Summary: A sermon on who to invite to dinner based on Luke 14:12-14 (really it covers Luke 14:1-24)
Brad and Libby Birky opened a restaurant in Denver, Colorado. It is a 40 seat restaurant that has one thing conspicuously absent, a cash register. They serve healthy food to people in need. The Birky’s do not charge for their meals telling people “Pay whatever you can afford.” Some do not pay anything but most pay a dollar or donate an hour of work. The name of the restaurant: SAME- So All May Eat.
Jesus in Luke 14 is invited to a Sabbath Day dinner party at the house of prominent Pharisee. The Pharisees had an interest in Jesus and this is not the only time this happened. “Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.” Luke 7:36, NIV. “When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table.” Luke 11:37, NIV.
Why did they invite Jesus to their banquets? At first it probably was out of curiosity. Wanted to learn more about Jesus, this new and popular rabbi. Later on it: “When Jesus left there, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law began to oppose him fiercely and to besiege him with questions, waiting to catch him in something he might say.” Luke 11:53, 54. Interesting that at this banquet in Luke 14 there is little controversy, don’t know why.
While Jesus was there, it was good opportunity for him to teach godly table manners.
In Luke 14, vs. 2 to vs. 6 he teaches table manners about the Sabbath. Healed dropsy
Vs. 7- 11 he talks about how the guests picked their seats around the table. Vs. 11
Vs. 12-14 he gives his host something to think about. Maybe Jesus in an indirect way was expressing his thanks for being invited. Jesus probably wanted to make a statement about how a Christian should choose their guest list for a banquet.
This is a unique statement from Jesus that Luke records. This does apply to stewardship.
Thesis: Take a look at 3 things: 1) what our Savior wants us to stop doing 2) what our Savior summons us to do 3) What our Savior wants to secure for us and others
What our Savior wants us to stop doing (Vs. 12)
Now it is not wrong to invite these people. Jesus often attended feasts with these people.
Jesus is looking at the motive for inviting these kinds of people. Is it out of the goodness of our hearts or is it to get something from them? Is it the I scratch your back and then you scratch my back mentality?
“He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’” Luke 10:34, 35, NIV.
What kind of repayment did the Good Samaritan expect back? What if the man did not recover and died in that inn? What kind of repayment would he have gotten?
“A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.” 1 Corinthians 11:28, NIV. We need to also examine our motives with our hospitality.
“So from now on we regard no-one from a worldly point of view.” 2 Corinthians 5:16, NIV. If I buddy up to this person, what can they do for me? Not a Christian attitude.
What our Savior summons us to do (Vs. 13)
This is not quite a command, this was said to the host but it is recorded for our benefit. More like a summons= to call upon to do something specified, a solemn request.
The poor, crippled, lame, blind- these people will be appreciative but cannot repay, probably bad for ones social standing to have them there, like inviting the homeless
Some people get a raw deal in life. The cards are stacked against them. They are born into the wrong family. They don’t have the intelligence. They don’t have the know how. They don’t have the body. No matter how hard they try they cannot get out of their situation in life.
Boston Globe’s account in June 1990 of a most unusual wedding banquet. Accompanied by her fiance, a woman went to the Hyatt Hotel in downtown Boston and ordered the meal. The two of them poured over the menu, made selections of china and silver, and pointed to pictures of the flower arrangements they liked. They both had expensive taste, and the bill came to $13,000 dollars. After leaving a check for half that amount as down payment, the couple went home to flip through books of wedding announcements. The day the announcements were supposed to hit the mailbox, the groom got cold feet. “I’m just not sure,” he said. “It’s a big commitment. Let’s think about this a little longer.” When his angry fiance returned to the Hyatt to cancel the the banquet, the manager could not have been more understanding. “The same thing happened to me, honey,” she said and told the story of her own broken engagement. But about the refund, she had bad news. “The contract is binding. You’re only entitled to $1,300 back. You have two options: to forfeit the rest of the down payment (loss of $5,200) or go ahead with the banquet. I’m sorry. Really, I am.” It seemed crazy but the more the jilted bride thought about it, the more she liked the idea of going ahead with the party- not a wedding banquet, but a big blowout. 10 years before this same woman had been living in a homeless shelter. She had got back on her feet, found a good job and set aside some money Now she had the wild notion of using her savings to treat the down and outs of Boston to a night on the town. And so it was that in June of 1990 the Hyatt Hotel in downtown Boston hosted a party such as it had never seen before. The hostess changed the menu to boneless chicken- “in honor of the groom,” she said- and sent invitations to rescue missions and homeless shelters. That warm summer night, people who were used to rummaging through dumpsters dined instead on chicken cordon bleu. Hyatt waiters in tuxedos served appetizers. Bad ladies, vagrants, and drug addicts took one night off from the hard life on the sidewalks outside and instead ate chocolate wedding cake and danced to big band melodies late into the night. This jilted bride spent $26,000 to feed and entertain people who could not pay her back.