Today I'm wearing a polo and blue jeans, and I don't expect some of you to recognize me. I realize I'm out of uniform, so to speak, but I can't help load a Uhaul in a suit and tie. Every time I wear civvies (or "real people clothes," as one of you called them), there's at least one or two who have no clue who I am.
Jesus used weddings as the setting for many of his parables, but clothing figures prominently in one of them. In what the NIV calls "The Parable of the Wedding Banquet" (Matthew 22:1-14), a man gets a late invitation to a wedding and attends -- but does not put on a wedding garment. Wedding clothes were to be your best clothes, spotless and perfect. It was a sign of disrespect to the couple and to one's host to fail to wear proper attire; it meant you cared so little about them you couldn't even bother to get cleaned up. Things didn't end well for the man in the parable who failed to put on the right clothes: "Then the king told the attendants, 'Tie him hand and foot and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth'" (v. 13). The message is clear: be prepared for where you're going.
The wedding garment of the parable represents our salvation. If we fail to be washed in the blood and clothed in the righteousness of Christ -- if we never receive forgiveness for our sins and confess Jesus as Lord and Savior -- we will not enter the Wedding Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:6-9) and will be cast into hell, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. God must be able to look upon us and recognize us as His own. Otherwise He will say, "Depart from me; I never knew you" (Matthew 7:23).
Are you wearing your wedding clothes? Do you have the proper attire?