“Then Jesus said, ‘Someone gave a great dinner and invited many. At the time for the dinner he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for everything is ready now.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of land, and I must go out and see it; please accept my apologies.’ Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please accept my apologies.’ Another said, ‘I have just been married, and therefore I cannot come.’ So the slave returned and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ And the slave said, “Sir, what you have ordered has been done, and there is still room.’ Then the master said to his slave, ‘Go out into the roads and lanes, and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those who were invited will taste my dinner” (Luke 14:15-24)
What will the kingdom of God be like? What will it be like to sit at the table of God’s great banquet? Who will be there?
Most of us would see ourselves in the company of the invited – those who have the capacity to purchase land, five yoke of oxen, those who marry. These are the invited. But Jesus says, “None of those who were invited will taste my dinner.”
What is required is not our worthiness, our possessions, our status. Instead the ones around the table are the physically, emotionally, spiritually poor, crippled, blind, and lame. They are present not because they are wealthy or deserving. They are there because they said, “Yes.” They said yes because they knew they needed what the host offered.
Yet there’s still room for more. “Sir, what you have ordered has been done, and there is still room.” So the master sends the messenger out again to compel people to join the banquet. The goal is to fill the house. Nothing less will do. So the messenger goes out to the streets once again to invite all to the banquet. All are welcome!
The only requirement necessary is your “Yes.” Our education, our wealth, our possessions – none of these things matter.
The only thing that matters is our “Yes.”
Friends, God loves you. God could not imagine an eternity without you. So God sent his Son to die for our sins that in his resurrection we might rise with him. God loves you. You are all invited to the banquet. But God will not force you to receive his love. His love compels him to leave you with the final decision.
All who are hungry, all who are broken, all who are tired, anxious, and frightened – God loves you and invites you to eternal life. He is waiting for your decision to his invitation.