Theme: Reactions to God’s Invitation
This week we learn about the indifferent, even arrogant way men and women respond to God
And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”’ But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
Today we continue our discussion of the parable of the wedding banquet. We are looking first at the responses of those who were invited. Some who are invited to the gospel banquet do not openly express their hatred of the one who gives it, but they make excuses. The first said that he had just bought a field, and had to inspect it. The second said that he had just bought five yoke of oxen and was on his way to try them out. The third had perhaps the most perplexing excuse: “I just got married, so I can’t come” (Luke 14:18-20).
Each of those excuses is trifling. As Jesus tells it, it is not a case of a man’s being on his deathbed, unable to move, nor a womans being kept at home by a violent husband. Not one of these excuses has any weight at all. So what if a man had just bought a field? There is no reason why he would have had to see it on that particular day and miss the banquet. The field could wait. There was no reason why the second person had to try out his oxen, He could have waited a few days. Even the excuse about marriage had no substance, Are we to think that a new bride would be unwelcome at a feast to which her husband was invited?
Besides that, the invitation was not the first they had received. In both versions of the parable Jesus speaks of the invitation being sent to those who had already been invited once. There was no excuse for the guests to have failed to have arranged their schedules accordingly. When the final summons came they should have been anticipating the banquet eagerly.
Many who reject the gospel invitation today have equally flimsy excuses and will rightly incur the King’s wrath. They say they are too busy for spiritual things. They say they have fields or patients or bonds or whatever it is that imprisons their souls and keeps them from faith in him who brings salvation. Charles Spurgeon, whom I quoted earlier, tells of a ship owner who was visited by a godly man. The Christian asked, Well, sir, what is the state of your soul” to which the merchant replied, Soul? I have no time to take care of my soul. I have enough to do just taking care of my ships.” But he was not too busy to die, which he did a week later.1
Do you fit that pattern? Are you more interested in your good credit than in Christ? Do you read the stock quotations more than you read your Bible? You do not have to murder a prophet to miss out. You have only to fritter away your time on things that will eventually pass away and thus let your opportunities for repentance and faith pass by.
1 Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Making Light of Christ In The New Park Street Pulpit, Pasadena, Tex: Pilgrim Publications, 1975), vol. 2, p. 358
What honest reason is hidden behind the answers those invited give for not being able to come to the kings banquet?
What excuses do people give today for turning away Christs invitation?
Pray for those who not know God and are making excuses. Pray that they will desperately see their need. Pray that you will not put live’s tasks before God; that you will make God paramount in your life.