“Jesus Invites Us to Supper”



Welcome to “Key to the Kingdom.” My name is Bret McCasland. Throughout Jesus' ministry on Earth, He oftentimes told parables or stories to illustrate His teaching. He mentions things about which the people could relate to and understand. And these stories provided an opportunity for the people to consider how they needed to respond to His teaching. Jesus taught His disciples to live with humility and to think about others who were overlooked and neglected. He illustrated that, then, by teaching and sharing some stories about hospitality. There was also a hidden message in those stories. In our study today, of Luke chapter 14, we will consider how Jesus invites us to be part of an eternal banquet feast in heaven, which He is hosting. Preparations for that feast are being made, and we can look forward with anticipation to that special occasion. Jesus extends that invitation to all people, everywhere. He invites you and me and everyone else to that supper. No matter what our economic or social standing might be, we are invited. And more than anything else, Jesus wants us to receive His special invitation. For the next few minutes, we will draw some comparisons from what Jesus taught His disciples to our own lives. We will think about how we are to be humble and hospitable to those around us. We will also consider how we can join Him in that great and eternal banquet feast in heaven. I trust you will be blessed by this message. Open your heart now as we study together from God's Word.



Some people enjoy inviting others into their home for a meal. Some like to invite their family, their friends, perhaps even their next door neighbor; and they enjoy those times of good food and fellowship. Well, something similar takes place in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 14. Jesus is invited into the home of a rich ruler on a Sabbath day. And while Jesus is there, He teaches three lessons, or He shares three stories, about eating a meal, which is what they were about to do. And yet, hospitality was not really the point of this particular event. Rather, it was a time to question, to judge, or perhaps even to catch Jesus in doing something wrong. Let’s notice how this all begins here in Luke chapter 14, with verse 1. <One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, He was being carefully watched.> There are two very interesting things that happen. Number one, Jesus is invited. Only rich people could afford to host such banquets or meals, and they only invited those who were rich. They invited people like themselves. And if someone else happened to be invited they probably would not come, because they knew they would not be welcome. Oh, in the day of Jesus, people did not cross social or economic boundaries. Very distinct lines were drawn. Well, the host knew Jesus’ ministry focused on the poor and the neglected people of society. And in fact, it did. Jesus healed a woman in chapter 13. He then healed someone right there in their midst on the Sabbath day. Jesus did not respect, nor did He keep, the various traditions and rituals of the Pharisees, and the host knew it. Well, the other people in attendance could perhaps enhance the host’s reputation, and that is why they were there. They were there to perhaps make him look just a little bit better. And they, in turn, wanted to good look good, themselves, in the eyes of Jesus by saying that we are associated with the one who has invited You. Well, while all of this was going on, they watched Jesus very closely, as to what He would say and as to what He would do. The second thing we notice about the story here is that Jesus now criticizes the host and his friends. He addresses their selfish desire to be recognized; and, He does that with a story which is found beginning with verse 8 in the 14th chapter. <“When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”> In Luke's gospel, as I mentioned just a moment ago, Jesus is portrayed as one who reaches out to the poor, the abused, the neglected and the overlooked people of society. However, here in chapter 14, we find Jesus in the home of a rich man. And this shows that Jesus loves the rich as well as the poor; that His message and His ministry is available to all people; that, Jesus does not draw those distinctions or boundary lines. The Old Testament prophet, Isaiah, looked to a time when people from all walks of life would be a part of God's kingdom. And I want us to notice a passage here in Isaiah 25, beginning with verse 6, that gives us some background and insight as to what is happening here in Luke chapter 14. Notice these words from Isaiah. <On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine- the best of meats and the finest of wines. On this mountain He will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; He will remove His people’s disgrace from all the Earth. The Lord has spoken. In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted Him, and He saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in Him; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.”> Isaiah envisions a great banquet, to be held at the end of history, in which the Lord of Hosts will spread His banquet and will serve the people. Now this banquet will be held on the holy mountain of the Lord, and people will come from all nations. People will come from the four corners of the earth, and they will take part in this grand celebration, this grand banquet feast, which has been prepared for them. We notice also, death will come to an end, tears will be wiped away. Yes, it will be a glorious day of salvation. And when we think about the Good News of the Gospel message, today, we recognize that we, as individuals, can take part in that heavenly banquet. And yet at the same time, it is also about how God will heal and restore and unite a broken world, through His son, Jesus Christ. Jesus had, in fact, been teaching about that very thing in the previous chapter, Luke chapter 13 in verses 22 through 30. And His teaching was, that in that heavenly banquet, people will come from all different directions; the north, the south, east and the west. And they will all eat together at that banquet table with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and others who belong to the household of God. Well, the host and his friends heard, perhaps, the teaching of Jesus in chapter 13. They knew well the teaching from the Old Testament prophet Isaiah, in chapter 25. And all of that offended them. Oh, they thought they had it all figured out. They believed they would be the special ones, perhaps even the only ones who could enjoy that banquet feast with Abraham. And they certainly did not want to share that great banquet feast with others, whom they consider to be unworthy or perhaps even inferior. Well, Jesus continues to teach along this same line. He wants the rich host and his friends to be humble and to not overlook those who are poor and less fortunate. Let’s notice the second thing Jesus said, His second story, beginning with verse 12. <Then Jesus said to His host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”> By telling this story, this parable, Jesus says this is what your dinner party is supposed to look like. It is not about inviting your friends. Instead, it is about inviting those who would greatly benefit from such a meal. It is about inviting those who cannot repay you in the same way. And by that, Jesus is teaching the host and his friends to see other people and to recognize the fact that no one is more important than anyone else. Well, Jesus shares one final story, to further emphasize the importance of a meal and who is invited; and we find that in verse 16 and following. Here, Jesus tells a story about three people who have been invited and have, in fact, accepted an invitation to a meal. And yet, when it comes time for them to show up, they offer different excuses. Invitations to such a meal were given several weeks in advance, and there were two parts to that invitation. Number one, the place was announced. The master would send out his servant and he would invite some people to come to a banquet that would be held in the future. And those people either said yes or no, at that first invitation. The second invitation came, then, whenever the meal was ready, when it was on the table and ready to be eaten. Well, it was customary to prepare such a meal in a single day. Animals were killed and they were prepared and the meal was cooked, and everything was made ready. They did not have the privilege that so many enjoy today, of refrigeration and freezers and that kind of thing, and so the meal had to be consumed in roughly a 24 hour period or it would be wasted. And so the master wanted to know, and have a good idea of, exactly how many people to prepare a meal. He did not want to have too much, so that it would be wasted. He did not want to have too little, so that the people would go without. And that was the importance of having two invitations. Well, together, the three people who had been invited and had accepted that invitation now try to ruin the event. They want it to fail, and in doing so, they want to humiliate the host. And all three of them make excuses as to why they cannot show up. And yet, they are really intentional lies. The first one, for example, states that he has purchased a field and so he cannot go. He needs to go and look at that field, even though he has not ever seen it. Now, owning land was important to people then, as it is to many people today, and so he offered that as an excuse. The second man offered a similar excuse. He stated he had bought some oxen and he now wanted to go and try them out. He wanted to make sure they were about the same size and they were mature and they could work together in pulling a plow across a field. The third person then offered an excuse, but his was a little bit different than the first two. He stated that he had recently got married and therefore he could not show up. But in contrast to the other two. This man did not even ask to be excused, but rather he said some things that were very crude and quite rude. These three people made excuses for not attending a banquet to which they had already accepted, because their possessions were more important than their commitments. What they owned was more important to them than following through with the commitment they had already made. Well, when the host hears that, he becomes angry. He knows these are only excuses. He realizes the apologies are nothing more than insults. And he has every right to retaliate with insults of his own, or even to threaten some kind of action against them. And yet, he does not do that. His anger quickly turns to grace, and he orders his servant to go back out and to invite the village outcast and to invite those who are traveling on the road to come and to enjoy his banquet feast, which is now ready and prepared. In doing so, he will not allow these three to damage or to ruin what he has already prepared. And also by doing that, he fulfills the teaching which we just noticed here in verse 12 and following, inviting the crippled and the lame and the poor, those who are unable to repay him back. This host might even be ridiculed by the people. And some might say, “Well, he can only host a meal for the nobodies of this world.” And yet that doesn't bother him at all. You know, one thing the people did not understand, here, was that Jesus, Himself, would soon be the host of such a banquet feast. And He will invite everyone to be there, especially those who are overlooked and neglected. And this banquet feast, to which everyone is invited, is unlike any other. It is a never-ending time of feasting and fellowship with the God of this world and with His son, Jesus Christ. Jesus does not want anyone to miss out. He wants everyone to be there. It is the invitation and the banquet feast that Jesus invites us to accept and to enjoy. And yet, like the story He just told, there will be many who accept the first invitation from Jesus but refuse the second invitation. Many people today will say, “Well, yes, Jesus, I want to be your follower. I want to be one of your disciples and to take part in that great banquet feast.” And yet there will be many who will choose not to do so. They will not follow through with that commitment. They won't pursue Jesus and walk in His footsteps and become His disciple. And the point of what Jesus is trying to say here is simply this: That, we cannot participate in the Lord's Banquet feast unless we show up. We cannot take part in what God has prepared for us unless we follow through with the commitment we have made to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. If we reject God's invitation, then we only harm ourselves. We say no to the grace which God extends to all people everywhere, through His son, Jesus Christ. Yes, God's mission in this world is to continually invite those who are willing to accept and to show up at the banquet feast which He has prepared and offers to all people. And again, the wonderful thing about it is, anyone can come in. We may be wealthy and have lots of friends. We may be poor and have very little to call our own. And yet, none of that matters to Jesus. His banquet feast is ready to enjoy. His banquet feast is something He invites everyone to come and to participate in, at just the right time. Well, it's interesting, also, to notice Jesus, Himself, offers that personal invitation. He doesn't send out His servant, but He, Himself, goes and He invites people to come in. And we see that in two places in the book called Revelation, that Jesus, Himself invites you and me and everyone else to what is prepared. Let's look at those two invitations. The first one is found in Revelation chapter 3, in verse 20. These are the words of Christ: <Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with Me.> Picture that scene, if you will. Jesus is knocking on the door of our hearts, and He invites us to open that door from the inside and to receive Jesus, to accept His invitation. And once we do, we allow Him to come in and we are able to meet with Him and eat with Him and to enjoy that time of fellowship. Yes, Jesus makes that personal invitation, but it is up to us to receive it, to receive His love and salvation, and what He has in store for us. The second invitation, which comes from Jesus, is at the end of Revelation, chapter 22, verse 17, it reads like this: <The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.> Three times in that one verse, Jesus says, “Come.” The invitation revolves around showing up; that we go to Jesus; that we take the water of life, as we are spiritually thirsty, and we receive from Him that spiritual nourishment that He so freely offers to all people. Oh, what an invitation Jesus extends to all people, everywhere. And with those two invitations, Jesus invites us to be a part of something very special. Oh, I hope and pray, today, that we have received that invitation, and that we are anxiously awaiting that eternal banquet feast in heaven with the Lord and with all of those who are a part of God's family. And yet, if not, I pray that we will think very carefully about receiving the invitation of the Lord, to be a part of His family, as He invites us to supper and to that eternal home with our Father in heaven.



We all have our favorite places to eat and certain foods we enjoy eating. We think about going out and enjoying a meal at our favorite restaurant. And I look forward to doing that; perhaps you do as well. One of the things that makes that food or that restaurant so special might just be the owner or the people who serve us. They always make us feel welcome and make sure that we have everything we need. In the Bible, we read about a very special meal that is being prepared and planned by a very special owner. His name is Jesus Christ. He is preparing, what is called in the Bible, a great banquet or the supper of the Lamb. And He will be our host. He will make sure that we don't run out of anything, and everything will be wonderful. The food we eat will never run out. And we will be there in the presence of the Lord, and with others who are a part of God's family. And we will enjoy His presence and we will enjoy that banquet feast, and it will be special. But Jesus doesn't just send an invitation by the mail for us to take part in that. He knocks on the door of our heart, and He wants us to open our heart and to receive that invitation so that we can be a part of that very special occasion. I hope today that you are anticipating and looking forward to being a part of that great banquet feast, and that you have received the invitation of the Lord and that you are prepared to be a part of that prepared meal in heaven for all eternity.



Thank you for being our guest today on “Key to the Kingdom.” The invitation from Jesus to be part of His eternal banquet feast is open and available to all. I hope you have received it and are anticipating that eternal home with the Lord. This message is available on our website, keytothekingdom.com. You are more than welcome to download it in various formats in order to listen to or watch it again. It is free to do so, and there is no commitment involved. While visiting the website, please take a few minutes to look at some of the other things we offer. A number of previous lessons are there, along with short thought provoking messages. You will also find some Bible studies and our basic foundational beliefs. They will hopefully be of assistance, as you seek to grow in your spiritual walk with the Lord. A free phone app, which can be downloaded onto a smart-phone, is also available. It will give you immediate access to our website and to the one minute daily devotional thoughts. Facebook® provides more convenient ways to gain access to this media ministry. Take a minute to watch and like the weekly post on Facebook®, then share them with others. And finally, by calling the number on the screen, you can leave a message, which will be returned. Again, let me say thank you for tuning in to today's message. I invite you to join us again next time, as we continue to study the Bible on “Key to the Kingdom.”