“A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests.” — Luke 14:16
When we send out an invitation, it’s natural to expect a response. One of my most frustrating experiences in ministry is when I get no response from someone after inviting them to an event. Even more frustrating is getting a response that’s a lame excuse.
In this parable the banquet-thrower invites many people to his banquet. But when the time comes for the feast, all sorts of excuses are given. “I have to go and check on some property I bought.” “I have to go and test-drive my new oxen.” “I just got married—sorry, I can’t come.” We could argue that some of these excuses don’t sound so bad, but they are excuses nonetheless. The response of the banquet-thrower? “Go out and invite more people! Go to the streets and alleys, the country lanes and roads, and urge the people to come.”
Jesus is a banquet-thrower. He is inviting each of us to his amazing feast in the kingdom of heaven. His invitation goes out to everyone, everywhere! You might find yourself in the alleys or country lanes of life, but Jesus will still seek you out with his invitation. All you have to do is come.
Many of us have grown used to making excuses, however. “I have something else to do.” “I have other people to see.” Or maybe our excuses are more personal: “I don’t feel worthy to go, because I’ve messed up. How could Jesus possibly want me?”
Jesus wants you. Please come.