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In Lent 24 by Bruce LogueLeave a Comment

“The master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the roads and lanes, and compel people to come in so that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those who were invited will taste my dinner.'”

Luke 14:12-22

Jesus never missed an opportunity to teach, and his invitation to a “leader of the Pharisees” was such an opportunity. He leads the conversation with a teaching about what you can learn about the Kingdom of God from meals. What’s true at the meals mentioned tend to be true about the values of the Kingdom.

The first thing Jesus said was to warn about seeking the place of honor at a banquet. Sit in a lowly place is Jesus’ wisdom, and if you are so invited, move up to the head table. Humility in the kingdom of God is a premier value. In the Kingdom, the first is actually last.

In Jesus’ etiquette book for the Kingdom of Heaven, he told the group that they should not invite people who can invite you back. If you give a banquet, “invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.” The group invited to the leader’s banquet were probably the elite of society. Jesus was not impressed.

Jesus finishes his dinner instructions by talking also about the invitees. Hard to believe is the fact that not everyone will accept the invitation. Not wanting to appear rude they often give excuses like, “I’ve got a new piece of land that I need to examine.” Or “‘ve just bought a yoke of oxen.” Or “I’ve just gotten married.” All these excuses disguise the real reason which is they didn’t want to accept the invitation.

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