THE MARRIAGE FEAST
Christ is further revealed in the parable of the marriage feast. Strictly speaking, the kingdom is not a matter of labor; it is a matter of enjoyment. We know this because He is also the Bridegroom, the focus of God’s pleasure, the very center of God’s happiness and joy. During the ancient times a father would prepare a marriage feast for his son with great joy. No one could describe the father’s joy as he prepared the marriage feast for his son. Our heavenly Father also has such a joy as He prepares the marriage feast for His Son. Although His Son is the focus and center of the marriage feast, the most joyful One is the Father. This is the good pleasure of the Father. According to His good pleasure, the Father has prepared a marriage feast for His Son who is the Bridegroom.
THE MARRIAGE GARMENT
When the glad tidings of this marriage feast were proclaimed, many people rejected them. A good number did respond, however, by accepting the invitation and coming to the marriage feast with joy and pleasure. Unfortunately, some of those who were called and came did not have a marriage garment. For the marriage feast, there is the need of a marriage garment. The marriage feast is Christ, and the marriage garment also is Christ. In the Bible there are these two aspects of Christ: on the one hand He is our food; on the other hand He is our clothing. Within He is our food, and without He is our garment.
This parable does not refer to the present enjoyment of Christ, but to the future enjoyment of Christ at His coming back. The present enjoyment of Christ today is a foretaste, and the future enjoyment of Christ will be the full taste. The foretaste is for the full taste. If you do not enjoy the proper foretaste, it will be difficult for you to enjoy the full taste. Thus, we all need to feast upon Christ today in order to have the proper full taste in the future. When we eat Christ and feed upon Him, we will have the proper foretaste, and Christ will gradually saturate our inward being and will be lived out of us as our expression. This expression of Christ will become our marriage garment. The spreading of the Lord Jesus from within will eventually become our expression, our marriage garment, and will qualify us to enjoy the full taste at the marriage feast. If you lack the foretaste today, you will have neither the spreading of Christ within you nor the wedding garment to qualify you for the full taste at His coming back.
FEW ARE CHOSEN
According to this parable, "many are called but few are chosen" (Matt. 22:14). What does this mean? All genuine Christians have been called. They have believed in the Lord Jesus. But, after being called, many have not enjoyed the Lord Jesus properly as the foretaste. The Lord Jesus has not saturated them, taken full possession of them, and spread Himself into all the inward parts of their being. Neither has He been able to express Himself out of their being. Many of the called ones have never known this kind of enjoyment of Christ in their personal experience. Therefore, at the time of the full manifestation of the kingdom, they will lack a marriage garment and will not be qualified for the marriage feast. They will be unable to participate in the full taste of the enjoyment of Christ. This corresponds with what we have seen previously regarding Christ coming into us and spreading Himself into our being and expressing Himself out from our being. This expression of Christ will become our marriage garment.
You should not be foolish like the Pharisees. You must be keen and alert. You have been called, but you may not have constantly enjoyed Christ in an adequate way. Yet, it is not too late if you begin immediately. You should start immediately to have the foretaste in a proper way, to experience Christ adequately by eating Him daily and allowing Him to spread throughout your being. Gradually, you will have a full expression of Christ, and that will be your marriage garment. When the time arrives, you will have the marriage garment for the marriage feast. To us, Christ is not only the building stone, He is also the marriage feast and the marriage garment. He is our center, our focus. As far as we are concerned, everything is focused on Christ as our enjoyment.
(The Kingdom, Chapter 31, by Witness Lee)