John Ruysbroeck, a 14th century Dutch contemplative, is remembered for saying, “The moral virtues are the ornaments of the spiritual marriage”. This simple sentence seems to contain the key to understanding why an invited guest was thrown out of a wedding banquet in a parable Jesus gave in Matt. 22:1-14. Historically speaking, this parable is a clear account of the Jewish nation rejecting Jesus their Messiah in the past. Prophetically speaking, it points to the universal reconciliation Jesus would accomplish in His impending death in the future. Personally speaking, it speaks to our response to what is given to us in the present, namely wedding clothes. These wedding clothes are the ornaments the spiritual marriage and they are given to every guest, both good and bad. The question is will we receive them and put them on or will we persist in ignoring the “fine linen, bright and clean” that was given to Bride of the Lamb to wear (Rev. 19:6-8).
The Father has given us His Son; Love defined (1 Cor. 13:4-8). The Son has given us His Faith; Love developed (2 Pet. 1:5-7). The Spirit has given us His Fruit; Love displayed (Gal. 5:22-23). The Triune God of Grace has given us wedding clothes of Love which we are to receive and put on in the multiplicity of moral virtues seen in these three passage. These are the ornaments of the spiritual marriage, and they are given as gifts. To reject them as unimportant or to try and earn them by works, is to relegate oneself “to the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth”. Through Jesus Christ, you have been reconciled and brought to the wedding banquet of eternal life. You are not in because you are good. You are not out because you are bad. You are in by grace already given you in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and only out by refusing to receive, wear and abide in this grace, the ornaments of your spiritual marriage.