The Parable of the Great Banquet

Zig Ziglar writes: My brother, the late Judge Ziglar, loved to tell the story of the fellow who went next door to borrow his neighbor’s lawnmower. The neighbor explained that he could not let him use the mower because all the flights had been canceled from New York to Los Angel … More

Excuses

 

Jesus gives a parable about a great banquet. In those days when you invited guests to dinner, you told them the day but not the exact hour of the meal. Then just before the feast was to begin, the host sent his servants to tell the guests the banquet was ready and they should come (vv. 15-17). Each of the guests had already agreed to come so the host expected them to be there.

In this parable all of the guests insulted the host by refusing to attend and gave a feeble excuse for not coming. Real-estate Ralph said he had to look at a piece of property he had purchased (v. 18). Farmer Frank said he had bought ten oxen and he had to try them out (v.19). Henpecked Henry said he had married a wife and he could not come (v. 20).

Having prepared a great dinner for these guests, the host did not want all the food to go to waste, so he sent his servants to invite the outcasts, the homeless, and the undesirables of the street to come (vv. 21-24). Not  only did the host get other people to take the places of the previously invited guests, but he also shut the door so that the excuse-makers could not change their minds and come in (13:22-30). God never asks us to suffer for the sake of suffering. He never asks us to give up something good unless he plans to replace it with something better. He is not calling us to join Him at a labor camp but in a feast; the marriage supper of the lamb. This parable paints a picture of God’s abundant provision and invitation of salvation which was refused by the Jews and then offered to others not previously invited. People today make the same mistake.

Application

 

There is certainly nothing wrong with owning a farm, examining purchases or spending an evening with my wife. However, if these good things keep me from coming to the Lord or spending time with Him they become bad things.

Luke 14:15-24 (English Standard Version)

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.'"

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