A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations. When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant to tell the guests, “Come, the banquet is ready.” But they all began making excuses…. Luke 14:16 -17 (NLT)
Times haven’t changed much when it comes to parties and celebrations. Even the customs of the Jews included at least two invitations to a party, like a “save the date” followed by a second invitation when everything was ready. Jesus told a story to illustrate the greatest feast of all to come – a banquet in the Kingdom of God! In His story, He tells of a man who prepares a great banquet and sends out two invitations – the first to announce the event and the second to tell the guests that everything was ready. Yet, on the big day, one after the other responded with excuses as to why they couldn’t attend; it’s not a good time for me, I’m too busy to come, I have family responsibilities or financial needs. Sound familiar? How often has God’s invitation in your life been crowded out by similar excuses? In this story, Jesus reminds us that a time will come when God will pull His invitation to us and offer it to others if we refuse to respond. At that time, it will be too late to get into the banquet!
I wonder if the religious leaders got the message. Did they understand He was speaking to them? The first invitation came through Moses and the prophets of old. The second one was standing before them personally. The Savior Himself had come to invite them to the banquet of God’s Kingdom and they were rejecting His invitation! They insulted God by refusing to accept His Son! The Kingdom of God has come to us all through Christmas! Like the man in the story who sent his servant into the streets to invite the needy to his banquet, God sent His Son to a whole world of needy people to tell them that His Kingdom had arrived and was ready for them. That includes you and me today! Have you sent Him your RSVP? What a privilege to be invited to the greatest banquet of all! Your reply will determine your destiny.