“Now it happened, as He went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him closely.” Luke 14:1.
“Then He [Jesus] also said to him who invited Him. ‘When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.’” Luke 14:12-14.
This does not mean that you cannot have friends over for dinner, because that would stop a lot of fellowship among Christians, relatives and neighbors.
No, I believe that most of these suppers that the Lord described are meant to impress others either by the host’s own riches or by letting others see how important they are by the big names that show up.
Read all of Luke 14, there is a great deal of information that may interest you.
After hearing Jesus’ words on humility and sharing with the downcast a man spoke up, and opened the way for Jesus to speak of a great supper to come.
“Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, ‘Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!’” Luke 14:15.
Recall here that Jesus was in the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees and that their attitude was critical toward Him. As a result it is difficult to gauge the sincerity of this man whether he is just mouthing words that he has been taught all his life, or if he is beginning to believe in Jesus as the Christ.
What is clear is that the Lord Jesus is the Man giving this great supper and that those initially invited are the leadership of the Jews who represent the whole nation of Israel.
“Then He said to him, ‘A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, “Come, for all things are now ready.” But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them, I ask you to have me excused.’ Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’” Luke 14:16-20.
Note that none of these invitations are spur of the moment; all of these folks were invited.
The same goes for the arrival of the Christ, He was anticipated, prophesied of, fulfilled prophesies, and gave a great deal of proof that He was God incarnate through His many miracles, and yet they rejected Him.
“Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven. He answered and said to them, ‘When it is evening you say, “It will be fair weather, for the sky is red”; and in the morning, “It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.” Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.’” Matthew 16:1-3.
Christians may not know the day or the hour of Christ’s return to take us away, only God knows, but we should be able to discern the signs of the times.
“I have bought a piece of ground; and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.” Who buys a piece of land without first inspecting it? This, like all of the excuses is lame and contrived; it is insulting to the intellect.
What was wrong with, at least inspecting it the next morning? This was certainly typical of the Pharisees and rulers of Israel, they were, power hungry, treacherous, evil, worldly men grasping for more of the things of this world which they would have, right now. Even if they have to knowingly reject their Messiah.
“Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, ‘What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.’” John 11:47-48.
“…deliver my life from the wicked with Your sword, with Your hand from men, O Lord, from men of the world who have their portion in this life, and whose belly You fill with Your hidden treasure. They are satisfied with children, and leave the rest of their possession for their babes.” Psalm 17:13b-14.
“I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.” Again why test them that very day, why buy oxen without already having tested them?
This person is insulting his host and showing his own stupidity by buying animals he knows nothing about. Why not test them the next day and fulfill both obligations?
Folks like this are wrapped up in worldly things which they covet and have fixed their heart on, they are blind to the things of God. This is a form of idolatry.
“Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:5.
“I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.” Who would not know that their wedding date would conflict with this dinner invitation? Why would he not just ask if he and his wife could both come?
This is a person who is married to the world. He has settled down with the earth as his home, he is a carnal person, more interested in satisfying his fleshly lusts than in the things of God.
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally [fleshly] minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:5-8.
Bear in mind that this has nothing to do with marriage itself; rather it goes to the condition of the heart.
Marriage between an adult man and woman, whether conducted in a Buddhist or Hindu temple, in church, or the local courthouse is to be respected, and is honored by God. Men ought to do the same.
“Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” Hebrews 13:4.
“So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to this servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed [crippled] and the lame and the blind.’ And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’” Luke 14:21-22.
The use of the words, “Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city…” indicate that Jesus, the master of the house, is referring to Israelites to whom He was sent to first. There is good reason for this conjecture.
“But He answered [His disciples] and said, ‘I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.’” Matthew 15:24.
“These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: ‘Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.’” Matthew 10:5-6.
The master of the house told his servant to something similar to the things we read at the beginning of this study; go out and bring in, “…the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.” This is so much like Jesus’ call to the Jews in other places.
“Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s [Matthew the disciple] house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, ‘How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?’ When Jesus heard it, He said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance’” Mark 2:15-17.
“For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base [insignificant or lowly] things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-29.
Is there anything more despised or lowly than the poor, maimed, lame, or blind? Or more humble than a little child; all of such is the kingdom of heaven.
“Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.’” Luke 14:23-24.
“And when all the people heard Him [Jesus], even the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John [a baptism of repentance]. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.” Luke 7:29-30.
“… saying [to His disciples], ‘The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.’” Luke 9:22.
“And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15.
The master, Jesus, now sends His servants out of the city and into the territory of the Gentiles, the highways and hedges. The following were His last words recorded in the book of Matthew after His resurrection.
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20.
“…compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” There is limitless room in God’s house and whosoever will, is welcome.
“…if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek [non-Jew], for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’” Romans 10:9-13.
A Great Supper, Part 2 taken from godisrevealed.com posted on 1-22-16, updated on 11-19-19.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.