Reading: Luke 14:15-24
And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, “Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.” Then said he unto him, “A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.’ And the servant said, ‘Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.’ And the lord said unto the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.’”
In the passage we read earlier, Jesus refers to the banquet of the righteous, and then one of those who listens says, “Happy are those who eat the bread of that banquet.”
Jesus’s response clarifies: the banquet has already begun (Matthew 22:1-14). And those who believe themselves the most entitled to be invited are not part of it.
They are the ones who put their rituals, their political interests, their position, their reputation above the Kingdom of God. There are many who believe they are destined to sit in the seat of honor in the kingdom of God, and they will remain outside.
The Kingdom of God is for those who know that they don’t deserve an invitation, those who do not expect the king himself to take them by the hand and bring them to his side.
It is precisely that recognition of being insufficient that is the first characteristic of those who will be invited in the end.
Those who reject the invitation are distracted by their personal interests; the temporary makes them blind to the eternal.
And those accepted in that Kingdom are the same who couldn’t even enter the temple: the sick, the blind, and the lame- the undesirables.
The paradox here is how you can be absolutely convinced that you deserve to be part of the kingdom of God, and yet be as far from Jesus as the religious of that time were.
That risk is real today too; the vanity of this world can absorb us in such a way that we believe that God needs something from us, that we have somehow become worthy of God’s grace.
MEDITATE: Let us look upon our own lives and be reminded every day that the Lord has given us love and favor that we do not deserve. Let us rejoice and be glad in His goodness!
Translation By: Emily Stader