Summary: God takes the initiative to invite us to connect with Him. Many are too preoccupied with things, too busy making a living, and too caught up by other loves, to be able to make a wise choice.
Someone said (in verse 15), "Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the Kingdom of God."
To be eating at the feast in God’s Kingdom is a blessing.
- God wants us to fellowship with Him. He wants us to come back into His Kingdom.
- God is inviting us today, and Jesus wants the people to know that.
- He shared with them this parable:
1. GOD IS INVITING YOU FOR FELLOWSHIP (vv.16-17)
"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."
John heard the angel says in Rev 19:9-10, "Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!" And he added, "These are the true words of God."
God is just like this man who are prepared a great supper and inviting us to go.
- He has everything prepared. We are just called to come.
- God wants to bless us. He wants to have this fellowship with us.
- The Bible tells us we did not seek Him first. He was the One who sought us.
- It is not that we love Him first, but He first loved us.
It is an invitation. We just need to say YES.
- It is not pot-luck feast where everyone has to cook something.
- People say you have to do some good works in order to get into the Kingdom.
- The Bible says we can’t. Even our best cannot meet God’s standard.
"All things are now ready." God has provided salvation in Jesus Christ.
- Everything that needs to be done has been accomplished by Christ.
- Jesus needs to tell this parable because his listeners were are Pharisees and experts in the law (14:3).
- He was dining at a prominent Pharisee’s house on a Sabbath day, with guests being advocates of the law.
- They believe that people need to obey the law in order to please God and be saved.
But Jesus says God has done everything for us.
- The invitation is out and you just need to accept the offer.
- Yet God is not going to force us.
2. GOD IS GIVING YOU THE FREEDOM TO RESPOND (vv. 18-20)
After the Lord says, "Come!" (v.17) the responsibility is shifted to our side.
- God has already prepared everything. The meal is cooked and laid out.
- Now we need to make that choice, to accept His invitation.
We would have thought that everyone invited would love to go.
- But the truth is not so. People do not know how important this decision is.
- They don’t find it important to know God or commune with Him.
- In this story, many turned down the invitation.
Why? They were distracted by many things.
- We were told of at least three of them, with what seems to be ‘good excuses’.
- If we think through, these are not actually important issues.
- They are not doing anything bad or evil, but they are just not important things.
Today, many people are living this way.
- They are spending lots of time doing things that are not really important.
- They care more for temporary things and neglect the eternal.
- They neglect spiritual matters. They reject God.
- They are too busy to think seriously about what is more important.
Remember the juggler illustration. We are juggling many balls in life - career, family, children, possession, etc. But some balls are made of glass, irrecoverable once it is dropped. What are some things that are most important now in your life?
14:18 "But they all alike began to make excuses."
- The first said, "I just bought a field and need to go see it." (v.18)
- The second says, "I just bought 5 yoke of oxen, and I’m on the way to try them out." (v.19)
- The last one says, "I just got married, so I can’t come." (v.20)
Frankly, we know where they are coming from. Their motivation is obvious.
- Actually with a little effort each of them could have easily made arrangements and be at the banquet.
- Think about it, they wouldn’t have lost the field, or the oxen or the wife if they had gone to the banquet.
It has nothing to do with the activity they are caught up with.
- It is a matter of the heart. They just do not want to go. And it is not about eating, it is a show of disrespect to the owner.
- They do not want to have a fellowship or relationship with him.
They have made a foolish decision. We do not want to fall into the same traps.