There is Room at the Banquet (#221)
Bible version used: NIV
THERE IS ROOM AT THE BANQUET
In Luke 14, Jesus told a story about the Master who prepared a huge banquet:
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 compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. 24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”
Invitations had been sent out ahead of time. The food was ready. It was time to fill the great hall with the invited guests.
Amazingly, they refuse to come and offer excuses to the Master’s servants: I’ve got other plans, I just bought a house, I just got married, I’m managing my portfolio . . .
The Master sees the empty seats and is angry. Those invited have not only missed the opportunity to celebrate the goodness of the Master, they have insulted him.
He sends his servants out again with new instructions to bring in those who would never have such an opportunity: the widows, the addicts, the poor. But not many came.
He ordered his servants to go out of the city once more to find the outcasts and bring them to the banquet: the homeless, refugees, lepers, the poor in spirit, people not even allowed to come into the city--people who have no right to be at the banquet. “I want my house filled. Compel them to come!” said the Master.
Jesus told this story to make a point. There is room at the Father’s table for everyone, but too often busy people don’t care.
I’m giving you this leaflet because 2000 years later there is still room at the table. None of us have a right to be there, but Jesus is inviting everyone to come. According to the not-so-hidden message of this story, not even the religious people wanted to celebrate with the Master. They were busy. They had assets to manage . . . sound familiar? Take a look around you on a Sunday morning . . . how many people can you count who shun the invitation to feast with the Master. More importantly, are YOU shunning the invitation to enjoy this relationship with the Master?
I’m passing on the invitation . . . giving you this tract to urge YOU to come. There is a place for you at the Master’s banquet, thanks to Jesus’ immense love--a love that led him all the way to the cross. He has personally set a place at the table with your name on it.
Jesus says: “My Father’s house is large and there is room for you. Come. Please come. No qualifications; just start by accepting the Father’s love for you.”
And if you won’t come, give this invitation to someone who will. The Father wants every chair filled.
Your place at the banquet is paid for by the blood of Jesus who came, suffered, died, and rose again to make us right with the Father.
You can accept this invitation with something as simple and as life-changing as this prayer:
Father, I accept your invitation to come into your fellowship of love for me. Help me to grow in my faith and lead me to others who can help me learn to walk daily in this relationship. Amen