I preached Sunday on Luke 14:15-24 and focused on the most valuable invitation that has ever been extended, the invitation to know Jesus. Jesus told of a certain man who gave a banquet, a great supper. I think this is ultimately a reference to the great Marriage Supper of the Lamb in Revelation 19. Everything was prepared, and the host sent his servant to invite many to the table. Many who were invited, made excuses, and the servant returned to the house to tell him what happened. So the host told the servant to go out and bring people in.
The servant said what the host ordered, had been done, and yet there was still room. So the directive from the host was to go out, and compel people to come in so that the house would be filled. Those originally invited would not be present.
The invitation was extended because preparation has been made. Luke 14:17 “Come, because everything is NOW ready.” This speaks to the abundant salvation God freely provides for sinners. God has accomplished everything necessary for our salvation! Jesus has secured salvation, and the table has been set in the presence of God. How could anyone reject such an invitation?
Sadly, the invitation will be rejected by some. For the most part, the Jews rejected the invitation which came in Jesus the Messiah. Christ would have saved every Jew if they would have turned to Him but they refused to do so. God was more than willing to save them, but they refused. The people made excuses.They were preoccupied with other things. Many people make excuses today and all excuses ultimately come down to unbelief for which there is no excuse.
It was a wonderful invitation, and yet it was refused. The instruction followed for the servant to go out into the streets and the alleys of the city and bring in the poor, maimed, blind, and lame. Jesus came to heal the sick and those who understand that apart from faith they are poor, maimed, blind and lame. There are serious consequences of ignoring or rejecting the invitation. There is plenty of room in Heaven for all who will believe and follow Jesus.
The invitation will be accepted by others. Jesus said of the kingdom, “People will come from east and west, from north and south, to share the banquet of the kingdom of God” Luke 13:29. The invitation from Jesus is an invitation to follow, to abide, to rest, and to prepare.
As we follow Jesus, we have the privilege to invite people to know him. Luke 14:23 “Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them come in, so that my house may be filled.” Go and compel people with a sense of urgency. Compel them with the love of God. Compel people with the promise of forgiveness and eternal life!