Luke 14:15-23 (The Parable of the Great Banquet)
I find it interesting that the entire Parable of the Great Banquet given by Jesus is in response to an unidentified individual saying “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.” You can tell by the response from Jesus that he doesn’t seem all too impressed as he starts listing excuses people have made in rejecting him. He specifically outlines three excuses: Field (land/home), yoke of oxen (finance/possessions) and marriage (human relationship/companionship). It’s almost as if Jesus is saying “Do you even understand the magnitude of what you are saying? You rejected me and for what – a house, a partner and money?” Then Jesus proceeds to lay down the cost of following Him – stating that it would cost them even their own life.
I always found it uncomfortable talking to people (believers and non-believers) about the cost of following Jesus. It’s that moment when you’re selling something on gumtree and a buyer discovers the price and immediately loses interest. But I think Jesus is saying something more profound than simply trying to lose popularity.
It almost seems at odds to “become all things to all people so that we may save some.” However, I believe that the parable of the great banquet and Jesus talking about the cost of discipleship is not wedged together by accident. In the parable of the great banquet, Jesus is showing how we rejected Him and His Kingdom (feast in the king of God) and replaced him with other things (field, finance and human companionship). Jesus is not saying that these things are inherently sinful but that they become sinful when they take the place of God. Our lack of perspective on what is ultimate is our greatest sin. It’s a matter of priority. We have become so focused on the day to day that we’ve failed to recognise the glory that is the invitation to feast with the king.
May my relationship with You be more than words. Give me strength, persistence, patience, and faith to keep running to that banquet. Even though there are so many distractions that beg for my attention, keep my eyes locked on you Jesus. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.