Luke 14:15-24 (1)


God's party
Reading: Luke 14:15-24
Additional reading: Matthew 22:2-14, Matthew 6:24-34, Isaiah 49:8-16, Psalm 131:1-3, Philippians 4:6-7, 2 Timothy 2:1-7, Luke 21:34

(3) One time, Jesus was having a dinner with some people.
Then a Jewish man said:
“Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”
He knew about the fact that God is preparing a party.

But then Jesus told this kind of story:
(3) There was a man who was preparing a party and invited many guests.

You can already guess this man in this story represents God.
This God is a joyous God.
This God is happy and wants a party.

Anyway, this man sent his servants to let people know that they were cooking to have a party.
His servants went out and invited many guests.

Then after awhile, all the food was ready.
Then the man sent out his servants to say to all those invited:
“Everything is now ready.
Please come.”

But those who were invited were making excuses.
(1) The first said:
“I have just bought a land.
I must go and see it.
Please excuse me."

Another said:
“I’ve just bought a nice truck.
I’m on my way to try out.
Please excuse me.”

Another said:
"I just bought new stocks of a company
I think this is a winner.
I am going to study how this company is doing.
Please excuse me.”

Another said:
“I bought a lot of interesting books.
I am going to read them.
Please excuse me.”

“I am trying to have a better grade at school.
I could not come.”

“I have too much church work at the moment.
I cannot come.”

“I am trying to be a professor and a tenure at my university.
Please excuse me.”

“I am trying to be a president of a company.
Please excuse me.”

Another said:
“Finally I have just got married!
So I cannot come.”

They all got what they wanted in this life, on earth.
And it felt good.
They wanted to enjoy their blessing.
So they had no time for God’s party.
They have no time for God.

They wanted stuff and more material possessions.
They wanted more and more.
It was never enough.
They wanted to have everything this life could offer.

So, those servants were, in fact,asking them:
“God or your possession, if you have to choose one, which one would you choose?”
They chose their possession.

In other words, they only think about this life.
They only think about what to eat, and what to wear.
They only worry about their near future.

But God is offering this party saying:
“I am here to give you an infinite and timeless life.
I am here to give you eternal life.”
God is talking about eternal life.
But they were only thinking about their finite or small matter in this world.

So they had no time for God's party.
As for them, attending this party was useless and wasting time.
They were not interested enough to know what God was doing.

Because it was not their priority.
It was never in their calendar.
It was not in their agenda.

So they were not willing to be part of this party.
They wanted to do what they wanted and not follow the ministry of Jesus.

It is not bad to have a land, trucks, and stocks.
It is not bad to be successful in their profession.
It is not bad to take good care of money and want to enjoy their life.
It is not bad to be well prepared for their future.
It is not bad to be married and have a family.

No, but it is bad to put these things above God who is giving all these gifts for them.
It is bad to love gifts more than the giver of those gifts.

Anyway they were not available.
They have no time to sit with God.
They didn't want to know what God is planning.
They did not want to know why God has invited them to his party.

Who were these who were invited but didn’t come?
Who are these who knew God but refused to attend God’s party?

They might have been those who didn’t seek the goodness of God.
Or they might have been those who seek to be rich without God's help.

They might have been the religious Jewish leaders in the time of Jesus, who thought that God is only asking them to perform better.
So they rather do something for God than spend time with God.
Working for God is much more fun than being with God.

Or, they might have thought that God is harsh and fearful.
So they were like:
“I don’t want to have a party with God.
Does God know how to enjoy a party?”

Or they were those who said they loved God but didn’t want to obey God.
They might be those who said they wanted to do God's will but in fact they didn't do when they got their chance to do God’s will.

(2) Back to the story, the servants came back and said something like this to his master.
"They are all busy doing their own things.
They would not come.
They are fine without you."

Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servants:
“Go out quickly into the streets and narrow back street of the town.
And bring in the poor.
Call the homeless shelters.
Bring all the homeless.
Bring all those who can be in this party.
Bring the crippled.
Bring the blind.
Bring the disabled.”

Now God is inviting everyone.
Everyone is invited.
No one is left out.
God is giving all the people this opportunity to eat and have God’s party in God’s table.
That is why the ministry of Jesus is for everyone.
Everyone can come to enjoy God.

After having done that, the servant came back and said:
“Sir, what you ordered has been done.
But still there is room.”

Then the master told his servant:
“Go out to the roads and check all the country narrow ways.
And force them to come in, so that my house will be full.”

(3) So all those who were unqualified to be in God’s party were invited.
Through the ministry of Jesus, they got to know this God.
The ministry of Jesus was God’s party.
Jesus is inviting people to be part of it.
Then even tax collectors, sinners and outcasts were part of this ministry.
Jesus healed many people.
And they become part of this party.
They were not religious.
They were not spiritual.
But they had time for God.
So they enjoy learning about God through Jesus the Christ.
They spend time with God and get to know God personally.

God loves these people and encourage them to follow Jesus.
Then they learn that God loves them.
They learn that God is alive for them.
They learn what God is trying to do.
Then they join God and do what God wants without worrying about their life. (Luke 21:34)
They learn that there is no reason to worry, when they have God who loves them so much.
God is saying to them through Jesus:
“You are my boys and my girls.
I love you.
Do not worry about your life, what to eat, what to wear.
Instead, learn to enjoy your time with God.
Attend God’s party.
Enjoy God’s abundance.
There is plenty of food.
There is plenty of God’s food, heavenly food here.”

(3) This story was told because someone said:
“Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”

Jesus is saying that all those who follow him are in God’s kingdom.
Jesus is God’s kingdom.
Jesus is God’s party.
Jesus is enjoying God and wants people to enjoy God with him.
Jesus is inviting all people to have a good time with God.
This ministry of Jesus is God’s party.

Through this story, we know that God is celebrating because of Jesus.
God is having a party because of Jesus.
Then God may be saying to all of us:
“You need Jesus.
Let Jesus be your first priority.
Put Jesus first in your life.
Jesus has come to give you life, meaning, purpose, hope, peace, confidence, and love.
So spend time with him.
Jesus is the most important in the world.
If you have Jesus, you have all, because Jesus can always fill you.
So give Jesus your time.
Be part of this party.
This is what God asks you to do.
Simplify your life enough to do this God’s will.
Then you will have what you need.
You will be truly successful, because God will take care of your future.”

Let’s pray:
Jesus, thank you for inviting all of us to your party.
Thank you for helping us to come and learn of you.
We believe in you.
We come to you.
We know you would use our life.
We know you would provide all we need.
Thank you.
In Jesus name, we pray.