Summary: Who is worthy of your attention? Tough question for a clique, since God loves all his creations.
The Parable of the Great Banquet
I. The Initial Invitation List
A. A man prepared a great banquet and invited many.
1. Vs. 15-17 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.’
2. Jesus is still in the home of the one of the Rulers of the Pharisees and the same conversation is still continuing.
a. This is the third week we have looked at this passage.
1. The first week we had the healing of the man with dropsy.
2. The second week we had taking a lowly place and not trying to exalt oneself.
b. Today the conversation continues to a higher level.
B. The invited: All the guests make excuses why they cannot come. So let’s see the reasonable question.
1. Who were the initial guests? 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:
a. First excuse (14:18): He has just bought a field and must inspect it.
1. Vs. 18-20 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.’
2. This first guy is tied up in a business transaction.
i. A rather trite excuse as the invitation was reasonably known by the guest and it was ignored at the apparent last minute. The unspoken part of the comment was one of lack of socially acceptable graces and general rudeness.
ii. Reasonably could he have not inspected the field the following day or even during the next several days? Let’s face I am part Irish; I do not give up a chance for a party.
b. Second excuse (14:19): He has just bought some oxen and must try them out.
1. Vs. 19 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.’
2. The second is tied up in work activities.
i. Another rather tired excuse that lacks real merit. The guest is simply finding a reason not to attend the banquet.
ii. The language behind the word for “try the out” means to examine or test them. So again we have a guest who lack in real social graces and cancels at the very last moment.
c. Third excuse (14:20): One person has just been married.
1. Vs. 20 20 "Still another said, ’I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’
2. The third is tied up in the affairs of life.
i. I do not know too many real smart people who get married on the spur of the moment. Some of those fast marriages work – most do not. Even so, the guest reasonably knew of the invitation and knew that it would have conflicted with the banquet.
ii. At a minimum the guest should have notified his host that he would not be able to attend in advance, rather than wait and beg out at the last moment. Again rudeness.
2. The reason for the invitations: Did you ever prepare for a dinner with guests invited and have no one or many simply not show up? The issue is costs and rudeness.
a. The giver of the banquet has prepared and anticipated the needs of his guests. These guests have reasonably had the chance to accept or decline. The preparations are made and the servant has gone to bring in the guests.
b. The cattle, goats or whatever has been slaughtered. The banquet is ready at some cost and anticipation.
c. The servant receives a string of silly excuses.
d. The master is reasonably angered.
e. It is a fair question to ask, “When the Lord calls on us will we be too busy to attend his Banquet?”
II. The Secondary Invitation List
A. New guests are invited; the original guests are no longer allowed.
1. Vs. 21-24 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.’