The King’s Banquet
When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.” Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’ “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.'”
I have been thinking about this for a few days now. So what exactly was the food served at this banquet? I can’t see anybody in the natural refusing free food. I believe it is explained in Jesus’ discourse with His disciples after He had spoken with the woman at the well.
Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.
So if the “food” being served at this banquet is the will of God then it stands to reason why so many begged to be excused from the “banquet” because to accept the invitation to this banquet meant to be willing to sacrifice. Look at the list of excuses that was given and you’ll see that they’re not much different from the ones used today.
But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’
How many of us know that we have a calling on our life but have made excuses as to why we cannot come to the banquet.
The church has become a place of comfort instead of a place of sacrifice. Picking up the cross and following Jesus is not taught anymore. The cross is seen to be offensive and would be a deterrent to bringing people into our mega church. Yet Jesus said that if you weren’t willing to pick up your cross and follow him on a daily basis then you couldn’t be His disciple. Jesus is not looking for converts, He is looking for disciples. To follow the great commission which is to “make disciples”, we must be willing to sacrifice our time and energy in order to invest in the person(s) we are discipling. I am preaching to myself here. Christianity is a contact sport, if you will, and it cannot be accomplished from the stands but has to be played out on the field of life.