I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet. Luke 14:24

Jesus tells a parable in response to someone saying, “Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God” (verse 14). Jesus takes the opportunity to teach the Pharisees about God’s priorities. Those who think they are entitled to the blessings of the kingdom will miss out and those the Pharisees would consider unworthy are accepted.

In those times a banquet took a long time to prepare. They were also without modern means of communication like phones and emails. So when a banquet was going to be held an initial invitation was sent out to alert people. This gave them time to prepare, then a second invitation was given when a messenger would bring the news that all was ready.

Jesus shows us the inclusive nature of his kingdom. Twice the messenger is instructed to “Go out,” and invite anyone who will come. However, people’s lack of commitment is shown by their weak excuses. Who would buy a field without looking at it? Or a yoke of oxen without checking them out? Or never go out just because they were recently married? These three examples cover the main things that block people’s commitment to God—their status (as a landowner), their possessions (yoke of oxen), or their pleasure (recently married). Jesus makes it clear that some who expect to be included in the kingdom of God won’t be, because they won’t sacrifice their own desires and conveniences.

We see in this parable that it’s not God who keeps people out of his kingdom, but rather it’s the choices people make that hinder them from entering.

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