Jesus loved to use parables. Crowds of people would pursue Him from one point to another, as they listened to His wisdom. He would narrate a parable here and there, and only a few could understand what He was saying. Only those of a sincere conscious would grasp the depth of His wisdom. Only those who were seeking Him with a sincere heart would learn vital lessons. Are you following Jesus with a sincere heart? Christianity can become boring, and a hard parable to crack if you are not sincere about following Jesus. When you are sincere about Jesus, you find Christianity so interesting that you just want to learn about it perpetually. There is a supernatural transformation that takes place when one gets born again. It is supernatural in the sense that it overhauls the natural appetites and replaces them with spiritual ones. You suddenly find yourself interested in God’s stuff. You just find yourself gravitating towards doing good works. You find yourself abandoning certain lifestyles in favour of the Alternative One. You find your language and speech have changed. That does not mean you become perfect; rather there is continuous growth as you continue to seek Him sincerely and diligently. The transformation is profound and permanent.
Parable of the wedding feast
One example of Jesus’ parables is found in Matthew 22:1-14.
The second half of the parable, which is almost a separate parable itself, is about a man who shows up at the feast without the proper wedding attire (Matthew 22:11-13). The king asks how the man got into the wedding without the proper clothing, and when the man is unable to provide an answer, the king has him thrown out of the wedding hall and into the darkness outside.
This seems strange to our modern times, for what else could the king expect from people he had rounded up from the streets and back alleys? Why would a homeless man have proper wedding attire? The answer is that in such situations of the Mediterranean culture, the king would make sure to provide proper wedding clothes to all of his guests as they arrived. So the king’s question to the improperly dressed man is not so much, “Why aren’t you wearing the right clothes?” but rather, “How did you get in here? If you had come in by the front gate, you would have been given proper clothing. The fact that you are wearing inappropriate clothing indicates you came in in some other way.”
This is reminiscent of Jesus’ earlier statement that only thieves and robbers enter a sheepfold by coming over a wall (John 10:1). Everyone else comes in through the front gate. The implication is that this man who was in the feast without the proper clothes was a thief who climbed in over a wall. Most ironically, of course, is that there were likely many thieves in the wedding feast, but they had come in through the front door and so were given proper wedding attire.
We are thieves
I am a thief too. I am in His wedding party. But I have come through the gate. As I was entering, I was handed the correct attire. No one can throw me out.
I believe some of the people reading this post are also thieves, but they came in through the gate, and even those who have not entered through the gate still have the opportunity to use the gate.
As you go to church now and then, and claim you are a Christian, you should be examining yourself keenly lest you climbed the wall and do not have a wedding gown that gate-(wo)man was issuing.
Jesus’ parable of the wedding feast tells humanity that God has called every person to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. In the parable, some people had “more important” things to do, such as running their business and making money, while others just ignored the invitation. Are you ignoring His invitation?
Still, others actively persecuted those who were inviting others to salvation. In the parable, God destroyed those people and burned their city. When the invited failed to come to Him, God sent out even more people, inviting the entirety of humanity to join Him. Both “evil and good” people came through God’s invitation, but only those who were clothed in the righteousness of Jesus were allowed to stay. Are you clothed in His righteousness or your righteousness?
It is a gift; not earned
Those who were pretending to be followers of Jesus or thought they could earn their way to heaven were bound and cast out. So, the parable is a warning to those who ignore God’s invitation to salvation as well as, religious hypocrites who think they can fool God through their pretence. The reality is that you have been invited by God to obtain salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. However, if you ignore the invitation, you will not be one of the few chosen for heaven.
Many people hear the call of God which comes through His revelation of Himself through two things—the creation and the conscience within us. But only the “few” will respond because they are the ones who are truly hearing. Jesus said many times, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Matthew 11:15; Mark 4:9; Luke 8:8, 14:35). The point is that everyone has ears, but only a few are listening and responding. Not everyone who hears the gospel receives it but only the “few” who have ears to hear. These few are the thieves and robbers who use the gate. The many are those who climb the wall.