When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’ ” Luke 14:15-24
Have you ever accepted an invitation to something only to later decide you really did not want to go? How do you get out of it gracefully without hurting the host’s feelings? So you come up with some emergency or some problem you must solve rather than attend the party. Oh, you tell the host how sorry you are and how you really are going to miss the party. In today’s verses Jesus is further expounding on the party theme from before.
He tells the Pharisee about another banquet that a man is giving. When the day of the banquet arrives all the original guests come up with one excuse after another as to why they cannot attend. This angers the host and he commands his servants to go out into the city and invite the poor, lame and cripple to the banquet. Then when there is still room the host commands the servants to go out into the countryside and again invite the less fortunate. And the original guests, they are banned from the banquet.
The Pharisees who saw their admittance into God’s kingdom are the original guest, the Jews, God’s people. These leaders of the Jews made every excuse they could think of to not follow Jesus and not admit that Jesus was the Messiah. But some Jews, the poor, the lame, the cripple and those not in the elite saw Jesus for who He was, the Messiah, God with us.
Those outside the city are most of us, the Gentile who upon hearing the Word of God accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior. God still wanted the Jews to come to Him but they refused to believe what they had seen with their own eyes so Jesus commissioned Paul to bring the Word of God to the rest of the world.
Today people still come up with every excuse they can think of to not believe in Jesus. The say He did not really exist or that there is no God. They refuse to accept the evidence. Some may say that just give me some more time and then when I am older I will look into this Jesus you follow. But like the Pharisees in today’s verses they will miss out on the greatest banquet of all time. They will miss out on a chance to dine at the Lord’s Table. They will not taste the banquet of the Lord.
Have a blessed day,