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Summary: In Jesus’ parable of the great feast, we discover God has given us a wonderful invitation. However, many people will make excuses and miss out on God’s Kingdom!

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THE STORYTELLER: THE PARABLES OF JESUS #8: THE GREAT FEAST

INTRO TO TOPIC: Today we wrap up our summer long series looking at the parables of Jesus.

• QUESTION: What have YOU learned or been challenged by this summer?

THE BIG IDEA: In Jesus’ parable of the great feast, we discover God has given us a wonderful invitation. However, many people will make excuses and miss out on God’s Kingdom!

1. THE GREAT INVITATION:

“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.'” (Luke 14:16-17, NKJV).

• Who are the people invited? “For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Matt. 9:13b). Are you a sinner? You’re invited! All who will, may come.

• What is the invitation? To the riches and glory of the Kingdom of God!

• QUOTE: “Now in the parable we may observe: The free grace and mercy of God, shining in the gospel of Christ; it appears in the rich provision he has made for poor souls, for their nourishment, refreshment, and entertainment.” (Matthew Henry, Commentary).

• “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”” (Matt. 11:28-30, NLT).

• “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest.” (Matt. 11:28, Message).

• This is a great invitation – good news! Come to Jesus and find rest for your weary soul!

• TESTIMONY: Life is hard, and I’m so thankful that I have Jesus in my life…

• PREACH IT: What challenge are you facing right now? God is able! God is good!

2. THE GREAT EXCUSES:

“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.'” (Luke 14:18-20, NKJV).

• It is a wonder that people would make excuses when God offers the Kingdom!

• The three excuses people make:

1. Stuff: “I have bought a piece of ground.” We are too busy with our ‘things’.

2. Work: “I have bought five yoke of oxen.” People are too busy with work.

3. Family: “I have married a wife.” People prioritize family over God.

• “Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:25-26).

• When Jesus said ‘hate’ He is using a hyperbole: Jesus is saying that we must love him more than we love our closest relationships, hobbies, jobs, or our own lives.

• In some countries, when someone becomes a Christian, their family disowns them.

3. THE GREAT COMMISSION:

“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.'” (Luke 14:21-24).

• See the heart of Jesus for the lost, hurting and broken in the world!

• God wants all of us to go and compel people to come to Jesus.

• God wants His house – Heaven – to be filled with many people.

• “But when Jesus saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (Matt. 9:36-38).

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