Great Banquet, The
|Great Banquet, The|
Accepting God's invitation for your life
How to Get There
[first arrange a banquet for a meal or a dessert depending on your context. The more formal or proper the set-up, even with a younger audience, the better the mood will be for this message. Then send out formal invitations to your group and also to others outside of you normal attendees. E.G. if you're a youth group invite elderly, if it's a church service invite un-Churched neighbors, etc. Pray together and then start the feast. About half-way through the feast, start the message.]
- Ask if people are enjoying the banquet and why?
- Is it the people, the food, etc?
- what is their absolute favorite dessert or meal?
- Read Luke 14:12-24.
- Jesus went out of his way to invite people to enjoy the presence of God, but many rejected that invitation.
- This isn't just a simple party and this isn't even about the glories of Heaven; this is about enjoy the divine presence of God in your life now and forever.
- People who rejected this invitation didn't reject a social event or a reward, they rejected a relationship with their Loving Creator and a life filled with Joy.
- God isn't only offering eternity in Heaven, He is placing a bountiful life filled with Joy for us here on Earth as well by the blessings that he has given us.
- No reason seems good enough to miss out on such a thing, but they chose instead to focus on work, or relationships, or money.
- So they gave excuses and rejected God's invitation to the Greatest party ever!
- So God continues to invite others who will actually accept the invitation and who will enjoy the presence of God.
- In fact God still had room and invited more, and he will Always have more room and continues to ask you to go out and invite still more people into his banquet.
- Have you accepted God's invitation?
- If you have, are you enjoying the feast of Life that the Living God has placed before you right now?
- And if you are enjoying the Joy of the Feast of God, are you sharing that joy with others, are you inviting them to the Greatest Banquet of All Time?
Things to Watch For
An interesting tangent in this passage is who God invites first and second. He starts out by re-inviting those "in the loop" or those who already new about the party. They are well-off property owners, socially acceptable, and normal people, but they reject God.
God then invites the disenfranchised to the party. He purposefully invites the poor, the crippled, the outsiders, and the socially un-acceptables.
A interesting question to struggle with: Is this a metaphor for the religious insiders of the Jews who largely rejected Christ versus the religious outsiders of the Gentiles who accepted the Christ, or is this a literal call to focus the Gospel on the disenfranchised and oppressed in the world?
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