FEASTING IN THE KINGDOM

Opening Prayer

Thank you, Holy Spirit, for teaching me through the Bible. Speak to me today; enable me to apply its truths to my life.

Read LUKE 14:15–24

The Parable of the Great Banquet

15 When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”

16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’

18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’

19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’

20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’

21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’

22 “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’

23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. 24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”

Read full chapter

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Meditate

Do you know someone at work or in your family who seems to be on the edges? How can you pray for them?

Think Further

Jesus speaks this parable to reveal what feasting in the kingdom (v. 15) really means. Two invitations were sent: the first a ‘save the date,’ telling people when the event was planned; the second when the celebration was actually ready to go. Hence the servant’s words in verse 17: ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ Everyone to whom the servant goes had previously agreed to come to this celebration on this date. The excuses are flimsy. Nobody buys property without viewing it first—you have to check everything (especially the availability of water). Again, nobody makes such a massive investment as buying five pairs of oxen without first checking they can pull.

The third guest doesn’t even bother to be polite. He’s so engrossed in enjoying the pleasures of his honeymoon that he sees no need to apologize. Having previously agreed to come, they’ve now all refused.

The host had catered on the basis of the number who’d said they’d come. Everything will go to waste. So he reacts to their shocking rudeness by upending everything. Those recommended to his host by Jesus (v. 13) are invited: the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame. When they’re within, the master sends the servant to those living in the roads and the hedges. These untouchables (in that culture) have to be firmly led into the banquet as they can’t believe they’re really wanted. Some argue that those in the town are Jewish people unable to keep the Law because of their occupations (like shepherds), while those in the roads and hedges outside the town are Gentiles. Those who received the ‘save the date’ refuse to come. That prompts the master to throw open the doors and invite everyone unable to keep the Law to feast at his table. That’s what feasting in God’s kingdom really means.

Apply

It’s easy to exclude others unintentionally. Where that’s happened to you, forgive; where you’ve done that to others, apologize.

Closing prayer

Loving Savior, as I thank you for your sacrifice offered for me, bring to my mind those around me who do not yet know you and inspire my prayers for them.

Last Updated on January 3, 2024 by kingstar

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