Knowledge and understanding are two totally different things. You can have a lot of knowledge about God’s word, but ultimately still not understand it. How does this work? Well, you can have many verses or passages memorized, or lots of knowledge about the historical facts and stories, but that does not mean that you have true understanding of the Scriptures, it just means you are very knowledgeable.
If I send you an invitation to a party, and the invitation is in a language that you cannot understand, you might be able to recognize that it is Russian, or Chinese, but you won’t be able to understand when, where, and what the details are. Because of this you would not be able to attend the party.
Matthew 22 tells the parable of the Wedding Banquet. There are invitations that are sent out, but those who receive them keep refusing to go to the wedding, saying that they have better things to be looking after and taking care of. Eventually the master says “those I invited did not deserve to come. Go to the street corners and invite anyone you can find”, and so the wedding hall was filled. However, when the king arrives he sees a guest who is not wearing wedding clothes. Because of this guests incorrect attire he is thrown outside into the darkness (you can read the whole parable here).
This parable is speaking about the kingdom of heaven (Mt 22:2), clearly those who refused to attend did not truly understand what the invitation was for, and that it was inviting them to the wedding banquet. In Revelation 19 we read about the wedding banquet of the Lamb, and once again there is a dress code. “Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear” (Rv 19:8). Are these literal clothes, or do they represent something spiritual? How about the great multitude in Rv 7:1 who are dressed in white robes? And most importantly, what are the robes that need to be washed in order for us to have the right to the tree of life and entry to the Holy City (Rv 22:14)? We have to understand what these robes or clothes are, otherwise we cannot partake of these blessings, or be part of God’s kingdom.
What is the darkness that the badly dressed guest gets thrown out into? Well, to figure that out we should understand what ‘light’ is? In John 8:12 Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” Spiritual light is accepting, believing, and understanding Jesus’ words, and so just like darkness is the absence of light, so is spiritual darkness the absence, of accepting, receiving, and believing in the one sent by the Father – not being in the presence of the Light, Jesus. Is this referring to physical nighttime, or is it a spiritual darkness?
How about 1 Thessalonians 5:2?
The Parable of the Wedding Banquet always makes me think of these verses:
“However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” ~Luke 18:8
Who would Jesus be inviting to the wedding banquet? Only believers, those who ‘deserve’ to come. However we see in the parable in Mt 22 that those who were invited were actually not deserving. Why? Because they clearly didn’t have true understanding, and therefore could not have the correct faith. This verse, like the parable in Mt 22, is referring to the time of the second coming. The question is actually for us…Will the Son of Man find faith on the earth?
“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.” ~1 Corinthians 1:27-29
Those who thought they were working hard and going about the things that they should have been taking care of, actually ended up losing their ‘spot’ at the wedding banquet. Ultimately those who were foolish, and weak, were used to shame those who thought they were wise and strong.
If we do not understand the spiritual language used in the parables then we cannot truly understand them. We have to understand all the parables clearly, because they contain secrets that have been hidden (Ps 78:2; Mt 13:34-35). What does the lamp, oil, and light represent that the wise virgins had (Mt 25)? How about the sheep and the goats that are separated (Mt 25)? What are the weeds and the wheat, or the good and the bad fish? And how is a mustard seed that grows into a tree with birds perching in its branches like the kingdom of heaven (Mt 13)? We might know all these parables by heart, but do we truly understand them? If we don’t it will be like trying to read an invitation in a foreign language. We won’t understand it, and therefore we won’t be able to attend the party
…or the wedding banquet.
Have you ever felt inappropriately dressed for a wedding, or any other function?
Have you ever had a fear of the dark?