February 6, 2019
In Luke 14:12-24, Jesus again addresses the Pharisees and scribes with whom he is dining. This time he tells them that radical generosity is required when one invites guests to a banquet or feast, especially to the poor, lame, and crippled. This statement seems to be getting at the cost of discipleship, which Jesus will detail in 14:25-33. The point is that even though some cannot reciprocate materially the generosity shown to them at the feast, we should still show them kindness in inviting them to the table. In doing so, Jesus says you will still receive a reward (or, blessing) "at the resurrection of the just" (see 1 Corinthians 15:12ff.). One particular guest becomes excited after hearing this, and proclaims "Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God" (14:15)! Thus, the guest draws a connection between an invitation to a banquet and the banquet in the Old Testament that celebrates God"s reign (see Isaiah 25:6). A banquet invitation, then, is a symbol of God"s reign.
This guest, however, is overly confident in his own status as an attendee, and Jesus deflates his smug sense of security in the following parable. Jesus illustrates that there is a coming banquet, God"s banquet, in which those who were originally invited will miss. The original attendees make excuses for missing the feast, and thus the Master of the house replaces their invitations with those who are "poor and crippled and blind and lame" (14:21). And even though none of the original invitees are able to come to the banquet, "there is still room" (14:22)!
The "banquet" that Jesus speaks kazinomons of is not a local affair, but concerns the kingdom of God, which is present in Jesus, and which is yet to be fully realized. In the future, God"s banquet is Jesus" banquet. We see this in Revelation 19:9, the ultimate fulfillment of Jesus" parable in Luke 14: And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”
The issues facing believers who read Luke 14 today are indeed weighty. So let us prepare for worship, lest we fail to meet the test! A selection of songs that we will sing this week include the following. Videos provided by Scott Bacher: