Summary: Christ has given you a daily invitation to fellowship with Him but many of us reject His invitation giving various excuses. Today we will spend some time reviewing the excuses they gave and see they are the same excuses we give.
In our passage today we find Jesus teaching a parable. A parable is an earthly story that teaches a Heavenly truth.
Earthly Story - A king had decided to throw a banquette and invited all of His closest friends. In those days the invitation would go out and would be accepted or rejected and then the host would make the preparations for the party. Once the food was cooked and the arrangements were made the host would send out a messenger to retrieve the guests. The parable explains that all of the invited guests decided other things were more important than attendance at the banquette. As such the Host invites complete strangers who gladly accept His invitation.
Heavenly truth – Jews rejected the invitation of the Kingdom of God and as such God offered it to the Gentiles as well who gladly showed up.
Today we have been invited to a heavenly banquette. But we lose the fact that the kingdom of Heaven is not far off but rather “at hand” (Mt. 4:17). We are invited daily to tabernacle with God.
Before you criticize the Jews for not showing up ask yourself, do I also reject the invitation to fellowship with our Lord?
I often find it intersting that everytime we feel God is not present during prayer, we blame God for not showing up, maybe the opposite is true.
In our passage today we will find (3) excuses made for excusing oneself from fellowship with God. Today I want to see if any of these ring a bell for us.
1. My Work (v.18)
2. My Possessions (v.19)
3. My Family (v.20)
Let’s begin by looking at…
MY WORK – I’M TO BUSY (v. 18)
This is the first excuse given:
The invitation came and was rejected because:
• I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it… (v.18)
• The field would represent the livelihood of this person and going to see it describes the preparations that need consideration for the coming seasons of work.
• This person made the mistake of allowing his work to usurp fellowship with God.
In short, this person was so immersed in his work that he had no time for God. While it is important for us to work, (2 Thes. 3:10 no work, no eat) there must be a time of Sabbath rest in Christ as well.
One man challenged another to an all-day wood chopping contest. The challenger worked very hard, stopping only for a brief lunch break. The other man had a leisurely lunch and took several breaks during the day. At the end of the day, the challenger was surprised and annoyed to find that the other fellow had chopped substantially more wood than he had. "I don’t get it," he said. "Every time I checked, you were taking a rest, yet you chopped more wood than I did." "But you didn’t notice," said the winning woodsman, "that I was sharpening my ax when I sat down to rest."
We need to take time from our work to fellowship with Christ, to sharpen our ax if you will.
Life is about balance, particularly in regards to work. How busy are you? Do you have time for God or is work simply draining you of all your energies?
When was the last time you shut off your computer, shut down your cell phone and just took a deep breath and prayed?
God has invited you to a heavenly banquette, this banquette is not far off it has already begun. Will you pull up a chair, set aside the work for a moment and fellowship with Him?
This brings us to tonight’s second excuse…
The Second Excuse Given:
• “I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them” (v.19)
• Here we see possessions getting in the way of fellowship with God.
• “It often happens that when people enter into new possessions they become so taken up with them that the claims of worship and of God get crowded out. People have been known to acquire a motor car and then to say, “We used to go to church on a Sunday, but now we go off to the country for the day.” It is perilously easy for a new game, a new hobby, even a new friendship, to take up even the time that should be kept for God.” (Barkly)
Have you ever wanted something so bad you could taste it? A new home, car or gadget? When this happens our minds can become consumed.
Recently I purchased a swimming pool, I was choosing liners and patio styles, I was deciding on a diving board and landscaping… for two days my mind was consumed with this pool until I stopped and realized I had not prayed. Material possessions can consume us and cause us to reject the invitation of God for fellowship.