Come to the Table


Excuses- we’ve all heard some remarkable ones over the years- especially if you are in any type of position of authority. We have excuses for being late, for losing homework, for forgetting birthdays, for most everything! I’m not sure if it would be teachers or insurance companies who have heard the most creative excuses- but here is a list compiled by Readers Digest from actual insurance company reports: 10 Bizarre Excuses for a car accident:

1. “I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother-in-law, and headed over the embankment.”

2. “The other car collided with mine without giving me warning of its intention.”

3. “I was sure the old fellow would never make it to the other side of the road when I struck him.”

4. “Going to work at 7:00 this morning I drove out of my driveway straight into a bus. The bus was 5 minutes early.”

5. “My car was legally parked as it backed into another vehicle.”

6. “I didn’t think the speed limit applied after midnight.”

7. “Windshield broken. Cause unknown. Probably voodoo.”

8. “I started to slow down, but the traffic was more stationary than I thought.”

9. “I knew the dog was possessive about the car, but I would not have asked her to drive it if I thought there was any risk.”

10. “No one was to blame for the accident, but it would never have happened if the other driver had been alert.”

We laugh at these excuses! Sadly, many of us are guilty of having excuses for things that we don’t want to do, places or people we don’t want to see, and we even have excuses for our lack of growth in our faith. So many excuses—so little time to use them all.

Jesus knew all the excuses. Of course, the excuses used in the 1st century are a bit different than those used today- but people have had excuses for their lack of commitment to God since the beginning. Jesus is teaching the crowds in Luke 14, and he shares a parable addressing some of those excuses and their implications to one’s faith and future. Luke 14:15-21

The people of Israel – the Jewish people had ALL been invited to the great banquet. The master of this banquet wanted to have a huge feast and to have all the places at the table full. He had enough for all those invited.

The servant goes out and lets those that were invited know it’s time. But instead of grabbing their coats, or their dates, they give lame excuses. Not even creative or good excuses. The first person says, I bought some land- and I need to look at it. Crazy! Even if he had bought some land- he had probably already looked at it before he purchased it and if he hadn’t... that land would have still been in the same place the next day- but this guy just wasn’t interested- ‘I have more important things to do than go to your banquet. I have my own plans, my own way to live and I’m comfortable just staying put.’

The second guy had just bout some oxen- he had bought 10 oxen and hadn’t tried them out… not a very smart farmer! If you are buying animals to work together in your fields- you would make sure they could work in a yoke together before you purchased them. Again, another flimsy excuse that even the servant of the Master saw through. Again, the lure of the things of this life are far more important than God’s call to the people of Israel. They are comfortable and they like the way things are- they have no interest in attending the banquet that the man had prepared for them.

Lastly there was a guest whose excuse was that he was recently married and couldn’t come. I’m sure that his wife would have joined him in this great feast! But again, this banquet didn’t interest him. He had better, more important things to do- or so he thought.

The guests- the people of Israel were very comfortable the way they were. They had no desire to change. Jesus said- I’m here and the feast is ready! But when Jesus came, they rejected Him. They ignored Him, they persecuted Him. They would only attend this banquet on their own terms or not at all. Their possessions and position were more important than answering the call to come to supper.

Are we guilty of putting our plans and our timeline ahead of God’s plans for us? When Jesus says, come aside and let’s eat- do we say, ‘just a minute- I’ve got to finish this?’ Do we put off our faith for a more convenient time? Do we begin to make excuses to why we can’t possibly be expected to come right now!

When the servant returns and tells the man putting on the banquet- they guy is ANGRY!!! He has all this food, all this stuff prepared, and no one is coming. Well, forget those guys… instead go out and invite everyone you see! Invite those people that are the less fortunate, the forgotten, the ‘unclean’ and unimportant in the eyes of the Pharisees and religious leaders. The master is not satisfied with a partially full banquet hall; he wants every place at the table to be filled.

The servant went out even farther- find anyone you can to come and join the dinner- there is room for anyone that accepts the invitation to come and partake of the banquet. The new guests can hardly believe that they have been included! They accept the invitation and fill the banquet table. This is where we come in- this is referred to as the ‘calling of the gentiles- and the church is full of them!!!

Many come to the banquet- AND there is still room!!!

1. The meal is prepared for those that are thankful to be invited.

2. The poor and humble are welcome.

3. The least likely often benefit the most.

4. We- the servants- must be quick and persistent to invite all that we can

5. There is still room for more!

6. One day Christ’s house will be filled!

“God isn’t willing that any should perish,” 2 Peter 3:9. “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved,” Romans 10:13.

We are to go and tell. The followers of Jesus are the servants that are to invite those along the road- everyone, everywhere- to this great banquet.

The Table is ready- and you have an invitation- are you coming?