October 11, 2005

Abundance of the Feast

Luke 14:15-24

15When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, "Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God." 16Jesus replied: "A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.' 18"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.' 19"Another said, 'I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I'm on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.' 20"Still another said, 'I just got married, so I can't come.' 21"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.' 22" 'Sir,' the servant said, 'what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.' 23"Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full. 24I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.' "


"Go out ... and make them come in, so that my house will be full." Luke 14:23

To some people, Christianity seems to be a set of rules and rituals, a faith filled more with bad news than good news. But in Luke 14 Jesus describes life in God's kingdom as a lavish banquet with music, fellowship, festivities, and lots of food.

Imagine the scene: A great banquet hall furnished with tables and decorations everywhere. There's joyous music playing, thousands of beautiful place settings, and mounds of sumptuous food waiting to be devoured.

Surveying this scene, we realize that Someone has gone to a great deal of trouble and expense to put this together. But we also realize that something is missing. There are no party-goers. What a terrible waste for the host to prepare the finest of places and the best of times and yet to have no one show up!

That's where Christians come in. They have received a new assignment--to invite others to the feast. Christians are called to be motivated messengers, winsome witnesses, believable bringers, and inclusive inviters. Someone has described all this evangelism as "one beggar telling another beggar where to find food." Or we could say it's one invited guest telling another invited guest where the banquet hall filled with spiritual food can be found. Let the super-abundance of God's riches in Christ motivate you to invite others to the feast.

Lord, what a privilege it is to be invited to your banquet! What an honor to invite others! What a joy to see your banquet hall filling! May many more come today. Amen.

About the author — Dan Jongsma

Daniel Jongsma serves as an interim pastor in Fulton, Illinois. He has pastored congregations in Elmhurst and Fulton, Illinois; in Dearborn, Michigan; and in Nashville, Tennessee. Dan also served as a church planter in the Chicago area. He and his wife, Gloria, have three daughters and four grandchildren.

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