|Church School Lesson: Join The Party|
"Join the Party"
July 29, 2018
Background: Luke 14:15-24; Print: Luke 14:15-24;
Key Verse: Luke 14:21; Devotional: Luke 14:25-33
Luke 14:15-24 (NKJV)
15 Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, "Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!"
16 Then He said to him, "A certain man gave a great supper and invited many,
17 and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, 'Come, for all things are now ready.'
18 But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, 'I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.'
19 And another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.'
20 Still another said, 'I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.'
21 So that servant came and reported these things to his master. 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 here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.'
22 And the servant said, 'Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.'
23 Then the master said to the servant, 'Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
24 For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.' "
Luke Chapter 14 (Commentary)
14:15-24: The man sitting at the table with Jesus envisioned the glory of God's Kingdom, but he did not yet understand how to have a share in it. In Jesus' story, many people turned down the invitation to the banquet because the timing was inconvenient. We, too, may resist or delay responding to God's invitation, and our excuses may sound reasonable--work duties, family responsibilities, financial needs, or other reasons. Nevertheless, God's invitation is the most important event in your life, no matter how inconveniently it may be timed. Are you making excuses to avoid responding to God's call? Jesus reminds us that the time will come when God will pull his invitation and offer it to others--then it will be too late to get into the banquet.
14:16ff: The custom was to send two invitations to a party: the first to announce the event and the second to tell the guests that everything was ready. The guests in Jesus' story insulted the host by making excuses when he issued the second invitation. In Israel's history, God's first invitation came from Moses and the prophets; the second came from his Son. The religious leaders accepted the first invitation. They believed that God had called them to be his people, but they insulted God by refusing to accept his Son. Thus, as the master in the story sent his servant into the streets to invite the needy to his banquet, so God sent his Son to a whole world of needy people to tell them that God's Kingdom had arrived and was ready for them.
14:16ff: In this chapter we read Jesus' words against seeking status and in favor of hard work and even suffering. Let us not lose sight of the end result of all our humility and self-sacrifice--a joyous banquet with our Lord! God never asks us to suffer for the sake of suffering. He never asks us to give up something good unless he plans to replace it with something even better. Jesus is not calling us to join him in a labor camp but in a feast--the wedding feast of the Lamb (Revelation 19:6-9), when God and his beloved church will be joined forever.