OUTREACH

Have You Ignored the Invitation?

ADVENTURES IN THE PARABLES Great Supper

God has sent out an open invitation through His Grace and Mercy but few want to attend. Why is this? We are God’s creation but we became separated due to sin. The Israelites discovered that since they continued to be disobedient, their invitations suddenly got lost in the mail as most were made spiritually blind. They did not see that Messiah was sitting with them. God has made us qualified through repenting, believing, following His rules and regulations, and finally through the blood of His Son. Still people refuse to accept the invitation through making excuses on why they do not need Him or they are not ready for Him. Jesus was still at the dinner from last week’s text when He spoke again.
The Parable of the Great Banquet
He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 16 But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’” Luke 14: 12-24

You Have Been Invited, What is Your Excuse
Will you be ready when the final invitation arrives? What do we hear from Jesus? Are we too busy with our mundane human existence that we would not see the Golden Invitation if it was put right in our close eyesight? When we became Believers we accepted the invitation but then most let the world get in the way. We try to mix our religious life with our external material needs, our desires, our worries, and not once did we give them over to God to handle. We are so busy that we will not see Jesus coming on the clouds.
This was directly related to the religious leaders and the blind Israelites of the time. Jesus used the cultural idea of the pre-invitation that was used as a notification of a future event. The excuses that Jesus spoke of were insincere in nature and poor excuses of laziness. They were so deeply engaged in the man-made traditions and life in general that they were not fully devoting themselves. Jesus was warning them and trying to get their attention to who was right in front of them. Basically, Jesus was telling them why He was spending time with the sinners, the poor, the weary, etc. The faithful had become the blind.

What Was The Invitation To?
God told His People to, “Be Holy because I am Holy”. Our problem however, is sin. We cannot be holy because of that. The Invitation was to see the Messiah and follow (not worship) His example on how to live for God. Jesus was sent to rectify the problem of man, as He is the solution. First, He came to show what it meant to live according to God’s Word (because He is the Word that is how He is). Second, He came to stop all the sacrifices because they became too ritualistic and lost the true reason. He did this with the sacrifice of His own Son who defeated death. Plus God had said that those sacrifices were actually meaningless without the true intention being followed through so He made the sacrifice no one else could.

This invitation is not to be for those who are our friends, neighbors and relatives from whom we expect to get something in return. We are not to ask for compensation or accolades but to do things for others freely without second thought. Rewards will come but not by our own hands.

Why Wait for the Next Invitation?
The pre-invitation was sealed in the Blood of Jesus. Jesus said that no one, not even Him knows the hour of the return. What do we do while we wait for His expected return? We need to do our part in the mission given of spreading the Word to the world so that others may follow. It does not matter who we speak to so do not be afraid to talk. God already knows who will come to Him. We are the servant in the Parable who seek those who will accept Him. All are invited to come. What is your excuse, are you still too busy?

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