Summary: What is the feast of the Messiah about, long awaited yet they didn't want to attend. So it became open to all who the servants called in.
The parable of the great banquet: Luke 14:15-24
Yeshua said to him, “A certain man made a great supper and he called many.” 17“He sent his servant at the time of the supper to say to those who were invited, 'Behold, everything is ready for you; Come.' “ 18“And they began each and every one of them to make excuses; the first said to him, 'I have bought a field, and I am compelled to go to see it. I beg of you, allow me to be excused.' “ 19“Another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to examine them; I beg of you, allow me to be excused.'” 20“Another said, 'I have taken a wife, and therefore I cannot come.' “ 21“And that servant came and he told his employer these things; and the owner of the house was angry and he said to his servant, 'Go out quickly to the marketplaces and to the streets of the city and bring here the poor and the afflicted and the feeble and the blind.' “ 22“And the servant said, 'My lord, it is as you ordered, and still there is room.' “ 23“And the owner said to his servant, 'Go out to the streets and to the place of hedges and compel them to enter, that my house may be filled.' 24For I say to you that none of those men who were invited will partake of my supper.' (Aramaic Plain English Bible).
“If someone invited you to a banquet, to a feast and I’m not talking about just any feast but the feast to end all feasts, a feast that included every delicacy, the finest of foods, roast chicken and duck, beef, kumara, parsnips, potatoes, carrots glazed with honey. Fish dishes like seasoned Salmon, buttered Trumpeter, crayfish, scallops and oysters. Pavlovas, fruitcakes, jellies, chocolate éclairs, glace’ cherry’s with cream, ice-cream’s of all descriptions, fruit salad and chocolates and a chocolate fountain, a feast that went on and on would you go?
This someone who invited you is an important someone, they have sent their servant with the invite, a white card gold edged hand embossed and signed card, straight up would any of you be takers?
The Jewish people had this historical picture, a time honoured tradition that one day when the Messiah, the Christ came he would put on a feast beyond comparison for them as a people, that this would be an extraordinary feast signalling that the Kingdom of Heaven had come to Earth through him, the Messiah. This is why in verse 15 of chapter 14 of Luke’s gospel a chapter that is all about a meal Jesus was invited to and things related to food; one of the bods who was at this meal that Jesus was at, sidled up to Jesus and said to him, “Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.” Jesus feedback to this man tells an interesting story about the great banquet, and the Jewish people’s response to it, well maybe all peoples response to it.
If we see this as a parable and we see the players in the story as being important to the Nation of Israel at the time of Jesus and to the birth of the Christian Church we see some interesting stuff and from there we can relate the story to the present and to our own circumstances.
Any ideas who the “certain man” that was preparing the banquet might be? Well there’s a lot of thinking around this important man being God. The feast had been forecast for many years the prophet Isaiah had said this about it around 690ish BC:
“On this mountain the LORD ALMIGHTY will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, …… – the best of meats and the finest of [things] …... (References to wine dropped as this can be a trigger to some of our recovery community) On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The Lord has spoken.” (Isaiah 25:6-8) Now that is some promise that The Lord spoke!
So the Jewish people knew about this feast for some time and I think what Jesus is saying here is that they were all invited, to what would be an extraordinary event, invited by the Messiah himself. Preparing a feast at that time was a big deal; the certain man would have had to have known how many guests were attending. No microwaves back in the day and meat would most likely have still been on the hoof until numbers of those attending were known. These guests had been given the nod, would have been invited well ahead of time.