Walking in Truth Devotional Update
The Parable of the Great Banquet
This parable is like the Parable of the Wedding Feast in Matthew 22:1:14) but with some differences.
At the mention of the resurrection, in the previous verses (v. 14) someone at the table with Jesus said, “Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God” (verse 15). In reply, Jesus tells the Parable of the Great Banquet.
Two elements to note here: (1) This was to be a “great” banquet, and (2) The host has planned a large feast with room for a great number of guests. This is no small, intimate gathering.
Jesus takes this opportunity at the meal to describe a grand meal in “the kingdom of God.” There are many opinions as to who the certain man who gave the feast may be, as well as the servant. It really does not affect the parable and its meaning. The plain fact is that God the Father and the Son have invited everyone to enter the Kingdom and enjoy the great feast in the resurrection. Every one of these kinds of events had two invitations: the one that let you know you would be future invited and then the second invitation came when everything was ready.
The invitation is “Come, for all things are now ready.” The Kingdom had been in preparation since before the foundations of the world were even laid (Eph. 3:10-11). In the fulness of time Jesus came and gave His life for the establishment of the Kingdom and it was established in Acts 2: Since that day the invitation has gone out into all the world to come into the Kingdom.
However, as people were being invited to the feast, they all began to make excuses for rejecting the invitation. McGarvey in his commentary points out that the excuses offered progress in disrespect, for the first excuse is on the ground of necessity, the second simply offers a reason, and the third is almost impudent in its bluntness.”
When the master of the house heard these flimsy excuses, he was angry. He told his servant to forget the guest list and go into the back streets and alleyways of the town and invite “the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame” (verse 21). The servant had already brought in the down-and-out townspeople, and still there was room in the banquet hall. So, the master sent his servant on a broader search: “Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full” (verses 22-23).
Jesus ends the parable by relating the master’s determination that “not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet” (verse 24).
The righteous Pharisees despised the teaching of the Lord because they were convinced, due to their careful observance of the law and their traditions, and their Abrahamic ancestry they would be sitting at the great banquet in the Kingdom. They would not only be there, but they would be in the prominent seats. Jesus always sought to shatter false religious hope. He never put His arm around a Pharisee and said we all we worship the same God, we’re both going to be there, You’re my brother. The religious leaders of the Jews were convinced they were in a right relationship with God, but they weren’t.
Jesus had just told them back in verses 12 and 13, “When you have a dinner don’t just invite your brothers and your friends and the rich but find the poor and the crippled and the blind and the lame.” And this again appears here. Go at once into the streets and lanes in the city. The great invitation of the Lord is “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matt. 11:28-30).
Notice verse 24: “For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall tastemy supper.” Jesus is no longer talking about the man and his dinner. He is talking about heaven and the Messianic dinner. This is the heavenly celebration for the righteous from all walks of life who accepted the Lord’s invitation. Those who refuse His invitation to enter the kingdom will not eat at His table. Paul states the same: “and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”
Quit making excuses and obey the gospel today, my beloved friends.
By Guy Roberson
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