A True Change
Well today, as my British friends would say, I was gob-smacked by a verses I have read a zillion times: Matthew 22:9-11. The slaves went out and gathered both the good and evil and brought them to the wedding feast. The king came and looked at all the guests and asked one of them, "How did you get in with no wedding apparel!" The guest he spoke to was speechless and was cast out. Here are the points where I was hit in the face:
A. How did the evil and good get different clothes? The verses do not say.
B. Why did the one guy not even notice that his clothes differed from the others?
C. How was it that only the King saw the difference?
D. Why was the guy speechless? (Ok I use guy generically to imply anyone).
So for what it is worth, here is what I pondered; just MY thoughts before God. When the slaves gathered the good and evil, a "change" had to take place. They were not dressed regularly but clothed with special garments. This implies that during the "gathering" a process of transformation had to happen. But there was this one among the crowd who didn’t stand out in the crowd from the crowds perspective. In fact, he probably just blended in - sat in the "pew of church" looking like all the rest - but the "clothes" of his heart never altered. The folks around him/her thought he was just like them because he was in their environment. He probably talked the same - and even participated - but in private there was no impact.
Then the wedding feast, and only the King has eyes to see who stands out in all the wrong ways. Only the King could recognize the difference in the apparel. Now just imagine, the King walks up to this guy (or girl) and says how are you even here? The folks around are dumbstruck because they were in Bible study together; they were in church sitting together. And even the guy himself has no words because he thought he really did not need anything other than showing up. He had already proven he could easily blend in. However, the King knew. The King had the eyes to see and the King could not - based on His righteousness- tolerate anything less than a true change. As I sat in my yard I was daunted by this. I said to the Lord, don’t leave me "unchanged" in any way. Change all the clothes - even the undergarments hidden from the crowds - but certainly not from You!