Somehow I skipped this passage so I’m posting it up now.
The Parable of the Great Banquet
12 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. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
15 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. 17 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.’ 18 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.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ 20 And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 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.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ 23 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. 24 For I tell you,  none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’”
- vs. 12-14 Once again, Jesus tells people to do something contrary to normal thinking. Don’t invite family and friends, but invite the poor and disabled.
- Jesus means for this advice to be taken literally. This first part is not a parable, the parable follows in verses 15-24. Who am I inviting to dinner?
- vs 15-24 The parable of the great banquet. Those who are invited to the party refuse to come. They have excuses. They may seem legitimate but they are unacceptable. The master will have guests at his party and therefore goes and invites those in unconventional locations.
- The first level of meaning. Jesus has been traveling around inviting people to God’s great banquet. But more often than not, he is refused. Recall the parable of the sower, most of the seed falls on soil which is unfruitful. However, some have accepted the invitation; the poor and disabled.
- The second level of meaning. The expected guests at God’s banquet are the Jewish people. They are the invited ones. But like the parable, they have too many excuses and refuse the invitation. Of course, many Jewish people in Luke’s time did accept the invitation but the majority of them did not. Therefore, God’s messengers went out to the Gentiles and to the entire world to invite people to the party.
- The third level of meaning. To join the party you have to accept and welcome all who are there. God’s banquet is for all people. There is no room for prejudice or self-righteousness.
- “Once again, therefore, the challenge comes to us today. Christians reading this, anywhere in the world, must work out in their own churches and families what it would mean to celebrate God’s kingdom so that the people at the bottom of the pile, at the end of the line, would find it good news. It isn’t enough to say that we ourselves are the people dragged in from the country lanes, to our surprise, to enjoy God’s party. That may be true; but party guests are then expected to become party hosts in their turn.” N.T. Wright
- What a great quote. Party guests are to become part hosts. Am I just a guest or am I a host? Am I being selective in who I invite to the party? Do I see people at the party and wish they weren’t there? These are serious questions I need to answer. These are serious questions that any true disciple of Jesus Christ needs to answer.
Tags: Bible, Bible Study, Christian living, Christianity, Daily Devotional, Disciple, Discipleship, Evangelism, Gospel, Jesus, Kingdom of God, Luke, N.T. Wright, New Testament, Parable, religion, The Gospel of Luke, The Great Banquet