I decided to write today’s post on a parable in Luke 14. Today writing is all about excuses. We all use them but I want to remind you of the danger in them.
12 He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers[b] or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
15 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!” 16 But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. 17 And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant[c] to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18 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.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’20 And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 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.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ 23 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. 24 For I tell you,[d] none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’”
Today in Luke 14, Jesus told a parable about a great banquet. The man in the parable wanted to throw this great feast! I can just imagine this in today’s world. It would be in a great big house with different foods all over for people to try and enjoy. There might be some light music, wine, and of course everyone would be dressed in their finest clothing. Ok let’s get back to this parable, this man paid for the food and prepared it all for his guests and then sent his servants out to gather the people he invited. Then he waited. His servants came back to him saying that all of his guests gave them excuses about why they couldn’t make it and NO ONE was coming. Can we just stop right there and start to think about this? How would you feel if you spent hundreds of dollars and multiple hours cooking this beautiful feast only to find out your guests were no longer coming. I’d be a little upset; ok I’d be pretty angry. Of course, this guy was too! What he did though was amazing. He invited people who were crippled, blind, and lame. These were people who would never be invited to such a dinner…yet they were. He did all this work, spent all this money, and didn’t want to see it go to waste. Jesus ends the parable with what the man says, “For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.”
Can you spot the bigger story behind this parable?
This is a story of the heavenly kingdom. The servants are the people of God who are reaching out the people of this world. We are reaching out to people but find that people don’t need God or aren’t ready to change. Time and time again we give excuses or say we aren’t ready to change but where does that leave us. Those people who think they have time, or don’t want to change yet….God says that none of them will ever taste his banquet. NONE of them will ever be in glory with him if they don’t decide now. Do you see who does come to the banquet? It’s the people who are weak, people who rely on God to be their strength. Most importantly, it’s the people who ACCEPTED the invitation.
I grew up in a small town where there were a lot of guys that grew up in a good home but strayed away from it because it was too “constricting” to be a Christian. After time, and a whole lot of excuses, most make it back to the faith but all assume that they have time to do that. We so easily forget the God is coming like a THEIF in the night. Remember that we don’t always have time, and God, our heavenly father, is always ready to welcome us home. All we have to do is stop making excuses.