November 2 - Luke 14:15-24

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Luke 14:15-24 – The Great Banquet

Luke is again speaking to the Pharisees and those religious leaders who believe that they have a ‘right’ to eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.

The custom in that day was that invitations had long since been sent and accepted. When everything was prepared, a domestic slave was sent to summon the guests on the day of the banquet. In this case, Jesus is the servant … or slave of God, sent to summon the people of Israel to the great banquet.

In a bizarre turn, every single person who had already accepted the invitation, refused to come to the banquet.  In Luke 8:14 we find that these people heard the word of God, but the seed fell among the thorns: “They are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature.” 

This parable is not about a future event, but was a story with immediacy and with continuing relevance. Jesus was inviting the people of Israel and he continues to invite each of us. Those who have too many other things to occupy their time and make those things more important than a relationship with God, will find that his anger and judgment are swift. What the master discovers is that those who were originally invited, have at the seat of their refusal to attend, a deep hatred for Him. The only thing they care about is their own lives, their own needs and how to adjust their religion to benefit those things.

The household owner sends his slave out to those who are poor, crippled, blind and lame. The understanding is that these people do not have a list of things in their lives that will stop them from coming to the banquet. When the needy from the city do not fill the banquet hall, the master sends the slaves beyond in order to fill the hall. There are more than enough seats and there will not be any left empty.

If we look back at the original covenant God made with Abraham, the Lord promised that Abraham’s seed would be as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore (Genesis 22:17). That is the number of seats available at the Great Banquet and that is what the Lord has opened up to those who will fill his house.