Ever felt so good about yourself that you just knew if you died you’d go straight to heaven? I didn’t think so. (If you did happen to have that hallucination please contact me for some spiritual rehab and we will work on step one as you come out of denial and admit your powerlessness over your sins and salvation, and that your life is unmanageable.)
What is amazing about God’s grace is that even though we are all sinners (Romans 3:23) who deserve the fires of hell, God’s love for us is so great that He sends us a personal invitation through Jesus. He invites us to come to His spiritual table and be forgiven, saved, and richly blessed as we dine with Him. If you are really spiritually sensitive today get a tissue as you read Luke 14:1-24 and watch the video as you listen to Come to the Table by Sidewalk Prophets.
It happened that when He went into the house of one of the leaders of the Pharisees on the Sabbath to eat bread, they were watching Him closely. And there in front of Him was a man suffering from edema. And Jesus responded and said to the lawyers and Pharisees, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?” But they kept silent. And He took hold of him and healed him, and sent him away. And He said to them, “Which one of you will have a son or an ox fall into a well, and will not immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?” And they could offer no reply to this.
Now He began telling a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table, saying to them, “Whenever you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him, and the one who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then in disgrace you will proceed to occupy the last place. But whenever you are invited, go and take the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are dining at the table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Now He also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, “Whenever you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor wealthy neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you to a meal in return, and that will be your repayment. But whenever you give a banquet, invite people who are poor, who have disabilities, who are limping, and people who are blind; and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Now when one of those who were reclining at the table with Him heard this, he said to Him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!”
But He said to him, “A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many; and at the dinner hour he sent his slave to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, because everything is ready now.’ And yet they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, ‘I purchased a field and I need to go out to look at it; please consider me excused.’ And another one said, ‘I bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.’ And another one said, ‘I took a woman as my wife, and for that reason I cannot come.’ And the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the head of the household became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here those who are poor, those with disabilities, those who are blind, and those who are limping.’ And later the slave said, ‘Master, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ And the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the roads and the hedges and press upon them to come in, so that my house will be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my dinner.’”