YOU’RE INVITED TO DINNER!
“Now it happened, as He went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him closely.” Luke 14:1 (NKJV)
“Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!"
"Then He said to him, "A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ’Come, for all things are now ready.’
"But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ’I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’
And another said, ’I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’
Still another said, ’I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’
"So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ’Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’
And the servant said, ’Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’
"Then the master said to the servant, ’Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper."
Luke 14:15-24 (NKJV)
Jesus was a guest for dinner at the home of a ruler of the Pharisees. It was the Sabbath and they “watched Him closely” hoping to find some fault in Him. In the course of the evening Jesus healed a man who had dropsy. His message rebuked the pride and hypocrisy of the Pharisees.
I. A ‘CERTAIN MAN’ GAVE A GREAT SUPPER AND INVITED MANY.
The “certain man” in this parable represents God.
The supper typified the great salvation that God offers to man. The salvation of God is great because of the great love that prompted it; the great need that required it; the great multitude who are beneficiaries of it; the great cost incurred to secure it.
“His servant” represents the Holy Spirit and the Church: “And the Spirit and the bride say. ‘Come!” Revelation 22:17.
II. THE URGENCY OF THE INVITATION: “ALL THINGS ARE NOW READY”.
Nothing else remained to be done. The table was set! No charge was associated with this supper. It was free to all who were invited.
"For He says: ’In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation."
2 Corinthians 6:2
III. THE RESPONSE OF THE FIRST INVITED: “THEY ALL WITH ONE ACCORD BEGAN TO MAKE EXCUSES”.
The first excuse: “I have bought a piece of land and I must go and see it.” Only a foolish man would buy property he had not seen.
The second excuse: “I have bought five yoke of oxen and I am going to test them.” Only a foolish man would buy work animals that he had not first seen and proven.
The third excuse: “I have married a wife and therefore I cannot come.” This man did not ask to be excused. What he was really saying was: “I have a much greater interest; therefore I will not come!”
IV. GOD’S GREAT BANQUET HALL WILL BE FILLED!
The master’s servant reported the rejection of the invitation. The master became angry and ordered that the invitation be sounded in the streets and lanes of the city! “Bring in here the poor, and the maimed and the lame and the blind.”
This was done but yet there was still room! The master expanded the invitation to include greater urgency. “Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in.”
That command is still in effect for the Church today. But in what way are we to “compel them”? By showing love; by manifesting genuine concern and a Christ-like compassion.
V. REJECTING GOD’S INVITATION LEAVES THE SINNER OPEN TO FRIGHTENING CONSEQUENCES.
“For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.” Luke 14:24.
Life is so uncertain for all mankind. It is appointed unto men once to die and we do not know when that time is. Many who plan to be saved at the midnight hour of their life often die at eleven thirty!
Also to be reckoned is the fact that every time a sinner rejects the call of the Holy Spirit his heart becomes more hardened and calloused. The sinner who continues to say “no” to God will one day say “no” for the last time….then death…and judgment!