How often do we reject Jesus’s teachings, Jesus’ invitation to change or do something. Yet, we are the first to call on Him whenever we pray. Jesus said: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). My brother, my sister, has Jesus become your priority? Today’s passage presents to us what happens when we fail to answer the Lord’s invitation. You see, many people think that because we are in the time of grace, every ggod excuse is accepted by God. No, God still gets angry at our rebellions and we still have to suffer the consequences in this life. Besides, it is a wrong understanding to believe that grace means that no matter what we do, we will all take part in the Marriage Feast of the Lamb, which is our ultimate aim as the members of the Church, isn’t it. Let’s look at today’s passage to understand this parable that was given by Jesus Himself.
In this parable there is the host whom we understand to be God. He invited many, the A-list, which was made up of important Jewish people. It would never have occurred to them that there would be anyone other than good Jews included in the feast in the Kingdom of God. And, finally, those who ended up taking part were the Gentiles and the no-bodies who were not initially invited to the banquet. Why? Let’s read from the Word. This is what those who were initally invited did: “they all alike began to make excuses” (Luke 14:18)
Can you believe this? We understand that feast to be the Marriage Feast of the Lamb (Revelation 19:6-9). We also understand that in this parable, the host is the Lord. And nobody He had invited turned up, but all of them were seemingly very polite about it and asked that they ‘please be excused.’ My friend, imagine you prepare a feast, spend lots of money to treat your guest and nobody turns up! Yes, angry (Luke 14:21) and having a huge spread of food ready to be served up and eaten the host dismisses his A-list guests and sends his servants out into the streets and alleys of the town to invite D-Listers… the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame to come to his feast. And when he was told there is still room, he sent his servants out again to get anyone they find on the way? Why? Because God does not like emptiness! When they world was empty and void, He started the creation! Yes, the room needed to be filled up because the had dismissed the A-listers (Luke 14:23-24).
My friend, this parable is not only that of the Jews, because the Lord’s invitation is also valid for us today as it must be accepted… if we do not come to the feast we, as Jesus said, “will have not even the smallest taste of God’s banquet” (verse 24). And, God being generously gracious, the feast or life in the Kingdom of God is graciously extended to people who never expected to be invited. Taking part in the feast of the Lord is a privilege no one deserves… not even and especially the most pharisaical people who are depending on their A-List status to keep them in good terms with the host. Every day, we, the Christians, are all invited to join Jesus at the Feast of the Lord’s Supper, which is supposed to prepare us for the ultimate banquet to come, the Marriage Feast of the Lamb. But, there are still some no-shows among us, there are still some who can make good excuses among us, there are still some who have not made Jesus the priority of their lives among us… while this feast is one of God’s grace moments, for He said at that time He is in the midst of us. Yes, with all the saints, one day soon we will be together to share his glorious banquet with joy, to eat and drink of the goodness of God’s grace that is given us! But it is in this life that our preparation for this feast is done. Therefore, let’s determine not to be among the absents at the invitation of Lord from today, because our excuses may not stand before Him. Stay blessed in Jesus’ name.