[Jesus concluded his parable:] "But when the king came in to meet the guests [at the wedding feast for his son], he noticed a man who wasn't wearing the proper clothes for a wedding. 'Friend,' he asked, 'how is it that you are here without wedding clothes?' But the man had no reply. Then the king said to his aides, 'Bind his hands and feet and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
"For many are called, but few are chosen."
— Matthew 22:11-14 NLT
God is gracious. He longs for all people to come to repentance and find his love and grace and joy! He sent his Son to the world to die for sinners. But, God is still God. He is holy, righteous, and just. He cannot tolerate evil and will not abide sin. Just because he has lavished grace does not mean he has forgotten evil, sin, and the putrid things that Satan unleashes on the world through those who do his will.
While the world may think it wants a softer God, one who tolerates evil in people and does not hold us accountable for the transgressions we commit, deep down we know better. God's grace will save us, but not all receive that grace. Jesus' death will pardon us, but not all call on Jesus as Lord and Savior.
When people will not recognize the grace available to them and live for Christ, they come to his wedding feast in the rags and filth of sin and rebellion. The Father sees this insult as disgusting and as a refusal to respond with proper urgency and appreciation to his gracious invitation!
O mighty and holy Father, thank you for all you have done to invite me to your feast of joy and love. Thank you for the price Jesus paid to make my inclusion at this great banquet even possible. Please fill me with your Spirit as I try to live for you in ways that bring you glory and that honor the sacrifice Jesus made to include me. In Jesus' precious and holy name, I offer my thanks. Amen.