Summary: Calling upon those who hear these words to drop the excuses for missing the feast of God.
Don’t Miss the Banquet
12 Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid.
13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,
14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."
15 When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, "Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God."
16 Jesus replied: "A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests.
17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ’Come, for everything is now ready.’
18 "But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ’I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’
19 "Another said, ’I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’
20 "Still another said, ’I just got married, so I can’t come.’
21 "The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ’Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’
22 "’Sir,’ the servant said, ’what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’
23 "Then the master told his servant, ’Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.
24 I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’"
25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said:
26 "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters-- yes, even his own life-- he cannot be my disciple.
27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
The custom of eating out is one that is growing rapidly in popularity. In our hurry-up, go-go, society, the fast food business is booming. And so the custom if eating out is reaching new large scale proportions today. Folks want to eat quickly and cheaply and not have to worry about cleaning up afterward.
It wasn’t too long ago when most food was eaten at home. In fact, the food was both produced, prepared, and eaten at home. But nowadays our children eath their lunch at school. Many business people travel all week and are not at home to eat. Wives work out of the home and don’t feel like preparing a meal at the end of the day.
For some people, eating out is a kind of diversion and recreation. It used to be said that “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” O, how that’s changed! Now its said, “The way to keep your wife happy is to take her out to eat.” Some clever restauranteur should come up with a slogan like this: EAT OUT TONIGHT–THE WIFE YOU SAVE MAY BE YOUR OWN!
This custom of eating out goes all the way back to Adam and Eve. I’m sure that one of the first things Eve said to Adam was, “Honey, I’d like to eat out. I’m tired of the fruit from these old trees. I’ve heard of a new tree where the food is really delicious. Can we go tonight?” And you know the rest of the story. They went to Applebees!
Most people like to eat out–especially if its free! I’ve never turned down a free meal that I can recall. I’ve got my priorities straight. Suppose you received this kind of invitation from a very rich person:
A gigantic buffet dinner has been prepared for you.
Present yourself with an appetite.
There will be ham and turkey, chicken and shrimp,
prime rib, and T-bone steak.
Beans and corn, potatoes and gravy
Shrimp salad, ham salad, and fruit salad.
For desert: pie, cake, and home-made ice cream
If we don’t have what you want, we’ll get it
The dinner is free and you can come every night.
In fact, you can come as often as you like
and it won’t cost you a cent!
Now some of you may think that’s a bit rediculous, but let me remind you that there are billionaires in this country who could feed all the people in Jackson county for a long time if they chose to.