Luke 14:17-18a - The Parable of the Great Banquet.

Luke 14:17-18a - The Parable of the Great Banquet.

Luke 14:17-18a (NLT) When the banquet was ready, he sent his 
servant to tell the guests, 'Come, the banquet is ready.' But they all 
began making excuses.  


In this parable, as in that of the great supper, are illustrated 
the gospel invitation, its rejection by the Jewish people, and the 
call of mercy to the Gentiles. {COL 307.2}   

The parable expresses the open, compelling invitation to come to 
Christ for salvation. [Ryrie SB] 

  Through his teaching and miracles, Jesus announced that God's 
messianic banquet was about to be served. All may come and feast at the 
table of salvation in God's Kingdom. 
  Jesus described his ministry as a wedding feast, with himself 
as the groom (5:33-35) and the Kingdom of God as a great banquet. 
All were invited, but some refused to come (14:15-21)...  
  The OT background to this feasting imagery is Isa 25:6, where 
God's final salvation is described as a great feast for all people:.. 
  Jesus' public ministry marked the invitation to the banquet 
and its inauguration. Through his death and resurrection, he 
achieved salvation. All people can now come to God's banquet table and 
receive the spiritual blessings of the Kingdom. At the same time, this 
banquet awaits its final consummation in the future Kingdom, when Jesus' 
disciples will "eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom" and "will sit on 
thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (22:30). [NLT SB]  

  By the great supper, Christ represents the blessings offered 
through the gospel. The provision is nothing less than Christ Himself. 
He is the bread that comes down from heaven; and from Him the 
streams of salvation flow... He had provided, God offered to them the 
greatest gift that Heaven can bestow--a gift that is beyond computation. 
The love of God had furnished the costly banquet, and had provided 
inexhaustible resources. "If any man eat of this bread," Christ said, "he 
shall live for ever." John 6:51.  {COL 222.3}   
  But in order to accept the invitation to the gospel feast, 
they must make their worldly interests subordinate to the one purpose 
of receiving Christ and His righteousness. God gave all for man, 
and He asks him to place His service above every earthly and selfish 
consideration. He cannot accept a divided heart. The heart that is absorbed in 
earthly affections cannot be given up to God.  {COL 223.1}   


The excuses urged for refusing the invitation to the feast cover 
the whole ground of excuses for refusing the gospel invitation. {COL 

All the excuses betray a preoccupied mind. To these intended 
guests other interests had become all-absorbing. {COL 222.2}   

All the excuses boiled down to "I have something better to do." 
[Ryrie SB] 

All such excuses would have been a great affront to the host, 
who had made a great investment in this important social event. 
These guests had previously accepted the invitation, and all of their 
excuses were weak. Clearly, they just didn't want to attend the banquet. 

The real reason in each case was, of course, that the invited 
guest found himself more interested in something else, something he 
would have to lay aside temporarily if he were to attend the feast. 
The excuses implied, also, a lack of appreciation for the 
hospitality and friendship of the man who gave the feast. Those who declined 
the invitation to the gospel feast placed more value on temporal 
interests than on eternal things (see Matt. 6:33). [SDA Bible Commentary] 

  The Bible declares that in the last days men will be absorbed 
in worldly pursuits, in pleasure and money-getting. They will be 
blind to eternal realities. Christ says, "As the days of Noah were, so 
shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that 
were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and 
giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and 
knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also 
the coming of the Son of man be." Matthew 24:37-39.  {COL 228.1}   
  So it is today. Men are rushing on in the chase for gain and 
selfish indulgence as if there were no God, no heaven, and no hereafter. 
In Noah's day the warning of the flood was sent to startle men in 
their wickedness and call them to repentance. So the message of 
Christ's soon coming is designed to arouse men from their absorption in 
worldly things. It is intended to awaken them to a sense of eternal 
realities, that they may give heed to the invitation to the Lord's table.  
{COL 228.2}   

In Jesus' story, many people turned down the invitation to the 
banquet because the timing was inconvenient. We, too, may resist or 
delay responding to God's invitation, and our excuses may sound 
reasonable--work duties, family responsibilities, financial needs, or other 
reasons. Nevertheless, God's invitation is the most important event in 
your life, no matter how inconveniently it may be timed. Are you 
making excuses to avoid responding to God's call? [Life Application 

If the love of God is not appreciated and does not become an 
abiding principle to soften and subdue the soul, we are utterly lost. 
The Lord can give no greater manifestation of His love than He has 
given. If the love of Jesus does not subdue the heart, there are no 
means by which we can be reached.  {COL 236.2}   


  Evangelist Billy Sunday defined an excuse as "the skin of a 
reason stuffed with a lie."  
  Benjamin Franklin said, "I never knew a man who was good at 
making excuses who was good at anything else."  
  Adam made the first excuse for sin (Gen. 3:12), and many have 
followed his bad example. Excuses only make matters worse. [Warren 

The Banquet Time Approaches
  The time is approaching,
  We must not lie sleeping,
  It's time to go quickly,
  It's time to go seeking.
  Search highways and byways,
  In hills and in hedgerows,
  Leave no stone unturned,
  Search high and search low.
  Seek men for the Master,
  Men for His table,
  And women and children.
  Let all who are able
  Seek out ones to bring,
  Ere the dinner bell ring. (A sonnet based on Luke 14:23 - 
submitted by Wanangwga) 

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