Jesus in a different scenario once again related life and certain expectations to a banquet:
7 When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable:
8 “WHEN SOMEONE INVITES YOU TO A WEDDING FEAST, DO NOT TAKE THE PLACE OF HONOUR, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited.
9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this man your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place.
10 BUT WHEN YOU ARE INVITED, TAKE THE LOWEST PLACE, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests.
11 FOR EVERYONE WHO EXALTS HIMSELF WILL BE HUMBLED, AND HE WHO HUMBLES HIMSELF WILL BE EXALTED.”
There is an expectation of humility.
Being humble provides you with a chance to be exalted.
Being humble may provide you with a place of honour…… as opposed to a place of honour being taken from you, if you are not humble.
12 Then Jesus said to his host, “WHEN YOU GIVE A LUNCHEON OR DINNER, DO NOT INVITE YOUR FRIENDS, YOUR BROTHERS OR RELATIVES, OR YOUR RICH NEIGHBOURS; IF YOU DO, THEY MAY INVITE YOU BACK AND SO YOU WILL BE REPAID.
13 BUT WHEN YOU GIVE A BANQUET, INVITE THE POOR, THE CRIPPLED, THE LAME, THE BLIND,
14 AND YOU WILL BE BLESSED. ALTHOUGH THEY CANNOT REPAY YOU, YOU WILL BE REPAID AT THE RESSURECTION OF THE RIGHTEOUS”.
A certain amount of consideration needs to be given even with regards to something like having a party.
Do you invite people because you want them to think highly of you?
Do you invite people because you expect them to invite you when they are next having a similar function?
If you seek a reward from men…… you will get a reward from men…… in the form of gratification, respect, and similar worthless attributes.
When you do things for people…. knowing that they can repay you in no way shape or form.
Then your reward will not be from men…… there will be a reward that comes from God.
It is a question of whether or not you believe this….. or whether or not you are prepared to fulfill certain criteria in order to get this reward.
15 When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”
16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests.
17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’
18 “BUT THEY ALL ALIKE BEGAN TO MAKE EXCUSES. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’
19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’
20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’
21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’
22 “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’
23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.
24 I TELL YOU, NOT ONE OF THOSE MEN WHO WERE INVITED WILL GET A TASTE OF MY BANQUET.'”
We all have excuses as to why we are not yet ready.
I can relate to that.
I have so many attributes that I seem to be unwilling to drop…… not yet… not now.
Im still in university…… im still young……I still have time…… not now; later.
But the invitation does not last forever.
One day…. Physical death comes and the invitation is lost.
The opportunity is lost.
We will not get to taste the banquet…… if we are not prepared to respond to the invitation…….while we still have the chance.
9 TO SOME WHO WERE CONFIDENT OF THEIR OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS AND LOOKED DOWN ON EVERYBODY ELSE, JESUS TOLD THIS PARABLE:
10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men– robbers, evildoers, adulterers– or even like this tax collector.
12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
14 “I TELL YOU THAT THIS MAN, RATHER THAN THE OTHER, WENT HOME JUSTIFIED BEFORE GOD. FOR EVERYONE WHO EXALTS HIMSELF WILL BE HUMBLED, AND HE WHO HUMBLES HIMSELF WILL BE EXALTED.”
To be continued……