An Enemy at the Feast

And (the king) saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. – Matthew 22:12

The banquet was intended for the honour of the (king’s) son, but this man meant not so; he was willing to eat the good things, but he intended no respect to the prince…The man came in full exercise of self-will and self-love. He resolved to yield no homage, but to assert his independent self-sovereignty. He would show the king, even at his table where his bounties were so largely dispensed, that he was not afraid to affront him. When he came to the door of the feast, he found the guests all putting on the garment suitable for the marriage banquet. As here, in our own country, at a funeral, each mourner is expected to put on the articles of mourning which are provided, so at the wedding feast each person was expected to wear the bridegroom’s favours, the garment which, as a badge, marked him as an attendant at the wedding, and as one who rejoiced in it. While others cheerfully put on this wedding dress the traitor would not; he resolved to defy the rules of the palace, and to insult the king by appearing in his own garments. He scorned to wear the livery of respectful joy, he preferred to make himself conspicuous by his daring insolence. The badge was intended to show that the wearer was a real participator in the joy of the feast, and for that very reason he would not put it on. He did not acknowledge the king nor the prince, nor care one atom about the gladsome event. He had no objection to be there, to eat the dainties, or recline upon the seats, and see the pomp and the show, but he was only in it, and not of it; he was there in body, but not in spirit. Are there not crowds of people whose union to the church is nothing better than an insult to God? Custom sways them, and not sincere faith. They have no regard to the great Head of the Church or to the heart-searching God. They treat church membership as a trifle and have no tenderness of heart touching the matter. They, in effect, say, “The table of the Lord is contemptible.” “Spots are they in our feasts, feeding themselves without fear.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

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