April 30: The Parable of the Great Banquet

Read Luke 14:12-24

Who will eat bread in the Kingdom of God?

One man seated at the table with Jesus on that day had his own expectations. Apparently he envisioned upstanding, upper class, healthy Jewish men and women gathered for the occasion. It seems that he pictured many such people gathered for this momentous event.

Jesus, in His omniscience, had a completely different picture, though. Yes, countless upstanding Jews had been, are being, and still will be invited to celebrate the King. Unfortunately, many of them find excuses for not attending . . . poor excuses . . . “the dog ate my homework variety” kind of excuses. Like the man who bought property, sight-unseen and now needed to look at it. Really? Or the man who purchased oxen without previously looking at them and now needed to do so. Are you kidding? Or like the couple that recently married. And?

Already in Jesus’ day, committed Jews thought to be certain, shoe-in guests in His Kingdom and eternity were not making the committed response one would have expected. Even today, not everyone you would expect to see will become genuine Jesus followers.

There is still room in the house!

That introduced yet two more waves of inviting. The first wave headed out into the immediate surroundings and included those people perhaps initially overlooked because of income level or health conditions, the very things that would have prevented a Pharisee from having contact with them. Jesus, you see, wants to invite those who are on the social fringe. Are you willing to invite and welcome them?

The final wave of invitations reached even farther. It included the more remote roads and country lanes. In all likelihood, Jesus was pointing out how the gospel was even to reach the Gentiles.

How far reaching have your invitations extended? Invite through your compassionate acts and grace-filled speech that point to Jesus. And your invitation can even be as simple as pointing people to a worship service at Grace where the Gospel will be clear.

There is still room in the Father’s house and there is still reason to keep inviting.

sbk

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