Listen to Today’s Lesson
Watch Today’s Lesson
As I have said quite a bit recently with our Sunday School lessons, this week’s lesson should be very familiar to us. In our lesson this week, we take a look at God’s invitation that He has sent out to all people. God’s invitation, as I preached about it a few weeks ago in “The Dressing Up Room,” is a heavenly invitation. The question that we must answer is whether or not we have accepted God’s invitation or declined it. If we have declined it, why?
What is God’s Invitation?
So, someone might be wondering to themselves, what is God’s invitation? The scripture for our lesson this week opens up with Jesus sharing a parable about being invited to a wedding (vss.7-8). Why is He speaking about a wedding invitation? Because God’s invitation, whether you realize it or not, is actually a wedding invitation.
The wedding invitation
We often think of God’s invitation solely as an invite to dwell in heaven for all of eternity. However, one thing that is made very clear by the Lord is that His invitation is more than just an invite to live in His kingdom. God’s invitation is one to be joined with His only begotten Son for all of eternity.
In Matthew 22:1-14, Jesus shared the parable of the wedding feast where He spoke of a certain king’s search for a bride for his son. The certain king represented God the Father and the son represented Christ. Throughout the gospels and the New Testament, the Church – that is all sincere believers – is shown to be the bride of Christ.
Again, the Church is shown as the bride of Christ when Jesus, in the Parable of the Wedding Feast expressed how the servants of God went into the highways (all places) to invite people to be married to Christ. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul wrote that Christ will one day present, as His bride, a glorified church that will be without blemish (Eph. 5:25-27). In the book of Revelation, we can actually see where Christ presents His bride in the heavenly kingdom (Rev. 19:7; 21:2, 9).
So, God’s invitation is not just an invite to come live with Him, it is an invite to marry His only begotten Son, Christ. Who has this invitation been sent to? It has been sent to everybody? Many are called (invited) to the wedding, but few are chosen (will choose to attend the wedding).
Invited to Join God
So, who will accept God’s invitation? Well, in the opening section of our lesson, we see Jesus call for humility. We will understand that there is a reason as to why Jesus first spoke of humility as He spoke of God’s invitation.
The call of being humble
In Luke 14, Jesus had gone into the house of the rulers of the Pharisees to eat on Sabbath (Luke 14:1). When He noticed how they chose to sit in the best places, Jesus said to them, “when you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place (v.8).” Why is Jesus speaking about acting this way?
Well, when you enter someone’s home, you don’t go and sit in their recliner, do you? Personally, if a guest entered my home and sat down in my recliner, I would look at them like they’re crazy! I would be thinking to myself, ‘who made you king/queen of my house?’ No, Jesus said that when you enter, take the lowest place first, as a sign of humility and should the one that invited you into their home, offer to you to sit in a better seat, then you move.
You see, humility is pleasing to all. Jesus said that the one that acts in humility in this circumstance would have glory in the presence of the others (v.10). So, within the scripture of our lesson for today, the first thing we learn is that the humble is the one that will be glorified by the Lord. As Jesus states, “whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted (v.11).”
The day is coming where the proud will be humbled by the Lord. You see, those that are proud in the world live with the belief that all they need in life are their riches. The proud believe themselves to be perfect; they don’t believe in God and they certainly don’t think that they need God.
The haughty and proud will fall before the Lord (Prov. 16:18); they will be humbled just as the rich man that never did right by Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). If you remember the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus well, you will remember that the rich man went to Hades and the beggar, Lazarus, dwelled in Paradise after their physical death. God will reward the humble but there will be a great fall for the proud.
The great supper
When one of the religious leaders had heard the things that Jesus had said to them, he remarked, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God (v.15)!” The religious leader that said this was proud and exclamatory with this statement. Honestly, within the context of this scripture, I believe that the room had gone silent after hearing what Jesus had said, and this religious leader decided to break the silence.
The religious leader, I believe, had no clue what he was speaking of because he didn’t even bother to expound on what he had stated. In making this statement, Jesus began to speak to the fact that there will be a great supper in heaven – this is the true meat of our lesson for this week.
Sadly, as we will see, many are going to miss the great supper in heaven. Why will they miss the great supper? I will give the true answer when we get to the end of the parable, but for now, we can see some of the reason through what Jesus explains.
In the parable, Jesus tells the religious leaders how a certain man gave a supper and invited many to come and eat (vss.16-17). Sadly, all with one accord began to make excuses as to why they could not come to the certain man’s supper (v.18). One’s excuse was that he had just purchased some land that he needed to tend to. Another’s excuse was that he had just bought some cattle that he needed to tend to (v.19). Another made the excuse that they had just gotten married and needed to be with their wife (v.20).
The beginning of this parable speaks to how the Lord had sent an invite to the children of Israel to come join Him; He did this first through Moses and then through several other prophets. However, the children of Israel chose to ignore the prophets, therefore ignore the Lord, and go about doing their own things. How do you suppose this made God feel that they rejected the invitation to join Him?
Well, in the parable, Jesus tells us that the certain man was angry after hearing the servant’s report (v.21). So, the certain man sent his servant into the streets and lanes of the city to share the invitation with the poor, the maimed, the lame, and the blind. This, we should understand, speaks of Jesus sharing the good news of the kingdom of heaven when He was in the world.
After this, the servant returned and said to the certain man, “it is done … and still there is room (v.22).” This puts in my mind the image of Jesus hanging on the cross, after having received the sour wine, saying to the Father, “It is finished” (John 18:30). Jesus, after His resurrection, continued to teach the eleven before returning back to heaven. Prior to returning to heaven, He gave the disciples – this includes us as well – the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20).
In the parable, Jesus tells us that the certain man then had his servant go into the highways and hedges to invite others to come and join him for supper. This, I now want you to understand, speaks to the age of the church – this present day – where the apostles first shared the good news throughout the land to all people, and now the good news of the kingdom is ministered throughout the world by the sincere believer.
To be very clear, God has invited all people to come join Him for supper. To open up this picture for you, the Lord has invited us to join Him in His kingdom to be married to His Son, and join Him for all of eternity with the reward of supper. The question still remains: will you accept God’s invitation and join Him?
Who will accept God’s invitation?
Scripture makes it very clear the kind of person that will join the Lord. Within our lesson just for today, it is made very clear that the proud will not join the Lord. Why not? Well, the proud will be too caught up in their own things to even pay God’s invitation any attention. Again, there are many people that live in our world today that live with the belief that they don’t need God. If you live absent of the Lord today, be prepared to live absent from His presence for all of eternity.
As we have seen in recent weeks, those who live by the Word of God will be those that accept the invitation and join the Lord. In order to live by the Word, it takes one being humble in their heart – this is why Jesus spoke about being humble at the start of our lesson. In the day of Jesus, there were actually quite a few that followed Him and were saved; they were saved because they realized they needed Him. Many of the religious leaders were not saved because they were too pious and proud to see Him.
In the last verse of our lesson, Jesus says that the certain man said to his servant, “I say to you that none of those men who were (initially) invited shall taste my supper (v.24).” To be very clear about this statement, those that did not have a heart for the Lord – they did not accept His invite – will not taste the kingdom of heaven. There were certainly some in the Old Testament days that lived by faith who will taste God’s supper.
Now, someone may be wondering, what is God’s supper? What will we eat in heaven? I think I am going to leave you with the tease that I am going to go into great depth on this subject in a future Bible Study. However, for now, let’s just leave it at what Jesus said about those who hunger and thirst for righteousness – they shall be filled (Matt. 5:6).