But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless. (Matthew 22:11-12 NAS)
I was at a subway station one day when someone waved at me from a distance. I responded by waving back. As she came nearer toward my direction and walked past me to the person behind, I felt totally embarrassed—like a fish out of water.
Embarrassing and awkward situations are not uncommon to many of us. Some have tried to get out of such situations gracefully but few have been successful in doing so. Suggestions from an article at WikiHow.com on how to deal with embarrassing situations include getting away from the place of incident, cutting short our jumbled speeches or conversations, or simply laughing along with those who tease us.
Jesus in the parable of the marriage feast mentioned a man who, like us, was caught in an embarrassing situation. When questioned by the king as to how he was able to come to the banquet without wedding clothes, the man was speechless. The king then said to his servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth’ (Matthew 22:11-14).
Embarrassing situations are not always easy to get out from gracefully or easily remedied by getting away from the place, remaining silent or speechless, or laughing along. A negligence of attention to details, for example, as to what we should wear for an occasion can lead to getting ourselves thrown out. In the case of the parable, the wedding clothes refer to the garment of salvation which is given only to those who believe in Jesus. If we hope to partake in the marriage supper of the Lamb, we need first to be clothed with the robe of Christ’s righteousness or face being thrown out into outer darkness (Isaiah 61:10; Revelation 19:7-8).
Are we facing awkward and embarrassing situations because of our own negligence in finding out the prerequisites? Are we paying attention to details what is needed to prepare ourselves for an event or special occasion? Are we studying God’s word diligently to understand His precepts so as not to suffer embarrassment or worse when the day comes for us to give an account?
Prevention is always better than cure, and to know and pay attention to the prerequisites can help us avoid unnecessary embarrassment. If our work is burned up because we failed to build on the right foundation, we will suffer loss; but we will be saved, yet so as through fire (1 Corinthians 3:12-15).
Dear Lord, forgive us for sometimes rushing into things before reading the instructions or finding out the prerequisites. We know Lord much of the consequences and embarrassments we bear are the result of our own negligence. Lead and guide us Lord as we prepare ourselves in the days ahead and for the marriage supper of the Lamb. Help us build on the right foundation in all the things we do that we might not suffer loss under test. We thank You Lord for the garment of salvation that You have given us who believe in You, and for the privilege to be clothed in Your righteousness.