Skip to content

Luke 14:15-24 – The graciousness of Jesus’ invitation

It was common in the Old Testament prophets to paint the picture of a future banquet in which people ate and drank in God’s presence in his renewed kingdom.

Jesus is the host of this banquet and he has been calling many guests. However, the religious leaders have responded with excuses. The excuses are not legitimate. Presumably, one has already seen a field before it is purchased. Similarly, the ability of five yoke of oxen to plough would have been established before purchase. A recent marriage to a wife is likewise no excuse for not attending such a banquet.

Jesus’ response to the religious leaders’ refusal to come is that he then orders his servants to: ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ This is exactly what Jesus has been doing in his ministry.

However, Jesus’ calling is not exhausted by this. He then sends his servant to: ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.’ In that culture, these people would be even more socially undesirable than the poor and disabled. These people would need to be compelled to attend because they would be hesitant. Their hesitation would be caused by their inability to socially reciprocate – overwhelming grace is the compulsion that brings undesirables into the kingdom.

The dreadful judgment that stands in contrast with this grace is evident in Jesus’ words: For I tell you, none of those men who were called shall taste my banquet.

Let us joyfully and with thanksgiving reflect on our having been called to the banquet by Jesus, compelled by overwhelming grace.