Jesus described God’s kingdom as a wedding feast, and the celebration promises to be spectacular, “my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.” (Matthew 22:4). Everyone is invited, but many do not accept the invitation–“they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business” (Matthew 22:5). Perhaps it was the dress code. Yes, heaven has a dress code. “Friend,” the king asked, “how did you get in here without a wedding garment?” (Matthew 23:12).
There is an attitude in those who “make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues” (Matthew 23:5-6). They dress for success and exalt themselves, but Jesus exposes their woefulness with the harshest of words, “you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence; you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones; you serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell” (Matthew 23:25, 27, 33). That is quite a rampage over clothes.
Jesus is exposing what the clothes are covering, their hearts. “They do all their deeds to be seen by others” (Matthew 23:5); but seen by God, “all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment” (Isaiah 64:6), like filthy rags. You do not wear filthy rags to God’s party, thus, the dress code, the need for our wedding garment. Oh, but there is good news, the clothing is free, bought by the groom and offered to you, “he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:10). Just accept the invitation to the wedding.
Holy God, remove from my heart all that stains who I am. Clean me from the inside-out. Dying for my sins, Your Son made me new again, then clothed me in his righteousness. I wear these clothes with pride, not because they make make me look good (which they do), but because they show off Your glory.
May I wear boldly your clothes of righteousness every day so that people see Your salvation.