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God definitely has a way of speaking with us, even if we forget Him at times, especially when we are distracted with irrelevant things. In the depths of our emotions, He knows how to converse with us and tell us how much He loves us. In times of troubles, God invites us to be with Him. He never gets tired of blessing us with abundant things.

It has been a month long of too many obstacles, and I thought that the only way to endure all these struggles is by seeking His power. I appreciate how God opens my heart and makes me feel how I should view His unending love for me.

For this week’s Bible Study, we have discussed about The Parable of the Great Banquet from Luke 14:15-24 .

When one of those at the meal with Jesus heard this, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will feast in the kingdom of God!” But Jesus said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time for the banquet he sent his slave to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, because everything is now ready.’ But one after another they all began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going out to examine them. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I just got married, and I cannot come.’ So the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the master of the household was furious and said to his slave, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and alleys of the city, and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ Then the slave said, ‘Sir, what you instructed has been done, and there is still room.’ So the master said to his slave, ‘Go out to the highways and country roads and urge people to come in, so that my house will be filled. For I tell you, not one of those individuals who were invited will taste my banquet!

What is this parable teaching us?

Lesson on finding your seat – for guests to exercise humility. (Luke 14:8-11)

In the parable, a man organized a large banquet and sent out invitations. When the banquet was complete, he sent his servant to contact each of the invited guests, telling them that all was ready and the meal was about to begin. One after another, the guests made excuses for not coming. One had just bought a piece of land and said he had to go see it. Another had purchased some oxen and said he was on the way to yoke them up and try them out. Another gave the excuse that he was newly married and therefore could not come.

Lesson on how to the type of guest to invite – to be selfless and to focus on heaven’s reward instead of people. (Luke 14: 12-14)

When the master of the house heard these flimsy excuses, he was angry. He told his servant to forget the guest list and go into the back streets and alleyways of the town and invite “the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame”. The servant had already brought in the down-and-out townspeople, and still there was room in the banquet hall. So the master sent his servant on a broader search: “Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full”.

Lesson on accepting invitation – How people have rejected the invitation to God’s Kingdom. (Luke 14:15-24)

The account that prompted the parable is key. The man who, in verse 15, looks forward to dining in the Messianic kingdom probably pledged to the popular notion that only Jews would be part of that kingdom. The parable Jesus voices out is aimed at exposing that view, as the following explanation makes clear:

The master of the house is God, and the great banquet is the kingdom, a metaphor that was suggested by the speaker at the table. The invited guests picture the Jewish nation. The kingdom was prepared for them, but when Jesus came preaching that “the kingdom of heaven is near”, He was rejected. “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him”.

How are we as guests?

Do we always find an excuse to invitations? It may be very difficult to balance everything with our lives, but we need to make time. Why do we always find a reason to reject God’s invitation?

What did the host do?

This story is similar to the Parable of the Wedding Feast, but with some noteworthy differences. The story in Luke’s Gospel was told at a dinner that Jesus attended. Jesus had just healed a man with dropsy and taught a brief lesson on serving others. Jesus then says that those who serve others “will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous”. At the mention of the resurrection, someone at the table with Jesus said, “Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God”. In reply, Jesus tells the Parable of the Great Banquet.

The excuses for skipping the banquet are ridiculously ruthless. No one buys land without seeing it first, and the same can be said for buying oxen. And what, exactly, would keep a newly married couple from attending a social event? All three excuses in the parable reveal insincerity on the part of those invited. The interpretation is that the Jews of Jesus’ day had no valid excuse for rejecting Jesus’ message; in fact, they had every reason to accept Him as their Messiah.

The fundamental message of the Parable of the Great Banquet could be stated this way: “The tragedy of the Jewish rejection of Christ has opened the door of redemption to the Gentiles. The blessings of the kingdom are available to all who will come to Christ by faith.”

The master is not satisfied with a partially full banquet hall; he wants every place at the table to be filled. John MacArthur’s comment on this fact is that “God is more willing to save sinners than sinners are to be saved.”

Those who ignored the invitation to the banquet chose their own punishment—they missed out. Jesus finishes the parable by relating the master’s determination that “not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet”. The master respects their choice by making it permanent: they would not “taste of my banquet.” So it will be with God’s judgment on those who choose to reject Christ: they will have their choice confirmed, and they will never taste the joys of heaven.

Have we accepted God’s invitation? If not, what excuses do we come up with? Have you extended God’s invitation to your friends? Remember that if we continue to ignore His invitation, we might lose the opportunity.