The Story of Us

  

Of all the parables Jesus told, this one seems to have particular application to us in 2016 America.   We all have received Jesus’ offer of free salvation and forgiveness of sins.  We’ve all been invited to his great banquet.  We’ve all received this invitation with great excitement.  After all – Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!  I mean, what a deal, right!!   All we have to do us believe, and our sins are forgiven, we have a purpose for living, and a home in heaven!!

Yes, we’ve all felt that call to accept the offer and live for Christ.   And…almost all of us, in some way or another, say yes Lord, but….
 
We are in so many ways like the subjects of this parable of the great feast.  Jesus has given us the open invitation to follow him.  Many of us profess faith, but have all of our reasons for not stepping out in that faith and acting on the Great Commandment and Great Commission we have been given.  After all, our schedules are full.  We have things to do, places to be, and people to see!!  We have no TIME to do what we can plainly see Christ calling us into.  What we do have are reasons why we cannot do what know we should be doing, just as Jesus illustrated 2000 years ago in this story about us.
 
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.   If you’ve heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then you’ve been been personally invited to THIS banquet.  This banquet will be the greatest party ever known, the party of believers called together at the second coming of Jesus Christ.  Question is, will we be there??  Or will we still be making excuses why we can’t come?

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.’   This is who we are.  Like I said, things to do, places to be, people to see.  We have so many distractions from following Christ.  Kids, sports, movies, TV, work.  We have technology, supposedly to make our lives easier and better, that instead takes all of our focus and attention away from the things that matter and causes us to spend every spare minute focused on screens.  Phone screens, computer screens, TV screens, movie screens.  These screens, whether 3 inches or 50 feet, seem to serve as our true Gods of this age.  On top of all the other busyness in our lives, when we get a spare second, it’s taken up looking at some screen.  But God??   We don’t have time for Him.  Maybe Sunday morning, not even that for most of us.  Maybe Christmas and Easter…but how many can’t be bothered to go to His house even on these days??   

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.’  This reminds me of going to the Gentiles for Jesus and the apostles to begin performing miracles.  Many Jews were opposing Christ, so he began going to those outside the regular circle of “Gods chosen people.”  He is angry, because his invitation is a sincere invitation.  He came not to condemn, but to save.  It hurts Him when He invites us and we reject His invitation.  

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.’ Our Father’s House has many rooms.  So many have accepted the invitation, but there is still room for more!!  Room for all who accept the invitation.  The servant is commanded to go to the highways and hedges – in other words, the ends of the earth.  It says to compel people to come.  This is because people out on the highways and hedges and outskirts of town, these are the outcasts.  They don’t need to be forced to come, but the servant will have to work hard to get them to come, because they will feel unworthy of the invitation.  After all they are outcasts, right. These are the addicts, the drunks, the homeless, the losers of society.  They will have a hard time understanding the invitation they are receiving…
 Notice that none of the men here outright declined the invitation.  The answer, every time, is “Lord, I would come, but…”  If I didn’t have this to do.  If I wasn’t so busy.  If I didn’t have a family.  If I didn’t have so many other invitations.  You see here that all of these men will come later and want to be let into the banquet.  They (we) never really intended to miss the party.  They (we) just had to take care of all these other things first.  Our problem is that we don’t realize the application of the parable of the sower to our lives – “As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13:22‬ ‭ESV‬‬




“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!” 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 ‭14:15-24‬ ‭ESV

 

 
 
 
John Lewis
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One thought on “The Story of Us

  1. Man, can’t most of us find ourselves in this? I think about this very thing all the time, and I always get to the “but . . .” I have an extremely demanding job and 5 kids who play 3 sports each. Free time is something we never have. That is our fault and no excuse and yet there it is. Thanks for the message!

    Liked by 1 person

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