privileges of leadership / teaching authority – is by invitation and endorsement of “the king” that one has kingdom privileges

Modern Application:

entrance into kingdom is only by invitation / call of God, legitimized by having right garment… the righteousness of Christ

without proper garment, will not be allowed to “remain” in kingdom, have no proper authority (teaching / governing / discipline)

 

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