Summary: The feast of the Lord's Supper is where those who never expected to be invited bet to come.
Title: Come to the Feast
Text: Luke 14:15-24
Thesis: The feast of the Lord’s Supper is where those who never expected to be invited get to come too.
In our story today Jesus had been invited to dinner at the home of an important Jewish leader on the Sabbath Day. It was essentially a trap to see if Jesus would do something that would break one of the Jewish law restrictions for activities on the Sabbath… like work. They hoped to catch Jesus in the act of healing a sick man.
Jesus had noticed that as the guest arrived they all were trying to get the seats of honor near the head of the table so he gave them a little talk about being humble. Then he turned to the host and suggested that rather than inviting all of his important crony friends and relatives, he might give some thought to inviting people on the fringes of society. He reasoned, then at the resurrection of the righteous, God would reward him for inviting people who could not repay him the favor.
Then, after having just spoken of the resurrection of the righteous one of the guests piped up and said, “What a blessing it will be to attend the banquet in the Kingdom of God.”
We understand that feast to be the Marriage Feast of the Lamb in Revelation 19:6-9. Modern day artists paint a picture of a very long banquet table that stretches as far as the eye can see. The table is set with rich tableware and lavishly furnished with deliciously prepared food. Jesus, never one to pass up a teaching moment, then shared what we know as the Parable of the Great Feast with his Jewish dinner guests.
In the parable there is the host whom we understand to be God. There is the a-list. We understand the a-list to be the cream of the crop, the most important and influential people, the well-off, the beautiful and often snobbish people. We understand this a-list 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 then there are the Gentiles and riff raff who would understandable not be invited to the banquet.
Jesus begins by telling about a man who planned and prepared for a great banquet. He sent out invitations…
I. The A-Listers, Luke 14:17-20
The man sent out many invitations to his A-List guests.
There are two really rude things that can happen at a banquet:
1. There are Party Crashers who show up uninvited.
2. There are the No-Shows who RSVP they will be there but blow off the event… insulting the host and creating a really awkward situation. The host has dropped $200 a plate for 100 guests and none of them show up. Not good! Initially, this parable is about No-Shows.
A no-show is like being stood up. It’s like being a junior in high school and finally getting the nerve to ask a girl to go to the prom and being totally shocked when she says, “Yes.” So the kid scrapes his money together to rent a tux, buy her a corsage, take her to a fine-dining restaurant for dinner and rents a limo for the night so he can take her out in style. Only to discover on the eve of the prom that she accepted his invitation as a fall-back in case no one better asked her out. The kid’s heart is crushed. He has invested all that he had to make the girl of his dreams happy and he got stood-up.
So God (the host) in our story got stood up… his guests were no-shows.
Representing the No-Shows:
A. The no-show who had just bought a field and needed to go inspect it. V. 18
B. The no-show who had just bought 5-pair of oxen and he needed to go see them plow. V. 19
C. The no-show who had just gotten married and he wanted to stay home and make his wife happy… this guy may have had a valid excuse. V. 20 The Old Testament Law states: “A newly married man must not be drafted into the army or given any other responsibilities. He must be free to spend one year at home, bringing happiness to the wife he has married.” Deuteronomy 24:5
They were seemingly all very polite about it and asked that they “please be excused.” However their excuses were a blatant slap in the face of the host. Who then or now buys a piece of property without checking it out first? Who then or would buy 5 teams of oxen without seeing them work? In that culture it would be advertised that a man wanted to sell his oxen and that prospective buyers could come to a certain field on a certain day and watch them work. The third no-show simply didn’t want to go and used his wife as an excuse.