So I was reading in the book of Luke today and I came across the parable of the Dinner. I was asking the Holy Spirit to show me some insight into what is going on in this passage and I wanted to share that with you. So let’s get started.
But He said to him, “A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many; and at the dinner hour he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for everything is ready now.’Luke 14:16-17 NASB1995
So the parable starts out with a story about a man who has planned a big dinner for people. He sends out the invitations and then prepares the dinner. After it is all said and done, he then goes to his servant and tells him to bring those who were invited to the dinner. So the servant goes out. But before we get to that, I want to point out that before the dinner was ready, the man had already sent out the invitations. Remember that.
But they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it; please consider me excused.’Luke 14:18 NASB1995
So when the servant goes out to bring those who were invited back to his master’s house for dinner, he encouters some resistance. All the people who were invited had come up with excuses as to why they couldn’t be at the dinner. So let’s break down what they said. The first excuse was that they had bought some land and had to go look at it. Now for starters, who buys a piece of land without first looking at it? This person is either foolish or is lying. And not only that, but is the land going anywhere? No, so he can inspect his land later. Now remember when I said that you should remember that the man had already sent out the invitation? That plays into the situation as well. You see the man already knew about the dinner. It wasn’t as if the plan had just been dropped on him out of the blue. So he was already invited and he didn’t plan accordingly. That shows you how much he really cared about the dinner. But I think the most important thing here is looking at why he didn’t go to the dinner. He was too busy working on his own plans and specifically his own wealth. Land in general is a type of asset, and is often a type of wealth. So this man was too concerned about his wealth to make time to go to the wedding. Let’s move on to the next excuse.
Another one said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.’Luke 14:19 NASB1995
The next excuse that the servant hears is that the person invited couldn’t go because they had plans to try out their yoke of oxen that they just bought. So just as in every case, the person already knew about the dinner and had not planned for it. But in this specific case the person’s excuse has to do with their work. They saw their work as more important than the dinner. And of course they can try out the new yoke of oxen anytime they want. But because they are too focused on work, they won’t wait for another day.
Another one said, ‘I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come.’Luke 14:20 NASB1995
So in this last excuse, the reason for not coming was because of a man’s wife. Now this one seems to me to be the silliest of them all. He decides that he can come because he has a wife? Why not just take your wife with you? I think this last one has to do with relationships. The man could not come because he valued his relationship over the dinner, and even used them as an excuse.
And the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the head of the household became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’Luke 14:21 NASB1995
So after the slave comes back and tells the master that none of those invited would come, the master tells the slave to go out into the streets to get people. Now the people that the master wants are the poor, crippled, blind, and lame. But why does he want all of these people? It is because these people will be grateful for the dinner that he has planned. They are also people who would actually need the dinner. So the master is looking for people who actually want and need the thing that he planned.
And the slave said, ‘Master, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ And the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled.Luke 14:22-23 NASB1995
And then after the servant goes into the streets, there is still more room! So the master tells the servant to go out into the highways and the hedges to get people. And I think the Holy Spirit has shown me that this is speaking of the gentiles. But regardless of what that means, the master is still looking for people who want and need to be at his dinner. But what he says last I think is most important.
For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste of my dinner.’ ”Luke 14:24 NASB1995
The master says that none of the men that were invited were going to taste of the dinner that he had planned. So what can we learn from this parable. I believe the Holy Spirit has shown me that those excuses that the men made in this parable are actually some of the excuses that people make today. People reject the gospel and push it off because of work, wealth, and people. They don’t follow the Lord because they are too interested in their work or their ‘yoke of oxen’. People don’t follow the Lord because they are too interested in building their own wealth. And people don’t follow the Lord because they are too interested in other people and what they think. So the lesson is that if you chose any of these over the Lord and what He has prepared for you, then you will not taste of the dinner. So take an honest look at your life today and ask the Holy Spirit to show you the areas of your life where you are putting work, wealth, and people ahead of God.
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