Summary: You are invited to be a citizen of the Kingdom of God. Please accept the invitation.
15 And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.
16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.
18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. 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 hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
How many of you have gotten an invitation to something in the mail?
Maybe a birthday party, graduation, or a special dinner to celebrate someone else and their accomplishments.
Maybe someone invited you to church today.
Maybe many of you yourself have given an invitation to someone else.
Every one of us here today has been given the greatest invitation that could ever be received!
We have all received an invitation to spend eternity with Jesus Christ in the place he has prepared called Heaven.
Look at someone and tell them YOU’RE INVITED.
In the passage of scripture, Jesus was in the middle of a Sabbath dinner that had grown more and more tense.
The tension had grown from the moment Jesus entered the room.
The tension escalated when he healed a man suffering from a physical ailment, then silenced his critics by exposing their tendency toward judgmentalism, pride and selfishness.
By now, the tension must have been almost unbearable.
Then, someone in the room blurted out (v.15), “Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”
He tells the man who posed the question and all who were listening, “If you do not accept the invitation being given to you right now, you may find the door to kingdom shut in your face.”
Now Jesus has given us this parable to help us recognize the invitation we have been given.
We need to realize we have been given an eternal invitation to Heaven and recognize who has invited us!
1. GOD IS THE ONE EXTENDING THE INVITATION (vv.16-17)
“. . . A certain man gave a great supper, invited many (17), and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, "Come, for all things are now ready.’
The “certain man” in this story represents God.
Interestingly, this man representing God is preparing a great banquet or party.
God is often presented as a stern and demanding dictator, and following God means a joyless existence.
If you look at many believers, you would think that the Christian life was a fast, a funeral, or a famine.
The God I serve is not a dictator or a God who wants to strike you dead!
He is a God who wants to give us love, joy, and peace!
He is a God full of grace and mercy!
He is a God who gives everyone a chance to be saved!
In Isaiah 55, God invites anyone thirsty or hungry to eat and drink freely!
It is his desire for everyone to come to his table to eat and drink until they are full!
It is his desire for anyone tired of the things of this life to come and give him your burdens and rest!
The God I serve has given every individual an invitation to be his child, and there are benefits to becoming his child.
The greatest of which is eternal life.
His invitation is to a Heavenly home with Gold streets filled with mansions, gates of pearl, and walls made of jasper.
In Heaven, there is no more death, pain, sickness, and a life that never ends where we will be with Jesus forever!
I don’t know about you, I am thankful he gave me the invitation and I am glad I accepted the invitation!
The sad thing is, many people have refused the invitation. There may be some of you sitting here today who have refused the invitation to eternal life.
2. GOD’S INVITATION CAN BE REFUSED (Vv. 18-20)
Since the invitation is “come” (v.17), it is suggestive of a person's responsibility to act on God’s gracious invitation.
You might expect that everyone would enthusiastically respond to the invitation.