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The Parable of The Dinner GUESTS

(Luke 14:15-24)

A certain man gave a great supper and invited many; sending his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, I must go and see it; I ask you to have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I bought five yoke of oxen and I am going to test them; I ask you to have me excused too.’ Another said, ‘I have married a wife and therefore I cannot come.’ So the servant came and reported these things to his master and the master of the house being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and the lanes of the city and bring here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’ And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you have commanded and still there is room.’ The master said to the servant, ‘Go out in the highways and the hedges and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say to you, that none of those men, who were invited, shall taste my supper.” (Luke 14:15-24)

Jesus had said a few verses earlier in Luke 14:11 “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” This is the subject matter in the Parable of the Humbled Guest, in Chapter 18 of this book.

Now to this parable: It was still the Sabbath day and Jesus was still at the home of the same Pharisee. He had already pointed out the folly of selecting the best seat at a feast, by pointing out that it would be more prudent to allow the master of the feast to exalt you, for in doing so, you would be happy to receive glory from the master himself.

Jesus now goes on to give another word of advice to the dinner guests present. He told them the secret of hosting a successful feast. “Rather than inviting their relatives, their rich neighbors, or their personal friends and acquaintances all of whom could easily repay them, to do the very opposite. Invite instead, the people who could never repay you, such as the crippled, the blind, the poor and the hurting people: those overlooked by society and find life very hard. By this you will be repaid in the resurrection after life.”

In context, He is saying to the Pharisees, first of all, not to sit in the most exalted places. Secondly, He gives them instructions about how to choose their personal dinner guests and then to top it all, in the middle of the feast, just before He had said these things, He healed a man who had palsy. He came into the house and healed him right in front of them.

In the parable: Jesus is talking about a man whose dinner guests resembled the ones that a normal Pharisee would choose as his own guests and yet all the invited people came up with their own various excuses why they could not accept his invitation.

Therefore, Jesus suggested that the Pharisees should command their servants to bypass the usual guest list and instead to go out into the streets and to invite total strangers: people that they normally would never associate themselves with: people who would never imagine receiving such a treat as being invited to a splendid free feast in luxurious surroundings. This type of person would fully appreciate the honor shown to them and would never dream of missing their once in a life time opportunity!

Jesus said that the first group of invited guests who had made so many excuses should have no future opportunity to reject the host. But instead the second list of people would be compelled to come from their own heart’s desire.

In reality, Jesus was subtly directing this message to the enormous pride of the Pharisees at that time. Jesus is really saying, “I am compelling you to come into My Kingdom but none of you are repenting of your evil ways. All I hear from you are your excuses. You are continually trying to trip Me up in the Law, with your pointed questions.

You are trying to excuse yourself with reasons why I am not the Messiah. You reject Me in any way you can. I’m inviting you to the supper with My Father and you are refusing to come in. If you do not watch it, you are not going to come in. I will gather up all the lame, the poor, the blind and the hurting people and invite them to My supper and none of you who have excuses and reasons are going to come to My supper.”

Now, let me tell you something: I went through a period of about sixteen years, when I thought I was a prophet - a latter-day prophet. I have mentioned this in other chapters, but it bears repeating. For those sixteen years, I studied the Prophets and was absolutely fanatical about the judgments of God. I believed that God was a very harsh judge. I had all sorts of beliefs that He was a condemning God. So I believed that Christians who were constantly pursuing interests other than Christ, such as their marriage, their job, or their business, were in danger of losing their eternal salvation.

I had read this parable and others and thought anyone who was not completely totally sold out for Jesus and heavily involved in pursuing Him with all their might, were going to Hell. Praise the Lord: I do not believe that anymore!

These days, people resist the Gospel for numerous reasons: their own religious beliefs blind them; they are insulted when told their good works don’t count; they see that belief in the Gospel is too limiting: they have been offended by people who attend church; they are turned off at the politics of religion; or they maintain that the Gospel is just too easy to be true and say: “You can’t just ask Jesus into your life and be accepted by Him,” It is an enigma to them! Even as a sincere born-again Christian, I struggled with the full concept of grace for many years.

People have all sorts of excuses why they do not enter the Kingdom of God. They have excuses like: they don’t want to leave their life of sin behind. (Not that they would say those words.) They are enjoying living with their partner. They enjoy having sex with different people every week. They enjoy drinking every night and wild partying. They enjoy gambling. They enjoy all the so called “fun” things of the world. These are the type of people who will not enter into the Kingdom, because they find excuses not to!

Other people, who reject Christianity, come from other religions of the world and are therefore not open to the claims or the message of the Gospel. These people are similar to the Pharisees in the days of Jesus. They desperately need salvation and deliverance from the slavery of the devil’s performance lie!

If you are a Christian and you have Muslim friends, or New Age friends, I would urge you to lead them to my video series or better still buy the book, because it has more “meat” in it than the short video messages have. You could give it as a friendship gift to someone and say, “Here’s what just a simple guy wrote about the parables of Jesus. Have a look at it.”

Do you know that most people judge the Christian faith by the Christians that they know? In the previous chapter I spoke about a parable on being the light of the world. Most people see Christians as judgmental and narrow-minded people who believe that they alone are the apple of God’s eye. Regardless of this, you must know that a person has until their last breath of life to change and to repent. They have until their last minute of life to turn to Jesus. The problem is that none of us know when that time will be. Some people have absolutely no warning whatsoever. One moment life is sweet: the next moment it is over!

Often in our zeal, our narrow-mindedness and self-centeredness, we try to convince people that Jesus is the only answer, but we do not have the patience or endurance to love the person for who they are for fifteen years first. Generally, people do not want to know how much you know, until they know how much you care.

This is why Jesus impressed upon people to go and have a party and invite the sad and lonely people: the rejected, the misunderstood, or under privileged people. This is why He wants us to feed the hungry; to give drink to the thirsty; to clothe the naked; to care for the people in the hospitals; to visit the people in prison and take in the homeless. Jesus had a shepherd’s heart for the lonely, the lost and the hurting and He had the answers for them. He has also told us that what we do for others, we are actually doing it for Him. If you love Jesus, then that is a wonderful incentive to put yourself out for others.

Do you know that the people of this world are “blind” to the Kingdom of God? Also, people don’t have to be restricted to a wheelchair to be lame! We just cannot operate in this world successfully without the peace of God. You cannot be at peace in this world until you know God. Until then, you are “crippled.” you are walking around in life in a shell of a body without satisfaction or meaning in life.

Yes, there are many non-Christians who are successful in this life, but if you were at their death bed these same people would be fearful. If you were to ask the rich or famous how much joy they experienced in their busy lifestyle, you would be surprised at their answer. If you really befriended them, you would find out that none of their wealth or fame gave them inner peace. We need to personally know the Peace-maker to experience this peace.

You often see reported in the press, that marriages are breaking down in Hollywood and rich people are ruining their lives with drugs, alcohol and promiscuity. Having wealth, doesn’t mean you are immune to the temptations and sorrows of the world.

Therefore, to be lame, doesn’t necessary mean you need a wheelchair! Everyone has lame friends and blind friends. You have people who are blind to the Gospel. You, the reader would have lame and blind friends who do not know Jesus, trying to live a life without a connection to God. Give them a jump start: they won’t suddenly pick up a Bible or come to church, but they may read this book. It is worth a try!

There are people who are emotionally crippled, emotionally hurt and wounded. They are maimed. They are hurt. They have internal wounds. You cannot see these wounds, but all of these people, when they find out the truth of Jesus Christ, embrace it with both arms. These are the people with whom Jesus commanded us to share the Gospel message with.

The servants in this parable are supposed to be us. When Jesus said, go and get the lame and the crippled and compel them to come in, He was speaking to you and me! That means that it’s to us to physically befriend them. We must earn the right to be able to speak into their lives the answers that they are sub-consciously searching for. It is up to us to find them and bring them to the Master so that they can banquet at His table. Now, where do you find them? You will find them in the shops, in the streets, in the clubs and in the pubs. You find them in hotels, in the sports arena, at your workplace, at the bus stop, sitting in the train, or sitting next to you anywhere.

Once you get the hang of it and your boldness increases, you can extend yourself and find people who need Jesus in the casinos, in the gambling institutions and at the horse races, in gay bars, the strip joints and the brothels. The list is endless. There are needy people everywhere you go in life, they are all around you. All these people are waiting to hear the good news of the Gospel.

So many people wear a face mask: that says things are fine, when in reality their life is a mess: some are hurting inside and have no direction. To them life has no purpose and no joy. You hold the fountain of joy. You hold the answers and you are holding a tool in your hand right now.

Most people these days have the internet, so send them a link to my parable website or direct them to this book. I am not promoting this book for financial gain. The purpose of my book is to glorify God in the lives of other people. That was what Jesus always did!

To read more about Matthew Robert Payne or to know how to book him to speak at your church click on my name Matthew Robert Payne