Summary: God had provided a great feast for us and wants His people to invite everyone.

The Great Feast Luke 14:16-24

INTRO.: This story is told near the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry. Probably less than three months away from the cross. He is eating on the Sabbath at the house of a prominent Pharisee. No doubt the Pharisee had invited Him in order to find fault. The Jews’ favorite figure for the Kingdom of God was a great feast. The Pharisee made the remark, ""Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God."

Jesus responded with this story. Read Text.

In Jesus’ day, when a feast was held, the date was announced well ahead of time and invitations were accepted. The time was not announced until everything was ready. Then servants were sent to notify, and in some cases, escort guests to the banquet. To accept an invitation and not come was inexcusable. All the guests in Jesus’ story had been invited and had accepted the invitation.

In this story, Jesus is telling us some important truths about the Kingdom of God, which is God’s rule in your heart..

I. The feast: It represents the Kingdom and all the good gifts that come to us through the Gospel.

A. God has been exceedingly generous:

1. Has worked at preparation since beginning of time.

2. Sent His only Begotten Son to extend the invitation.

3. Nothing He could do was left undone.

B. The Kingdom includes great happiness and joy.

1. Hence the figure of a banquet. What could be more joyful?

2. A lot of Christians miss the joy of the Christian life. They remind me of the old Hee Haw song, "gloom, despair, agony on me."

3. Christians should rejoice. Phil. 4:4 The Kingdom should be our greatest joy

C. It is also our most urgent need:

1. A banquet meets the needs of the body. The Kingdom of God meets the souls needs.

2. Jesus is the only source of life. I Jn. 5:11, 12

3. If God had not provided for us, we would be lost without hope.

II. God wants everyone at His feast. (In His Kingdom)

A. This is astonishing:

1. Many would be surprised God wants them.

2. He knows each of us personally.

3. There is room for all and God will not be satisfied with less than every soul.

4. He wants His house filled.

B. It’s astonishing some refuse:

1. Some refuse because of business interests. 18

2. Some because of new possessions. 19

3. Some because they are busy thanklessly using God’s blessings. 20

4. This parable is for Jews who had waited centuries for His coming, then refused Him. Astonishing!

C. Jesus pictures a search of every street and lane.

1. Jewish leaders, originally invited, refused to come.

2. The poor, tax-collectors, common people, sinners gladly accepted.

3. Those in roads & country lanes represent Gentiles. Least likely prospects from Jewish point of view.

4. God wants and invites all people.

III. He wants His servants to seek out people.

A. Christians are commanded to carry the invitation:

1. We are His witnesses. Acts 1:8

2. "Make them come" a strong expression. Sometimes rendered, "constrain" or "compel"

3. We are to present the Gospel in a compelling way.

B. We have a debt, and obligation to spread Good News.

1. We owe it to Christ, Who gave His life for us.

2. We owe it to others. Rom. 1:14

3. To yourself. The greatest joy in the Christian life is in sharing Christ with others.

4. Life is meant to reproduce. So is spiritual life.

C. The Lord commands His people to pray for the work of evangelism:

1. It’s hard to find good workers. Matt. 9:37, 38

2. There is always more work than there are workers.

3. Prayer for souls and for workers is a ministry in which all can participate.

CONC.: the visible expression of the Kingdom of God on earth is the Church. It is the body of Christ in which God offers all the delights of eternal life and joy in His Presence. it is His great banquet hall.. He wants it to be filled. We should share His desire to the point we are willing to work to see the task accomplished. If we appreciate what He has done for us, then we need to share the Good News with others.

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