15 One of the dinner guests, on hearing this, said to him, “Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 16 Then Jesus said to him, “Someone gave a great dinner and invited many. 17 At the time for the dinner he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for everything is ready now.’ 18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of land, and I must go out and see it; please accept my regrets.’ 19 Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please accept my regrets.’ 20 Another said, ‘I have just been married, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So the slave returned and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ 22 And the slave said, ‘Sir, what you ordered has been done, and there is still room.’ 23 Then the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the roads and lanes, and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you, none of those who were invited will taste my dinner.’”
I found this parable of the banquet feast quite confronting.
God is likened to have prepared a meal for us to celebrate our arrival into His kingdom. He is waiting for all to come. He waits for all to have the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, yet there are people who are just too distracted and too busy.
What struck me was how the “excuses” written thousands of years ago were so relevant today.
- “I have just bought a field and must inspect it” – this reminds me that so often the life of accumulation – acquiring of assets, money, shopping, leisure activities can take place over the desire to spend time with our Saviour and His community (church). This encourages me not to let ‘things’ get priority over Him. To not let the ‘idolatry’ which is so pervasive in this world to seep into my world.
- “I have just bought five pairs of oxen and I want to try them out” – this reminds me that many times work gets in the way. This encourages me to carve time in my day for HIM. To carve time in my week for church. To carve time in my year for reflection, restoration and recalibration with Him. To not be at the mercy of work but to be the master over my time.
- “I just got married, so I can’t come” – yes, even family can become an idol. Jesus is wholeheartedly for family, but the best thing I can do for our family is to lead them and teach them the ways of Christ.
This scripture reminds me that even in Jesus’ time, He knew the battles that existed over time and the battle still remains.
Lord Jesus help me to number my days and to always make time for you. Help me to be wise with the time I have been given. Give me wisdom to do the things that I need to do, to do the things that I like to do and to put you first in all. Lord please show me if there is anything that I should give up; or what I should take up?
Written by Ps. Sue Botta