Summary: Jesus relates His call of Salvation to one who gave a feast. Some declined-others were brought in to dine. Who were the ones who declined-who were the ones who came?
PEACEFUL PLEADINGS PRODUCED
I. THE PROVISIONS: LUKE 14:15, 16
II. THE PEOPLE: LUKE 14:17-20
III. THE PARADOXES: LUKE 14:21-24
Jesus comes to the last “mini-sermon” at the home of this Pharisee at the meal furnished by this important man. Jesus has spoken about what it means to do well on the Sabbath and how much better man is than the mere keeping of rules and regulations. He then discusses the value of viewing yourself in a proper manner by not thinking of yourself as better than anyone else. Next, He gives a treatise on how one should help one’s fellow man by doing something good and never dreaming of being repaid. Any kindness given with this intent will be blessed in the world to come by a benevolent God. Now, Jesus talks to His listeners about a benevolent person who gave a meal and no one who was invited came to the feast. This is an insult to the host and He highlights just how insensitive people can become to one who desires to do well to one another.
As Jesus talks about this prepared feast on the heels of doing good for someone who really needs help, there seems to be a duality involved in this final message at the home of this rich Pharisee. The first message seems to be what is on the surface: a generous man invited people to come to a feast. These people could not pay the benefactor for his generosity and all the provider of the feast wanted was to show kindness to those who really needed this meal.
On the second level of meaning there appears to be a story for the Jewish Nation and what it was saying to God. The two meanings run parallel with little overlapping. It is no doubt a meaning which Jesus wanted to convey to His hearers that day and based on the previous sermons given by Him, it was understood by the listeners that Jesus was saying something about them, about Israel, and about the future coming Kingdom of God. Perhaps the listeners caught the message-maybe they did not, but at any rate, the truth of what He said is evident for all to see and comprehend in today’s world.
As I go through this message, I see three things. The first thing I note is how ample THE PROVISIONS which were prepared for the special ones who were invited to this meal. God always sets a fabulous table for His people. The next thing I note has to do with THE PEOPLE who were invited. They were on a guest list drawn up by the Host of this sumptuous supper. Lastly I see THE PARADOXES of the two possible meanings as Jesus gave that day so long ago.
I. THE PROVISIONS: I note what Jesus said in the middle of chapter fourteen. As He talked about the feast given by a good benefactor, I see three things about this feast which was prepared.
First of all I note the Pronouncements. This feast was by invitation only. Why the host decided to do this is not given in the text. However, from the context of the scriptures, it appears that this generous host sent out invitations to some people and judging from the latter part of this section of Scriptures, it appears that these invited people were common ordinary people. One had just bought some land unseen; another had just bought five team of untried oxen; and, one was single when invited but had recently been married. All of these people seem to be ordinary people. Henceforth, it can be assumed that all of the guests were ordinary people. The announcements were sent out and now the servants were sent out to collect the invitees to the meal which was well prepared.
It also appears that this meal was a sumptuous meal. There were no corners cut in providing for the guests of the meal. There was an abundance of food-judging from what happened later in this section of Luke fourteen. When the invitees did not appear, the Host urged his steward to go and collect as many as he could so the food would not be wasted. There was Plenty of food and the host was kind to provide much for the guests. This is so typical of our Lord. He invites all and bids us all to come and dine and those that do come to His table find there is always an abundance of spiritual food available for all.
Just as sure as the invitations were given and the food prepared, the bottom line is that those who were invited and later those who were urged to come, were Privileged people: are we not all so Privileged to be invited to come and dine at the Master’s table? We may never be invited to attend the Palace of a ruling head of State, but we are children of the King of kings and our Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills and He invites us to come to Him. We are special people indeed.