The kind of life we live is a reflection of the kind of
God we actually believe in...not the God we profess to
believe in, but the God we really believe in.
If we believe in a God who is a tyrant we
will go through our lives cringing with fear.
If we believe in a God who is a pushover, we
will slide through life as irresponsible slobs.
— If our God is mercy we will be merciful.
— If our God is holy, we will be holy.
Here is Jesus’ description of the
God who is his Father:
“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king
who gave a marriage feast for his son, and sent
his servants to call those who were invited to
the marriage feast; but they would not come.
Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those
who are invited, Behold, I have made ready my
dinner, my oxen and my fat calves are killed,
and everything is ready; come to the marriage
feast.’ But they made light of it and went off,
one to his farm, another to his business, while
the rest seized his servants, treated them shame-
fully, and killed them. The king was angry, and
he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers
and burned their city. Then he said to his ser-
vants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those invited
were not worthy. Go therefore to the thorough-
fares, and invite to the marriage feast as many
as you find.’ And those servants went out into
the streets and gathered all whom they found, both
bad and good, so the wedding hall was filled with
“But when the king came in to look at the guests,
he saw there a man who had no wedding garment;
and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in
here without a wedding garment?’ And he was
speechless. Then the king said to the attendants,
‘Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the
outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash
their teeth.’ For many are called, but few are
The king in this parable is God. He is a gracious king.
He’s giving a marriage feast for his son and he wants
to share his joy with his guests.
“Behold, I have made ready my dinner. My oxen
and my fat calves are killed and everything
is ready. Come to the marriage feast!”
When the king is turned down by the invited guests he
sends his servants out to the streets.
“Gather everybody you can find, bad and good,
rich and poor. Bring them in and fill my
What could be more gracious than a wedding feast where
The kingdom of God is a wedding feast where the door is
open to all and the king provides everything for his
guests...everything. He provides the food,
the music, he even
provides the wedding garment. All we have to do is
leave our old ways, put on his new wedding garment and
come to the feast.
But there’s another side to this king...(remember this
king is God and this description of the king is coming
to us from the Son of God)...He is a king who for all
his kindness and warmth, nevertheless, holds each
person accountable for what he does.
The invited guests who made light of their invitation,
who treated the king’s servants shamefully and killed
them were held accountable for their actions. Troops
were sent by the king to destroy those murderers and
burn their city.
What a harsh way for Jesus to talk! Except, that Jesus
is describing reality...this is the way it is in the
real world of the real kingdom of the real God.
And after the wedding hall is filled the king comes in
to look at his guests and he finds a man who has the
audacity to come to the feast without wearing the gar-
ment he was given.
“Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding
....he was speechless.
“Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the
So, what is God like?
— The God who is in this room....
— The God who is answering our prayers...
— The God who comes to us in the bread and wine...
— The God who heals our lives...
How else can we describe him but to say that he is good
God so loved the world that he gave his only
begotten son that whoever believes in him should
not perish but have everlasting life.
And yet, if this wonderful God comes into the wedding
hall and finds us walking around without a wedding gar-
ment he banishes us to the outer darkness.
What does this mean? It means that the God of all grace
holds us accountable for what we do with his grace.
By his grace, the death and resurrection of his Son
Jesus, God sets us free from our sins. But by setting
us free from our sins he also makes us responsible for
The servant who was forgiven 10,000 talents
ponsible for what he did with his forgiveness.
takes his forgiveness and buries it and fails to live
it, fails to forgive the man who begs forgiveness for
a hundred pence, then this ungrateful servant loses
his forgiveness and he’s in the outer darkness.
Whenever Jesus talks about divine grace he also talks
about human responsibility. But like most of the
culture around us,
Not that the tendency to pass the buck hasn’t always
“Lord, don’t blame me for eating the fruit of
the forbidden tree. The woman you gave me....
she gave it to me and I ate.”
“Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where
you do not sow....so I buried the talent.”
The same Lord who comes to us today and says,
“Your sins are forgiven. Rise and walk,”
“Now, put on a wedding garment.”
So, how do we put on a wedding garment?
To put on a wedding garment
means that I am respon-
sible for my sin, including my thoughts and attitudes.
The minute I put on that wedding garment of grace I can
no longer blame my sin on my wife,
my hard times,
my unhappy childhood,
.....it’s my sin.
Only when I accept responsibility for my sin can I repent
of my sin. Then the sin is plunged under the blood of
the Lamb and is gone.
Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and
cleanse me from my sin, For I acknowledge
my transgression; and my sin is ever before
me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned,
and done this evil in thy sight; that thou
mightest be justified when thou speakest,
and be clear when thou judgest.
God help us to take the sin in our lives that we’re
blaming on others or excusing as heredity weakness and
accept responsibility for it and repent so that we can
To put on a wedding garment means that I am respon-
sible for the light I have been given.
When we receive Jesus into our hearts, we receive
light --- he is the light. And by that light we see God.
The more clearly we see Jesus the more clearly we see
God. And once I have seen the light of God,
I now have a path on which to walk,
I know why I’m in this world,
I know which direction I have to go.
Now it’s up to me to walk in that light.
There will come seasons of hardship when we are tempted
to turn away from the light and go back to our old ways.
But we can never go back to where we were before we
saw the light...we were ignorant then, but now we know
the Light and we are accountable.
To put on a wedding garment means
that I am respon—
sible for the material things a I’ve been given.
In the kingdom of God the spiritual and the material
are always linked together. God, who is Spirit, be-
came flesh and dwelt among us. The Spirit of Jesus
comes to us in physical bread and wine.
When we put on that wedding garment we are committing
ourselves to faithfulness in the unrighteous mammon.
We are disciplined,
responsible in the way we handle money and things.
Faithfulness in the unrighteous mammon is the first step
in learning to handle the true riches of God’s kingdom.
4. To put on a wedding garment
means that I am respon-
sible for the work the Lord has assigned to me.
Peter is not responsible for John’s labor. He’s respon-
sible only for his own.
“Never mind what John is called to do, just
follow me, Peter.”
Many of us have our eyes on what some other servant of
the Lord is called to do, or on some task we always
fancied we’d like to do. There is never any fulfillment
in trying to perform a task God did not give us.
— Moses had his job.
— Ezekiel had his.
— Mary had hers.
— Anna had hers. --- You have yours
I have mine.
We don’t have to feel guilty because we’re not accomp-
lishing what Moses did...and we don’t have to feel
jealous. It’s the work that’s right in front of us.
Or the unmistakable vision of a labor we’ve been
called to but have been pushing out of our minds. Or
an unfinished task we walked away from some years
The work God has given us is a work he’s equipped us
to do. And in the doing of it is wonderful peace...
We’re gathered here today as guests of the king. This
is the wedding feast he has prepared for his Son. The
king has provided everything, the food,
even the wedding garment.
And when the king comes in to look at the guests he
expects to see a wedding garment on each of us.