Summary: At the very heart of the parable is who will be found in the Kingdom of God. It has to do with those who will respond positively to their invitation to accept Jesus, God’s great invitation to salvation (
LUKE 14: 12-16-24 [PARABLES IN LUKE]
While attending a dinner party at a Pharisees’ house (vv. 1, 7, 12) Jesus challenges the guests to live and work so they will be rewarded in the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus then gives a parable about a banquet that alludes to the great messianic feast that occurs at the end of the age. [The parable is about an invitation to the kingdom of God illustrated as a great festival or party.] He says that the King is throwing an elaborate and festive banquet to which He invites guests. God invites us to enjoy His presence forever and ever, feasting and celebrating with Him, yet many will make excuses instead of accepting His gracious invitation.
[This Great Banquet is a biblical metaphor for the kingdom of God. [Compare the parable in Matthew 22:1–14.] . When Jesus approaches this subject, He participates in a conversation that had begun over seven hundred years earlier (Psalm 23:5; Isaiah 25:6-9).] At the very heart of the parable is who will be found in the Kingdom of God. It has to do with those who will respond positively to their invitation to accept Jesus, God’s great invitation to salvation (CIM).
I. DINNER PARTY CONVERSATIONS, 12-15.
II. BANQUET INVITATION EXCUSES, 16-20.
III. COMPELLING INVITATIONS, 21-24.
[Background] This whole section concerns instructions pertaining to invitations for banquets. When Jesus was invited to the home of a prominent religious leader, He offered this unsolicited advice concerning invitations for banquets in Luke 14:12-14. “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor your rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. When you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
So Jesus advised us, “Don’t only invite people who can do something for you—who can pay you back, include you in their circle, or return your invitation. When you give a dinner party, it is better invite the nobodies.” Luke’s lists the fringe people as the poor, maimed, lame, and blind, which is repeated in the next story is his list of kingdom people. [That has been clear since Mary’s song (1:46-55)].
Now notice the words, “you will be repaid at the resurrection.” Jesus’ declaration is that God will repay you for some things after you're dead. This contradicts what many of us believe - that God rewards us mainly on earth. No, these words show that when you do a worthy deed for someone who cannot repay you: One, you will be repaid by God, and two, the real reward will come in the next life.
If you fail to understand this timing you'll find yourself saying: "I serve God faithfully, so why am I struggling? Doesn't God notice or care?" Friend, God notices and God cares! But He doesn't promise that work for Him now will always result in gain from Him now. Many [most] of the rewards God has for us are so great, it'll take eternity to appreciate and enjoy them!