Summary: The invitation is still open but still being ignored by many who think they’re going anyway.
Are you going to the party? Luke 14:15-24
I heard about a rabbit and a snake meeting in the forest. The rabbit said, "We don’t know how we look. Why don’t we describe each other to the other so we’ll know how we look?" The snake said, "Good idea. You’ve got a pink nose, long ears, and a fluffy little tail." The rabbit liked that, and he said, "I’m a rabbit! I’m a rabbit! I’m a rabbit!" The snake said, "Okay, you describe me."
The rabbit said, "Well, you have a forked tongue, shifty eyes, and diamonds all over you." The snake said, "Oh no, I’m a televangelist."
“And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, that none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.”
Back in verse 1 we see the setting of the parable. It’s the Sabbath day and Jesus is having dinner at the home of a wealthy Pharisee. The guests seated around the table we assume are the Pharisee’s family, friends and rich neighbors. It seems from the wording of verse 1, “they watched Him” seems to imply that the reason they invited Jesus wasn’t to determine whether or not He was who He claimed to be but they were trying to find a reason to condemn Him. And rather than sitting around and waiting for their rejection Jesus uses the opportunity to point out how they were inconsistent, self-centered and totally unworthy of a place in God’s kingdom.
First, He healed a man with dropsy and then challenged their hypocrisy. Basically, He said, you people think it’s wrong to do something for someone else on the Sabbath but you certainly don’t mind doing things for yourself. And then He pointed out how they had more compassion on an injured animal than they had with a sick neighbor. In other words, He pointed out how they were totally inconsistent.
And that still happens today. I remember when we lived in Guelph and Sunday shopping was the hot topic of the day. As a matter of fact, all the Baptists would gather at the Swiss Chalet every Sunday and discuss how wrong it was. And I often wondered as I ate my chicken, what’s the difference between buying groceries in a store or buying dinner at a restaurant?