Sunday, August 9, 2009

What's Your Excuse?

Today, we're going to take a look at Luke 14:16-24, which is a parable by Jesus about a feast.

Luke 14:16-24 (NLT)

16 Jesus replied with this story: “A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations. 17 When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant to tell the guests, ‘Come, the banquet is ready.’ 18 But they all began making excuses. One said, ‘I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me.’ 19 Another said, ‘I have just bought five pairs of oxen, and I want to try them out. Please excuse me.’ 20 Another said, ‘I now have a wife, so I can’t come.’

21 “The servant returned and told his master what they had said. His master was furious and said, ‘Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ 22 After the servant had done this, he reported, ‘There is still room for more.’ 23 So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full. 24 For none of those I first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet.’”

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The subjects of this parable are the Jews, for Jesus was sent to them first. The Jews were invited to receive Jesus as their Messiah, but they wouldn't believe, so after His resurrection, Jesus sent His disciples into the rest of the world to invite them to the feast. It didn't matter about the social status of those invited to the banquet; they were all accepted. Jesus came to call not the righteous, but sinners. Because the first invitees rejected the invitation, they will not join in the feast.

This parable has a parallel for modern times. So many people have excuses not to go to church and accept Jesus as their Savior. Let's compare the excuses in the parable to some modern day excuses.

The first invitee said he had bought some land he needed to inspect. Today, people give the excuse that they have to mow the lawn, tend to the garden, or clean the house instead of going to church. Their home is more important than God.

The second invitee said he had some new oxen he wanted to try out. Today, people give the excuse that they don't have the money to give for an offering because they bought too much stuff they don't need. People put their possessions before God.

The third invitee said he had just married a wife. Today, people use the excuse of family activities to avoid going to church, such as kids' sports, theater, going to the lake, etc. People put their family before God.

Jesus is to be first in our lives, not possessions, homes or family. People today think just going to church on Sunday morning or on Christmas and Easter is good enough to get into heaven. It isn't! We need a close personal relationship with Jesus. He wants to be first in our lives. If we fix our eyes on Jesus and put Him first in our lives, everything else will fall into place.

So what's your excuse? As you have read above, there is no excuse to not put Jesus first in your life. He's calling you to come to Him and repent of your sin of not putting Him first. And if you haven't repented of your sins and received Jesus as your Savior, now is the time. You can pray this prayer: "Lord, I know I am a sinner, and I need Your forgiveness for my sins. I believe that You died for me on the Cross. Please come into my heart and make me new. I want you to be my Lord and Savior. I give my life totally and completely to You. Thank you for forgiving my sins and making me new."

Did you say the prayer? If so, congratulations! You are now my brother or sister in Christ. Your first step should be to purchase a Bible. Start by reading the first four books of the New Testament, also known as the Gospels. They will tell you about Jesus. The second thing you should do is find a Bible-believing church where you can learn about being a Christian and you can meet other Christians. I would love to know if you prayed to receive Jesus. Please enter a comment to let me know.

Thanks for reading! Have a blessed day!

Diane