Summary: God’s invitation is not for a select few, but is issued to all, however, one day God will withdraw that invitation and it will be too late!
Date Written: August 27, 2008
Date Preached: August 27, 2008
Where Preached: OPBC (Wed PM)
Sermon Series: A Study of the Parables
Sermon Title: The Parable of the Great Banquet
Sermon Text: Luke 14: 15-24 (NKJV)
15 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!”
16 Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many,
17 and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ 18 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.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ 20 Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 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.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’
23 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. 24 For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.’”
The parable of the Great Banquet or Great Supper is a 3-part parable… which is to say it reveals 3 main characters within the plot. First is the authority figure and main character which is the certain man giving the banquet. This man represents God in this parable!
The 2nd and 3rd characters are not as cut and dried as the 1st. It is a complex intertwining of both positive and negative and they are divided into groups of 2 and 3 respectively…
The imagery that Jesus was using as background for this parable is the Great Supper or Banquet which represents the great and wonderful celebration of reaching the Kingdom of Heaven… an end time celebration of sorts!
The servants, although part of the story, are merely an extension of the Banquet giver as they carry out his will and way and are natural props for his authoritative figure in this parable.
But we could actually place them as those who carry the word of God to this world… there are going to be those who accept the message of God and those who reject it… but regardless they are representatives of the authority figure…which in this case is the Banquet Giver.
Now as we look at the 2 separate sub-characters of this parable we find that they are categorized as both positive (2 groups) and negative (3 groups)
The members of this 1st group were the initial invitees to this Banquet, but what do we know about these who were the 1st to be invited. It is reasonable to observe they are likely to be friends, neighbors or relatives. However, we really do not know as Scripture does not tell us. We can tell that they are more interested in other affairs of the world. Let’s observe:
Like I mentioned before this sub-group reflected the negative response to the Banquet Giver’s invitation and it is divided into 3 groups:
The first said they had some land to inspect so they could not come…
The 2nd said he had purchased some oxen and need to give them a test run so he could not come…
The 3rd said that he had just gotten married and he couldn’t get a ‘kitchen pass’
Now what we need to understand is that Jesus is using absurdity here in His teaching to reveal the absurdity of those who decline God’s invitation to commune with Him… Let’s look at these excuses one by one and see just how lame they really are!
The 1st excuse raises some questions:
We can see that this first guy is tied up in a business transaction… So ask yourself, would a smart business man…would an intelligent Jewish man purchase land sight-unseen? And even if he had, how was he going to be able to inspect it in the dark? Could his inspection not have waited until the next morning?
Now more than likely, the man had seen the land before buying it, but this man was more concerned about his investment than this personal invitation to a wonderful supper prepared by a friend.