B.C.P. Trinity 2 Luke
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 showed 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. 22 And the servant said,
Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. 23 And
the lord said unto the servant, Go out unto the highways and hedges,
and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I say
unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my
Last weekend Aaron Barschak gatecrashed Prince
William's 21st birthday party. Barschak, 36, a native Londoner and self-described
"comedy terrorist" who is well-known on the comedy club circuit,
acknowledged his amazement at how easy it was for him to crash the bash.
"The security was just non-existent,"
he told the Daily Mail. "I was carrying a bag which could have
had a bomb in it. I was just yards away from the queen and Prince Charles.
If I had been a real terrorist the entire royal family would have been
wiped out." Barschak said he gate-crashed the "Out of Africa"
costume ball by scrambling over a five-meter (15-foot) wall, then acting
like a tipsy guest to fool a palace contractor into leading him to the
Jesus had been invited for a meal at the home
of a Pharisee. He had told the guests that they should not help themselves
to the best places. He had told his host that he should not invite friends,
relatives and neighbours and hope to get an invite in return. Instead
he should invite the disadvantaged.
One of the guests then says to Jesus in a smug
way "Blessed is the man who will eat of the feast of the kingdom
of God." The Jews believed that being with God would be like a
sumptuous banquet. They thought that if they stuck to their religion
their rules and regulations then they would be with God. Jesus blows
this assumption apart with this parable.
There are no gatecrashers in God's banquet!
Those who are invited first are the Jews. In this culture there would
be an initial invitation that would have been accepted, then messengers
sent out to tell the guests when the feast was ready. No watches or
microwaves then !
All of them refused to come verse 18. All used
lame excuse. Would have examined a field and ox before. Would have known
he was going to get married when replying to the invitation. Insult
to the host. Harboured contempt, deceit, indifference.
Material and relational things are put first. Each is important, but must not become the most important thing.
Host is angry. Widens invite to anyone. Not
just those whom he had initially chosen.
Invites the outcasts, the poor, crippled. lame and blind. Insistent hospitality verse 23b. Go out unto the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. Starts with the town, then goes into the countryside.
Those who snubbed the invitation are replaced
by outcasts. They will not have a second chance. Read verse 24. 24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which
were bidden shall taste of my supper.
The invitation of God in the O.T. is principally
to the Jews. In the N.T. it includes the Gentiles or non-Jews.
From this we can see:-
We have a God who reaches out to people. Who invites them into his presence through Jesus. No-one
can get to a banquet without an invite. No-one can come into God's presence
without responding to Jesus' invitation.
An invitation demands a response. The invited guests rejected their invitation, they
put other things first. cf today - material & relational pleasures
are put before God. The Jews put their religion before their God. They
crucified Jesus because he challenged the religion that they held so
We cannot save ourselves, only Jesus can do that for us. We cannot gatecrash
God's kingdom, invite ourselves or earn an invitation. But we can damn
ourselves by rejecting the invitation of God.
The master said to the servant that he must
compel people to come. The outcasts probably thought that the invitation
was too good to be true, that they were not worthy to be invited to
a banquet, that they were not ready. The servant says "Come quickly,
the food will get cold!" He describes to the outcasts the food
that awaits them, the gorgeous smells wafting through the banqueting
Jesus calls us to share with others what it
is like to enjoy his banquet. To persuade people who are spiritually
starving to come and taste and see and to share in the riches that God
has for them.
Once we have accepted the invitation of Jesus
we can know the comfort, presence and hope of knowing him as our friend
and our boss.
We can know that our sins are forgiven, an inner peace, and a power to live for God. We can also look forward to being with God in glory forever.
If we saw a starving man and knew there was
a soup kitchen round the corner we would tell him. We are surrounded
by people who are starving spiritually. We must direct them to the banquet
that God has for them, through Jesus.