A Parable About The Banquet Table
Begin with prayer, opening your heart to God’s Word and Spirit.
Read Luke 14:16-24
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.’”
Jesus was eating at the home of a prominent Pharisee on the Sabbath, and was being closely watched by all who are there. Using parables, Jesus had challenged many of their firmly held beliefs and customs, including healing on the Sabbath, their self-importance and their attitudes toward the poor. Thinking he was going to impress Jesus, a guest declared, “Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the Kingdom of God.” Jesus responded with the story of the invitation to a great banquet. It is clear from what he said that, unlike the table at this banquet, the table in God’s kingdom will be filled with the poor, crippled, blind and lame—all those who, in humility, respond to the great invitation.
Father, we give you thanks that your invitation is open to all who will believe and trust in Jesus. Help us to be part of your Kingdom work here on earth. Amen.