Jesus told the story of a master who decided to throw a party. A banquet. He sent invitations to tons of people, but as the ‘regrets’ started to come in, he got mad. He saw flimsy excuses and made-up reasons not to come. “I won’t be able to make it . . . I’ve just bought some land and I’ve got to go see it”. What? You bought land sight-unseen? Come on, man! Who are you kidding? “I’ve bought some new animals for my farm,” “I’m newly married,” one by one, the excuses rolled in.
Feeling unappreciated by the people he’d invited, he told his servants “go out into the country lanes and out behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full.”1 He had something special to give and he was going to give it.
Clearly, this master is a cool guy. He loves to hang out with people. He’s not selling tickets . . . he just wants to give people something wonderful. He knows the best parties have lots of people, and since he’s generous and accepting, he tells his servants to go invite people who will appreciate the opportunity. He tells them to ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’2
I’m betting the party turned out amazing. Spontaneous. Diverse crowd. Awesome host, committed to making everyone feel welcomed and loved.
And what about the people who made the excuses? Who missed the party?
The master wrote in his book . . . “For none of those I invited first will get even the smallest taste of what I had prepared for them.”3
He did what we might do . . . he decided they’d have no part in his celebration. Not this time, and maybe not in the future either. He might have taken them off his list. Out of his contacts folder for good. We don’t know.
In a time of prayer the other night, I wrote down these words. I believe they were from God. “Regi, I don’t want you to miss out on my banquet. Don’t be one who’s so busy . . . who’s making excuses. I want you at my feast . . . at my table!”
You’re invited too. The Master wants you at His feast . . . at His personal table. Are you too busy? Too proud? Too self-absorbed with things that are urgent but not really all that important?
NOTE: The amazing image above is from Journeys with the Messiah by Michael Belk. A former world-class fashion photographer who has fallen in love with Jesus, Michael has created a collection of stunning images to visually communicate Jesus’ life and message.He writes about this image:
“He (Jesus) has invited us to the greatest party that will ever be given…a life in Eternity with Him. Some have replied with a resounding, “Yes, I cannot wait to attend. “But, there will be many who are simply, and foolishly, too busy with their earthly lives to accept his invitation. Make sure that you have sent a R.S.V.P. to His invitation. This is a party you and your loved ones will not want to miss.”4
1 Luke 14:23-24
2 Luke 14:21c
3 Luke 14:24
4 Journeys with the Messiah – Michael Belk, pg. 54
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