But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?’ And he was speechless.” vss. 11-12Matthew 21:11-14
Matthew really didn’t need to add this little addendum to Jesus’ parable. Up to this point the story was straightforward and blunt, and it had a happy ending–the banquet hall was filled. But now we have this bit about a guest without a wedding robe, and it isn’t at all clear what the problem was. It doesn’t seem to have been a minor faux pas either–the man was thrown out of the hall and into a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth. The only clue is in the final verse, “For many are called, but few are chosen.” This mysterious phrase points to one of the realities of life in a faith community. Just because people have become a part of the church doesn’t mean they’ll all be clothed with white robes of righteousness. Sometimes we run into real rascals in our congregations, and we can’t always trust that our brothers and sisters in Christ are going to be paragons of virtue. It really gets tough when these people are those that we’ve come to call “friends.” This may not be what this parable is about, but it could be, and it’s likely something that we’ve all experienced.
Thought for the Day: Times when friends weren’t who we thought they were.