THE PARABLE OF THE GREAT BANQUET
Luke 14: 12-24
Please read the above passage before reading this message. Verses 12-15 are introductory and give the reason for presenting the parable. First, Jesus gave the host and his honorable guests a lesson on charity and on being good to the poor and unfortunate. He suggested they might give a luxurious feast from time for the poor, lame and blind. For such generosity, he assured them they would receive a blessing, if not in this life. at the resurrection of the dead. This moved one of the guests to speak up and say, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.” He probably had reference to the world to come and feasting in heaven, since Jesus spoke of being rewarded at the resurrection of the dead. It was this man's statement led Jesus to utter this parable.
Jesus told the story of a man who prepared a great banquet, and invited many guests, well ahead of time. At the time of the banquet, a servant was sent to the invited guests with this message, “Come to the feast, for everything is now ready.” But the guests gave all kinds of excuses and refused to come. One said, “Please excuse me. I have bought a field and I must go and see it.” . Another said, “I just got married, and I can't come.” Still another said he had just bought some oxen, and he had to go and try them out. Very angry, the owner of the house ordered his servant to go into the streets and alleys of the town and bring the poor, crippled, blind and the lame. Yet there was room for many more. The owner said, “Go out into the roads and country lanes and make them come in that my house will be full. Then he said, “I tell you, not one of those men who rejected my invitation will get a taste of my banquet.” This has been called the parable of the great supper. All His parables were about His church and His kingdom soon to begin on the earth. This parable is about the Christian religion.
This is the interpretation. The man in parable who gave the great supper is God, the Father above. THE GREAT SUPPER represented a great event which was to take place very shortly on this earth and was to be a great blessing to the Jewish nation first, and then to all Gentiles who would turn to Christianity. This great event was to be the religion of Christ which was soon to begin on this earth. This great event was the coming of the Church of Christ of which Christ said, “Upon this rock I will build my church.” It was the kingdom of God predicted in Daniel 2. It began fifty days after the resurrection of Christ. The guests represent all who would become Christians, both Jews and Gentiles. This was a spiritual feast for all mankind, including a better life on earth, and eternal life in the world
to come. The religious feast will last throughout the Christian age and merge into an eternal existence in heaven for Christians in heaven at the second coming of Christ. The feast was a metaphor for all the blessings of the Christian religion. It includes the forgiveness of sins, reconciliation with God, adoption into the Christian family of God, and fellowship with God and His Son Jesus Christ. All the blessings of the Christian religion are figuratively represented as a great supper or banquet. .
As to the invitations and guests, God extended two sets of invitations to the Jews, God's chosen people under the Jewish religion. Many invitations were sent out centuries before the Supper was to begin. The first invitations were extended by Old Testament prophets by way of prophecy. There were four major prophets and twelve minor prophets, and most all spoke of this banquet. The second invitation was sent out by John the Baptist, Jesus and the early disciples during the lifetime of Jesus. The second invitation was sent out at the very time the church was about to begin. The first invitation was in the form prophecies about the coming of their Messiah Jesus Christ, and the Kingdom over which He was to rule over Israel and the entire world. The Old Testament is full of these invitations. The second invitation was extended by John the Baptist, Jesus, the twelve apostles, and the early Christians in the first century.. Their message was receive the Messiah, repent and baptized for the forgiveness of sins. The kingdom began fifty days after his death and resurrection, and the supper had its beginning on this earth .about 33 A.D. The second invitation extends to the whole world throughout the Christian age of the world. People have been invited to this feast for over 2,000 years. I extend the invitation to one and all, “All things are ready. Come to the feast.” The only ones who accept this invitation are those who become Christians.
The primary application of this parable when Jesus was on th earth was to Jews. They were the first ones invited to this religious banquet.. Some accepted the invitation, but the nation as a whole rejected the message of John the Baptist and rejected Jesus as their Messiah. Most of the nation even rejected Him after He arose from the dead and returned to heaven. When the religious part of the nation made trivial excuses for rejecting Christ, the parable says that the Master was angry and commanded his servants to go into the streets and invite the poor, the lame and the blind, and they accepted the invitation. This referred to the common people of Israel, the tax collectors, the immoral, and the peasants, many of whom accepted the gospel. The secondary application of the parable is to the Gentiles, many of whom will reject Christ for the same reasons that the Jews
did. Paul said of the Gentiles, “Not many noble, not many wise are called.”
One important lesson taught in the parable is the folly of offering excuses for refusing to obey the gospel and become Christians. One man bought a farm and said he had to go see it. Another said he bought some cattle an needed to go and examine them. The third man had just got married and therefore felt he couldn't come. These excuses represent figuratively most all reasons why people refuse to become Christians. They were all cover-ups. Not one of them was a valid reason, not to come to the feast. Pleasure, business, immorality and social relations–these are the reasons people do not become Christians. The real cause is they have no concern for the kingdom of Christ or the things of Christ. These excuses do not exhaust all the causes for not obeying the gospel. They just represent examples of every day causes of indifference and unconcern for God, Christ and His church. To all these excuses one thing is common-- a present good or interest is preferred above the heavenly offer. In other words, temporal good is valued higher than spiritual good. The desires of the body are more important than value of the soul. Another beautiful thing this parable shows is God's love and mercy in offering salvation to all people alike: the rich and the poor; the religious and unreligious; the educated and uneducated; the wise and the simple. Also, it demonstrates that poor and unknown people of earth will be more willing to accept salvation than the rich, prominent and worldly wise.
Finally, we learn that all who accept the Lord's invitation are saved and all who reject it are lost. This great supper began over 2000 years ago in Jerusalem and will continue through the Christian age until Christ ends it with His second coming. There was never was and never will be another feast like the one mentioned in this parable. Christian feast at this supper every Lord's Day when the assemble in holy worship and feast around the Lord's Table in grateful memory of His death on the cross. A prominent part of this great supper is The Lord's Supper.