Posted: November 26, 2013 in Taste & See

“When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid.  But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you.  For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” – Luke 14:12-14


1: to make return to in any way

2: to reward


   The verses immediately following these are some of the most beloved for those who don’t feel like they’ve got it ‘all together.’  It is Jesus’ parable about the Great Banquet.  Jesus tells the story about a great banquet a man was giving.  Everyone who had received the invitation refused to attend when the time was ready.  The excuses they made were flimsy and not believable.  Upon hearing this, the man became furious and told the servants to go out onto the streets and bring in every poor, crippled, blind and lame people they met.

   Just as it would be a challenge for a person living on the outskirts of humanity getting cleaned up and attending a great banquet, so it would have been for these people when they walked through the doors and their eyes landed upon the spread before them.

   It is the people who think they don’t need anybody except themselves who reject God.  They think they can make excuses, or push it off for another day.  They feel no guilt or remorse at rejecting an invitation.

   One day in every person’s life it will be time to make a decision.  Some will give poor excuses as to why they can’t make it.  Other will gape in astonishment at all that the man has provided for them.  Like those people in the parable, they will be both grateful and astonished at the love and joy waiting for them at the table.

    The man in the parable is of course is the Lord.  He casts off the ones who reject Him, and sweeps up everyone who thinks they’re too broken to be noticed. It is those people that God loves, the ones who know they can’t do much on their own.  The ones who have already knocked down their façade of order and perfection; these are the people who God cherishes.

   So too, are we to act in this matter.  God doesn’t want us to remain in our comfort zone, with people who we know to be safe.  He tells us to go to the people who cannot repay us, but rather who need physical and spiritual food and relief.

   God promises to repay us for what we do in our lifetime.  He knows if we reached out to the world with the mercy and grace of the Lord.  He knows if we shelter ourselves in our busy lives; making excuses for our lack of desire to spend time with Him.

   Jesus is preparing a great feast for those who love Him.  Our part is to extend the invitation to everyone who is reaching for one.  And there will be great rejoicing one day when we all pull up a chair.


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