The Jewish rulers of Jesus’ day interpreted God’s promises to them concerning the Christ, the Messiah who was to come, and they made His kingdom out to be something that would be on their terms. The kingdom, to them, would be something that honored them in their great positions of power. Jesus, while at a Sabbath dinner in the house of a prominent Pharisee (Lk 14:1), taught them that if the kingdom was considered a feast, then the feast would be accepted only on the terms of the one who was holding the feast, not the ones invited to it:

16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’

18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’

19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’

20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’

21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’

22 “ ‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’

23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full. 24 I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’ ” (Lk 14:16–24 NIV)

Jesus’ point to them was that the kingdom of God would be on God’s terms. The Jews (especially the rulers) who had excuses about why they could not meet God’s terms were going to miss the kingdom (the great banquet) and its blessings. The blessings of the kingdom would be given only to those who had an “ear to hear” its invitation and respond to its terms. The lesson for us is this – we should take care that we do not make excuses for ourselves about the kingdom of God, trying to make it be on our terms. Rather, we should humble ourselves so that we can have “ears to hear” its great invitation for us to be God’s servants and enjoy His great blessings.

 

Peace to you in serving our King,

Jay Don