What is Your Excuse for the Banquet?

The Wedding Banquet
The Wedding Banquet

“…He replied, “Once a man gave a banquet and invited many people. When the time came for the banquet, he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come! Everything is ready!’  But they responded with a chorus of excuses. The first said to him, ‘I’ve just bought a field, and I have to go out and see it. Please accept my apologies.’  Another said, ‘I’ve just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to test them out. Please accept my apologies.’  Still another said, ‘I have just gotten married, so I can’t come.’  The servant came and reported these things to his master (Luke 14:15-20).

“I cannot come.  I cannot come to the banquet don’t bother me now.  I have married a wife, I have bought me a cow.  I have fields and commitments that cost a pretty sum.  Pray hold me excuse, I cannot come.”  

These are the words from a song I sang in choir when I was very young.  I don’t know why the words have stuck in my head – perhaps it’s because we used to mix them up and say, “I have married a cow and bought me a wife”, but the idea remained the same.  There was a banquet being held and the invited people made excuses for not attending.

At the time I sang this song, I was in the Lutheran church and had no clue as to what the song was about (most likely, the choir director, the pastor nor anyone else in the church understood either).    All I knew is that there was some sort of banquet invitation and poor RSVP excuses were made.

After I became born again and the Scriptures came ‘alive’, I found the account of this great banquet in Luke 14.  I didn’t even know the song came from the Scriptures until I came across it in my reading.  I read it from the only perspective I understood at the time.  The ‘banquet‘ was about accepting the invitation to enter the Kingdom of God through rebirth.   I had done that; I was born again so I was ‘at the banquet’.  It was not until several years later when the Spirit of God opened my eyes to the Feasts of the LORD that I grasped the enormity of  the invitation and the gravity of making excuses.

The fall ‘appointed times’ of 2012 arrive this weekend:  Feast of Trumpets, Yom Kippur, and Feast of Tabernacles.  The church does not even know these dates and times and remain ignorant 2000 years after Yeshua’s Parable of the Great Banquet.  Others who may have become familiar with the idea of the ‘appointed times’ remain complacent and do not take part in the celebrations that the LORD provided for His people to see, know, and understand Him more intimately.     Like the individuals in the parable, they make excuses as to ‘why they cannot come’.  They are still getting married, buying and selling homes, can’t stay out that late because of small children or preparing for the next day’s activities.   The worst excuse I have ever heard is that they are  “Jewish feasts” and the invitation is completely rejected!

“Then the owner of the house, in a rage, told his servant, ‘Quick, go out into the streets and alleys of the city; and bring in the poor, the disfigured, the blind and the crippled!‘ The servant said, ‘Sir, what you ordered has been done, and there is still room.’  The master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the country roads and boundary walls, and insistently persuade people to come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet!’” (Luke 14:15-24).

The parable is clear that those who made excuses for not attending the banquet enraged the host.   Read that again, the host was enraged by the responses of the people!  In his rage he said that ‘not one person who was invited and made an excuse will even get a taste of his feast.”  This statement expresses the magnitude of the host’s rage.  These same words are found in  Hebrews 4:3 regarding the disobedience of Israel and the Sabbath, “And in my anger, I swore they would not enter my rest.” 

Matthew 22 also relates the Parable, but it is a feast with a specific purpose.  It is a wedding feast, the wedding feast of the host’s son.

“Yeshua again used parables in speaking to them: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding feast for his son,  but when he sent his servants to summon the invited guests to the wedding, they refused to come. So he sent some more servants, instructing them to tell the guests, ‘Look, I’ve prepared my banquet, I’ve slaughtered my bulls and my fattened cattle, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding!’ But they weren’t interested and went off, one to his farm, another to his business; and the rest grabbed his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was furious and sent his soldiers, who killed those murderers and burned down their city.

“Then he said to his servants, ‘Well, the wedding feast is ready; but the ones who were invited didn’t deserve it.  So go out to the street-corners and invite to the banquet as many as you find.’  The servants went out into the streets, gathered all the people they could find, the bad along with the good; and the wedding hall was filled with guests.” 

The host’s house filled up.   He sent his servants to those who were poor, blind, crippled.  When his house was still not completely full, the servants intently persuaded others to come to the  feast.   Ahh, persuasion.  Intense persuasion.  Sometimes they come; sometimes they do not.  Even so,  it was not the original invitees that filled the host’s house, sat at the table of the host’s son,  and tasted the wedding feast, but those who did not make excuses.

“One of the people at the table with Yeshua said to him, “How blessed are those who eat bread in the Kingdom of God!” (Matthew 22:15).

©2012 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

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