“Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’ “ Luke 14:23-24 (NIV)
Someone exclaims, “Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.” (Verse 15) Jesus continues with His parables on banquets, guests and the Master of the house. But what kind of people does Christ describe? Is He talking about the ones who supposedly have the right to eat at the Lord´s table in Paradise? Is that what He finds? Could Jesus be accusing the very people who should wear the name of the Lord? Were there people there that day listening to Jesus´ words that should have been the most informed on the movements and desires of God? Are these the kind of people Jesus describes in His story?
If we take all the characters described and make the story talk about that future day when the Lord calls us all to a banquet in Heaven, who are these invited guests who do not make enough of the feast to drop everything and come running? Would it be so easy to pass it off on another person? Or might we want to proceed with caution? What was it that these people had in common? Were the ones who had an excuse not to attend the feast only thinking of themselves? Were they more preoccupied with their own lives? Were they too busy wrapped up in their own business here to give the proper importance to the requests of the Master of the House? Is this a real situation we too could face today?
When we hear of a great gathering in the House of God, do we get a little excited to be one of those who have heard the invitation? Are we happy to have our names on His list of confided guests? Even better, if we have heard His call and have stepped out in faith, do we have an even greater claim to have our seat reserved there on that day? Before we get too puffed up on ourselves could we let the words of Jesus sink in to the depths of our heart? Could we hear those words as if they held instruction for us too? Which people In Jesus´ parable would we like to resemble? Where would we place ourselves if there was still time to model ourselves into His descriptions? Would we like to find ourselves to be those overly confident ones who the Master swears will not participate? Or would it go better for us to resemble the hungry beggars from the street? Would we let our attention stray from God and His banquet and focus on our own comings and goings? Or would we like to be like those poor souls who listened to the invitation from above and were moved to come? Would we fill our lives with many important issues and distractions here? Or would we take the invitation serious enough that we do not let our Host down by getting carried away with our own affairs?
Dear Jesus, can You see into our hearts? Can You look into our souls and tell us where our affections really lie? When the day comes to attend a special feast, where will we be looking? Will we be too busy with our lives to take the call seriously? Please draw us close enough today that we can see where our loyalties lie. Show us what is truly important. Show if our attention should be upon ourselves, or on knowing the Host Who has invited us to a great Banquet! Let us start a habit of living now for that future day. Let us cultivate our relationship with the Owner of the House. Give us hearts of poverty so that we are available like some were in Your stories. Let us hunger for You and the nourishment that You can bring. Let us be those blessed guests, we pray! Not merely those invited, but those moved to come!