The Great Banquet

2 May 2021 AM – Luke 14:15-24 – Parables21 – Scott Childs
Introduction: In the preceding context, Jesus told a dinner host that he should not invite his friends who could repay his kindness. Rather, he should invite the disabled who could not repay him. Jesus assured him that on Judgment Day God will recompense all who do this.
            Jesus then told the parable of the Great Banquet.
Transition: We are going to break this parable into three parts for our understand and application.
  1. The Invitation (v.16-17)
a.         A certain man invited friends to his banquet
1)         Jesus called the meal a “great supper”. This was a first-class banquet.
2)         He sent invitations out to many. Since Jesus had just instructed his hearers on whom not to invite to a meal (Lu 14:12). It is likely that the “many” who were invited included friends, brethren, kinsmen, and rich neighbours.
3)         These invited guests were those closest to the man. Each of them would likely return the invitation on some future occasion.
4)         That is so typical of our actions. We frequently invite those whom we like best and whom we know may later invite us to their gathering.
b.         His servant gave the final reminder
1)         On the day of the banquet, the host sent his servant to remind his invited guests that the banquet was ready, and it was time for them to come.
2)         This was typical in their culture.
c.          What can we learn from this?
1)         In this parable, it appears that the host represents God.
2)         The servant may represent Christians inviting the lost to come to God’s salvation portrayed as a banquet.
3)         The first guests who were invited may represent Israel. The gospel went out to the Jew first, but the Jews rejected it. The Apostle Paul wrote, (Romans 1:16) “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
4)         There is a sense in which those first invited are like the religious of our day. Many have grown up in a religious home, have attended Sunday school, been baptised or confirmed, and generally believe in God, yet they have not truly answered God’s call to salvation. They are those I mentioned recently who have been “spiritually vaccinated”, but are yet unsaved.
2.        The Excuses (v.18-20)
a.         All those invited made excuses
1)         The first said he bought a piece of ground and needed to go see it (a financial investment); therefore, he asked to be excused.
2)         The second said he bought five yoke of oxen, and he needed to go test their abilities (a business opportunity); therefore, he asked to be excused.
3)         The third said that he had just married a wife (a family issue). He did not want to leave her; therefore, he asked to be excused.
4)         None of these excuses really justified turning down a nice banquet. Those invited just did not want to attend.
5)         People make all sorts of excuses today for not answering the Lord’s call to salvation. If you have not yet trusted Christ as your Saviour, what excuses are you using?
b.         The servant reported their excuses
1)         When the host heard all the excuses of his invited guests, he was angry.
2)         He had gone to great expense to prepare this great banquet and now those he invited would not come.
3)         In even a greater sense, the Lord of heaven began preparations for His salvation banquet before the world began. (Titus 1:2) “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
4)         He sent His Son Jesus to die on a cross for the sake of every sinner. (John 15:13) “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
5)         Jesus Christ became the propitiation for us by completely appeasing the wrath of God toward our sin. He paid the price in full. (1 John 4:10) “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
6)         God states in (Hebrews 2:3) “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation…
3.        The Extended Invitation (v.21-24)
a.         The host then had his servant invite the disabled
1)         Instead of cancelling the banquet, the host extended his invitation. He sent his servant into the streets and lanes of the city. He was to invite those in the alleys to come.
2)         His mission was to bring in the poor (beggars), the maimed (crippled), the halt (amputees), and the blind. These may picture the unreligious lost of society. Spiritually they are beggars because they have left God out of their lives.
3)         Here is a beautiful picture of the love of God as He invites the disabled to His salvation banquet. God loves those who are unloved by others. When Jesus said, (John 3:16) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life“, the “world” includes every class of people.
4)         The self-righteous and religious crowd may turn down God’s call to repentance and salvation, but He also extends it to all who are spiritually disabled.
5)         Because the banquet hall still had space, the host sent out his servant again.
b.         The host had his servant invite the derelicts.
1)         This time he sent him into the highways and hedges. Those along the highways and hedges were truly the undesirables. They were travellers and homeless. These were the rough sinners of society, the derelicts, the drunks, the prostitutes and the addicts. In the context, these were the lowest class of people.
2)         No matter how low a person may get, God still loves him. He or she is never too low to answer God’s call to salvation. (2 Peter 3:9) “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
3)         Can you see the picture here? God does not reject unlikely people. When God told Peter to go preach to Cornelius, a gentile, (Acts 10:34) “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
4)         We note that the host told the servant to compel them to come in. In other words, he was sternly to pressure and persuade them to come. The master of the banquet wanted his banquet hall full. The same is true of the Lord God. (1 Timothy 2:4) “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
5)         The Lord gives us, who already know the Lord as our Saviour, the task of bringing in the spiritually disabled and compelling the spiritual derelicts to come to Christ. God loves every person you will meet this week no matter how high or low he may be in society.
Conclusion: Jesus closed the parable with v.24 (read). God’s invitation to salvation is for everyone. However, those who make excuses and refuse to come will miss out for all eternity.
            Where do you fit into this story? Are you religious but lost, like the first who were invited? If so, it is still not too late to humbly admit your guilt and answer His call. Are you like the spiritually disabled who have left God completely out of their lives? If so, God invites you to turn from your sinful state and to answer His call. Are you like one of the spiritual derelicts who have lived sinful lives? Jesus loved the tax collectors and the sinners, and he loves you. Will you answer His call to you?
Perhaps you are a true Christian who is to work as the servant to invite others to God’s salvation banquet. If so, are you seeking opportunities to share the Gospel and to pass out tracts? Are you praying for the lost? Time is running out. The day of the Lord’s return may be soon. Let’s be busy speaking out for the Lord.
Song: Just As I Am – 249  or Rescue the Perishing – 432