Adult Uniform Sunday School Lesson for July 29, 2018
To realize God’s greatest hope and intention for our world
Luke 14:15-24 (CEB)
15 When one of the dinner guests heard Jesus’ remarks, he said to Jesus, “Happy are those who will feast in God’s kingdom.”
16 Jesus replied, “A certain man hosted a large dinner and invited many people. 17 When it was time for the dinner to begin, he sent his servant to tell the invited guests, ‘Come! The dinner is now ready.’ 18 One by one, they all began to make excuses. The first one told him, ‘I bought a farm and must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ 19 Another said, ‘I bought five teams of oxen, and I’m going to check on them. Please excuse me.’ 20 Another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ 21 When he returned, the servant reported these excuses to his master. The master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go quickly to the city’s streets, the busy ones and the side streets, and bring the poor, crippled, blind, and lame.’ 22 The servant said, ‘Master, your instructions have been followed and there is still room.’ 23 The master said to the servant, ‘Go to the highways and back alleys and urge people to come in so that my house will be filled. 24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will taste my dinner.’”
“Go quickly to the city’s streets, the busy ones and the side streets, and bring the poor, crippled, blind, and lame.” (Luke 14:21)
This week we are looking at another parable taught by Jesus. I am a firm believer that telling stories is an effective way of getting points across to a vast audience. Storytelling has been used as a means of teaching from the beginning of time. Jesus used it over and over again to make a point and as a way of teaching.
Our text today follows two stories that Jesus tells as an invited guest to a banquet. First, to the guest and the correct way to attend a banquet and the seating arrangement. Second, to the host and who to invite. (Luke 14:7-14)
The setting for the story is important, because it shows the audience of the parable. Jesus had been invited to attend a dinner hosted by one of the leaders of the Pharisees. Those invited were the cremedelacreme of the leaders of the Jewish religion. You can almost picture them all clamouring for the best seat in the house. Likewise, you can sense the pride of the host and his “A” list invitees.
Everyone that was someone was here, and Jesus uses the opportunity to give them a lesson in manners, generosity and humility.
The lesson for us is bit different, God wants His house and table full. How that is achieved depends on the response of those invited. The original invitation is to those within the church. Then to those that are the working class, and finally to those homeless, and disabled that have no hope.
As we look at the excuses weather for love or money, we can find them somewhat justifiable. Who of us have not offered similar excuses?
A seat at this table is not determined by our station in life, or our intellect. The invitation has gone out and our seat is only determined by our acceptance of that invitation. No man can keep us from the banquet, except ourselves.
The question for us is, who are we inviting? In our parable, the servants are sent out to invite, we are the servants of God. We are the ones extending the invitation.
My hymn for this week is “My house is full, but my fields are empty.”