Sunday Morning – 24 Feb 2019 10:52:30 am – Pastor James Yang
In grade 11, we were told that we did not have to wear uniforms anymore. However, the problem was that the rich kids would wear rich clothes and the poor kids would wear clothes over and over again. So in the end, I concluded that having a uniform is quite a great thing.
As I read Matthew 22, I was also able to consider why the king insisted that everyone should wear his garment at the wedding.
We have no power over sin as no matter how much we try not to sin, we still do. Why is this so?
“Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.”
Romans 7:20 NKJV
Because of sin in our heart, we undergo so many unnecessary problems. Because many people do not know about this, they all make the resolution to try and not to sin.
Why did the people not want to be in the king’s wedding feast?
““The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.” ’”
Matthew 22:2-4 NKJV
The king had prepared everything for the guests. Likewise, I tell people that God has prepared everything for us – the kingdom of heaven, because Jesus Christ had washed away all our sins. But people find this so hard to believe.
“But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy.”
Matthew 22:5-8 NKJV
Since the people did not come, the king considered them not worthy.
People generally want to hold on to their own uprightness and goodness. Because of this, they do not have good relationships with people around them.
Why was that one person refusing to wear the wedding garment? This is because he did not want all his goodness and works to be covered up. The king then asked his hand and foot to be bound. Why so? Because the king does not want to see his own works anymore.
If you can see your own works, then it is very clear evidence that you are not wearing the wedding garment. The wedding garment represents Jesus Christ. If you wear the wedding garment, then everyone stays on an equal level. This is fundamental in our spiritual life.
“And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard. Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness. So Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him. Then he said: “Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brethren.” And he said: “Blessed be the LORD, The God of Shem, And may Canaan be his servant. May God enlarge Japheth, And may he dwell in the tents of Shem; And may Canaan be his servant.””
Genesis 9:20-27 NKJV
When Noah described Canaan, he did not mention God. But where Shem and Japheth was concerned, God was mentioned. Shem and Japheth’s heart were thus different.
Ham could not accept that his father was naked. He felt that his father was on the wrong side. But if you have the wedding garment on, then you will have no one to point your finger at. And why is that? It is because the wedding garment will cover the side of good and evil.
“This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.”
Genesis 6:9 NKJV
Noah was a just and perfect man, it says.
If you look at Noah, in the humanistic sense, it was his fault obviously for being drunk. And also humanistically speaking, it does not sound right that Noah should curse Ham…because it was indeed Noah’s fault to begin with. However, in the perspective of God, it is not often the case. In the eyes of God, Noah was a just and perfect man regardless.
If you look at yourself, can you really call yourself a perfect person? If you have the wedding garment on, then you can be perfect in all angles. For it says this:
“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”
I Corinthians 6:9-11 NKJV
With the wedding garment, which is Jesus Christ, we are now washed, sanctified and justified. Ham looked at his father without the wedding garment on.
In the bible, there is Jacob. He was able to receive the heart of the mother and through that, he was able to be blessed by the father, who did not look at Jacob per se but at the skin garment that was put on by his mother.
Do you still have the wedding garment on? Are you wearing it and trying to take it off?
“So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests. “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment.”
Matthew 22:10-11 NKJV
The king prepared wedding garments for the guests and there is a clear reason — whether one is good or bad, the king does not want to see it.
“If you sin, what do you accomplish against Him? Or, if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to Him? If you are righteous, what do you give Him? Or what does He receive from your hand? Your wickedness affects a man such as you, And your righteousness a son of man.”
Job 35:6-8 NKJV
The condition for us to go to heaven is not dependent on our works at all. Evil or good, God does not care. We however are too focused on whether we are good or evil.
If you have the wedding garment on you, then you will not judge others.
The standard of good and evil is already far from God.
““You shall not have in your bag differing weights, a heavy and a light. You shall not have in your house differing measures, a large and a small. You shall have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure, that your days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD your God is giving you.”
Deuteronomy 25:13-15 NKJV
What we see is not necessarily right. If we do not understand another, we will just assume and this is incorrect. Even if I may have seen you for a long time, if I do not know your heart, then I would make an assumption about you. And vice versa. All this is carry different weights.
The wedding garment is one standardised “weight”. This is from God. Then we can be thankful equally.
If we can have the same heart, then we can be hopeful and thankful together and feel one in the heart.
With the wedding garment, our standard of good and evil is futile.
Shem and Japheth did not have their own wedding garment in them. This is why they were able to cover their father.