The Parables of Jesus: Day 10

The Wedding Banquet

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Today's Text: Luke 14:1-24

In this study of the Parables of Jesus, we are reading many of the stories Jesus used to teach hearers about how to live as His followers. Each day we’ll read parables in their immediate context, focusing on a different category of parables each week. Then we will work through a series of questions to understand the meaning of the text and take to heart the “secrets of the kingdom.”

Editor’s Note: In this Parables study, Jesus Himself is telling us stories—stories He wants us to reflect on and process. Rather than asking our writers to write their own stories about Jesus’ stories, we thought it would serve you and the text better to provide questions to help you dig into the meaning of each day’s parable. If you find a parable or passage particularly confusing, stop and pray. Ask the Lord to reveal Himself to you in His Word, and thank Him that we can know Him without knowing all the answers to our questions.

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Week 2: Parables about Repentance and Grace

Stories about other people often reveal things to us about ourselves. This week’s selection of parables all deal with themes of repentance and grace, and in them we see that Jesus meant for His parables to stir the hearts of His hearers. As you read, let these parables serve as a kind of mirror, and ask what Jesus is showing you that you might not have otherwise seen. Use the questions below to help.

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Day 10 Reading:  Luke 14:1-24

Questions:

1.What is the specific setting of this parable, and how does the setting help us make sense of Jesus’ story?

2. What is the problem this particular parable is responding to, and what is the parable’s outcome?

3. What is the central point of this parable?

4. What is your response to this parable?

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  • This passage shows that when you humble yourself and serve others God will put you in a respected place. To never refuse to serve someone who needs it no matter where your at or who you are around . Remember those in need when you yourself are in a position of power. That God is not into appearances but your heart.

  • How many things, opportunities, and promptings from God do I miss because I am so absorbed in my own immediate circumstances? Is my life too full to allow an invitation from God to change my course of action? The parables in this passage speak to a simpler, more humble life that is open to invitation and chance. Jesus seems to frequently bless and praise the poor in His teachings because in His eyes they are beloved. Often they are portrayed as living day to day depending on and praising Him. Do I live so dependently on God, and do I praise Him as much? Sadly, I have so much here in America compared to the rest of the world that I think I can depend on myself, and I frequently neglect to praise God for everything. So, I must ask myself how can I simplify my life so that I am living in a way that allows for God to guide, direct, and redirect and that allows me to praise God and minister to those who have less than me? I do not want to be like those individuals who rejected the invitation to the feast because I deem my priorities and accomplishments as too important to set aside. God is the one who has blessed me in the first place and I want to be willing to come before Him daily with open hands for Him to give and take, invite and ask as He sees fit. How much more blessing could be given and received if I would incline my ear to His voice, accept His invitations, and live a life of love that doesn’t need all the latest and best things?

    • Emily B.

      Amen!

    • Linnea

      Thanks for this post Erica….so hard to let go of my control and give ALL up to Him, but every time by grace I do, His blessings are unimaginable!

    • Ines

      I love this. It makes me think about what I’ve missed being too busy, also. It also makes me realize how much more intentional I should be about humbling and simplifying my thoughts and intentions so to also be more receptive to where God may be calling me. Thank you for your thoughts.

    • Nancy

      Erica, I’m about a week behind in this study but believe this is what God wanted me to read today. Thank you for your insight.

  • Stephanie M.

    After reading this passage, I decided to flip back to the Psalms to read one psalm before ending my devotional time. The Psalm I opened up to and began to read was Psalm 113, and part of it, starting in verse 7, says “He raises the poor from the dust, and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes, with the princes of his people.” How fitting!!! Thanks, Lord. :)

  • The same parable is in Matthew 22 and includes the guest who attends the banquet “improperly dressed”. What is your take on the host’s reaction to him? I was thinking that if the poor and marginalized were invited and the guest was poor, then he would not have proper clothes. But, his clothing isn’t the point, right? It is that he did not come prepared/recognizing the significance of the invitation to the banquet. Thoughts??

    • Holly

      Hi, Bridget! I’m praying that God will help us both to see how the parable in Matthew 22 fits in with the parables in Luke 14. My initial thought is that God is the Good Host. If He invited a guest and that guest did not have the proper attire, He would provide clothing for that guest if that guest asked (this reminds me of the Good Father giving the Prodigal Son a new outfit when the Prodigal Son returns home, Luke 15:22-24). After all, the Host invited many misfits–enough to fill the table–but only one guest showed up in the wrong clothes. Perhaps the one guest that was called out did not ask for clothing. This also reminds me of how God clothes us in righteousness when we accept Jesus as our Savior. I did some research online, and I found a devotional for the parable in Matthew 22 (https://www.djameskennedy.org/devotional-detail/20170210-clothed-in-the-righteousness-of-christ). It references Isaiah 61:10 and Isaiah 64:6, as well as Genesis 3:7 and Genesis 3:21. The point the devotional makes is that we cannot make ourselves holy by our good deeds. Relying on good works for salvation is the equivalent of wearing dirty rags. In other words, we cannot undo sin on our own. Accepting God’s grace is like accepting a clean set clothes. Jesus becomes our righteousness.

    • Madison

      My study Bible explains that the man that was required to be “dressed properly” was a Christian on the outside but not on the inside. Jesus knows our hearts and whether or not we are coming to Him for the right reasons. The man refused to be covered by the King and thought his own actions and good deeds could cover himself. Hope this makes sense and helps a little! It’s a John MacArthur study Bible so that is his take on it!

  • Kimberlee

    For me, this has really spoken to me about social media. I have put down Joanna Gaine’s book and picked it up again last night and also been looking at Grace Not Perfection. Why am I putting these standards that are unachievable on myself and also why am I expecting to be praised for how something looks. It is not what we are called to do in Christ and this has encouraged me to just stop.

  • Christina D.

    It’s about 1000% humbling, even humiliating, to admit that I often relate to the Pharisees in Jesus’ parables. But as I’ve recognized that through this study I am challenging myself to face it and use it to see where I need to change and shift my perspective. In this parable it has me thinking, what invitations from the Holy Spirit have I been squandering? What pull on my heart have I been ignoring to tend to earthy tasks and possessions? When am I letting, as we often say, the “busy-ness of life” distract me from sitting at the master’s table? Sometimes I feel sorry for myself that God hasn’t blessed me in certain areas (definitely convicted of this in the parable of the workers in the field) but the reality is I have an invitation to the most glorious banquet in hand. God help me to see where I am wasting and taking for granted your invitations. Let me stop being distracted by unimportant earthly things that will all pass away.

  • Diane Huntsman

    In a culture where hip is the thing and cool is coveted this passage challenges us to be mindful of the lesser thans that culture deems “lessee than” not God.. God is mindful of those who don’t fit into the culture cool groups.. He wants us to be mindful of them as well.. we often want to rub shoulders with the popular n pretty people, even in church we want our circle to be the leaders or the cool sheep.. but there’s something so Christ like in searching for the one who doesn’t quite fit in.. and there’s a plethora of ways that a person doesn’t “fit in” and God wants us to invite them in.. to the party, to those places they may never even be thought of to be included.. and I don’t believe it’s as much for them as it is for the invitee.. you see it’s usually always the bigger blessing for the one who reaches out.. we think we’re being a blessing to them and the reality is they are a blessing to us.. the reality is they have more of the impact on us than we do on them.. they have so much to teach us and we have so much to learn from them.. look around, pay attention, reach out, invite in, include the unnoticed, love the unlovely.. that’s Jesus.. He modeled it, we must mimic the modeling.

    • Irina Tumasyan

      Thank you so much!! It definitely hit home for me. This is what I feel for a while, and you just colorfully worded it …

  • Did anyone else notice those who refused to come were distracted by their worldly possessions and relationships? How often do I attend to my “to do” list before I meet with the Lord? Am I more worried about my job than His eternal work and spending time with Him? Sometimes blessings become idols and we forget our priorities!

    • CarolynJ

      Holy smokes. You are so right! I do this all the time. Even though I set aside time every morning to get up a little bit early to have a little bit of quiet time to study, pray, meditate on God’s word, sometimes I’m running behind and “don’t get to it” and often don’t give enough time to spending time with God.

      I’ve been struggling lately with wanting “more” than I have now, though what I currently have is: healthy children, a roof over my head (though not ‘mine’), food on our table, and bills paid (though we are paycheck to paycheck), and extracurricular activities to boot. I’m so very very thankful for what I DO have, what I KNOW God has blessed me and my family with, and I know, really, deep down, nothing else matters, and that I should keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and Kingdom matters. But, then I get to being upset that I STILL cannot get approved for a home loan, we STILL don’t have a house of our own (God’s answer seems to be “wait” and “not just yet” – for a while now). We are paycheck to paycheck and having to dip into savings. Then I get upset for wanting “more” even though part of me says these are perfectly ‘normal’ things to want and own and have in my life. But at what cost? If it costs me my focus on Jesus and what I’ve been called to do (including my life’s calling, which produced a massive amount of student loan debt), if all these worldly issues and material possessions get my focus off Jesus, then I really do need to sort out my priorities.

      Thank you for this insight and for opening my eyes.

    • Pam

      Oh oh oh! I did not but I’m so excited that you pointed this out. I saw a lot of arrogance in the way people acted across this reading and thought it was showing us humility as well.

    • Lehua K.

      Thank you so much for pointing this out… I’ve never thought of this story in this context! I had only thought about it in terms of excuses and how there should be none when it comes to building our relationship with God – we need to make it a priority in our lives. I am guilty of this and will be reflecting on it. Thanks again sister!

  • CarolynJ

    There is so much to unpack in these verses. From Jesus healing on the Sabbath, and the Pharisees blind eyes failing to take in the magnitude of the miracle just witnessed because of getting hung up on the law of “working” on the Sabbath. Then there’s the whole conversation about humility and how we should not think more of ourselves than we ought, and how we should humble ourselves or God will help us do it for us and it tends to hurt a bit more when that happens.

    But the last two verses stand out to me and I guess seem new to me this morning. Luke 14:22-24 says, after all the invited guests made excuses and couldn’t come, that the master sent for all those in the streets who were poor, oppressed, sick, lacking, to come in and feast with him. And when all those were brought in, there was still room. There’s always enough grace to go around! There’s always enough joy and salvation for everyone! Hallelujah! Isn’t God amazing, that all who come to Him are welcomed in and find refuge and rest and salvation. And those people who were initially invited made excuses. Shame on me when I make excuses as to why I can’t accept whatever invitation God has sent my way. God forgive me. Open my eyes to see your goodness and to see what You are calling me to today. Open my eyes and soften my heart to see that grace is available to all.
    And then the last verse says those who were invited will never taste of the feast. There will be people who will never accept that invitation to join Jesus at the feast and to accept what he is offering. We are just as responsible for this – see, in the parable, he sent out a servant to call the poor people off the street and bring them into His home for the feast, that we might all share in it. We are that servant. We are to share the Gospel and tell of all the wonderful things Jesus has done for us (Psalm 9:1 among others), that they might look at how we live and love and say “man, I want what she has!” And I gotta say, I don’t live that way hardly enough. Lord forgive me! Help me to be your good and faithful servant who does what you have asked, to share your invitation to everyone.

    We have been given a stack of invitations. What are we going to do with those today? Whether it be metaphorical regarding salvation, or to invite someone into our homes for a bowl of chili or for Thanksgiving dinner.

    • Brandi

      Thank you for this!

    • Paula

      Thank you for posting these thoughts. My brain is exhausted right now and I needed some extra guidance through this parable this morning.

    • Janice

      Thank you, this was just what I needed to hear today.

    • Diane Smutek

      Wow! You hit the nail on the head with your response. Thank you for reminding me that I am the servant called to invite others into the grace which I have also received.

    • Ashlyn

      So beautifully said. Thank you for sharing!!

    • Emily B.

      Amen! I had many of the same thoughts as you. We need to make sure people know about their invitation to the eternal banquet!

    • Mari

      Wow, I’m really being encouraged by a lot of you here today. I like the reminder Carolyn that, “I am that servant “.

  • Churchmouse

    Compassion needs a seat at my Thanksgiving table. Jesus reveals His compassion for the sick, the disenfranchised and the lost in these parables. He desires that they be included and welcomed. He desires for them to know Him through compassion and consideration and invitation. There will be a gathering of relatives on Thursday, diverse in background and need and yes, personality. We tend to sit in our family groups and barely intermingle. It’s a tradition to gather and eat but little else. We are connected by blood yet we don’t know each other well. We don’t know each other’s stories. We don’t get beyond a perfunctory “it’s good you see you.” But we don’t really see. Enough! I feel Jesus challenging me to draw them out, to ask the deeper questions, to share true hospitality. Yes, this Thanksgiving let me be truly glad we gathered and not just glad the obligation is over. Let my eyes be opened for I am the blind one. Let me hear the stories because I am the deaf one. Let my heart be tender because I am the needy one. I just haven’t realized that I too am one of those on the outside – sadly, by my own choice. This Thanksgiving… Enough. It’s time to invite myself into getting to know, really know, “them.”

    • Veronica

      I love your take on this! ❤️

    • Amanda

      This rings so true! “We are connected by blood but don’t really know each other…” What a sad truth! Thanks for this reminder just in time for the holidays.

    • Mari

      Love this Churchmouse! What great insight and reminder. For the past four months it’s been about what’s going in my life and my staff. Tomorrow I’m going to ask my family members questions how are they doing? What’s going on in their lives? My daughter even has a game day we can all play together. I am extremely thankful for these family members that are walking me through this. I want to make it about them tomorrow.

  • As I was reading the parable in Luke 14:8-11, Philippians 2:5-9 came to mind:

    “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name.”

    What humility! So thankful for a Savior who demonstrated His own teachings through His life and even His death. May we follow His example of humility.

  • There is a lot of significance to the setting of this passage. First, it’s the Sabbath, and he is at the home of one of the Pharisees. Pharisees were often caught up in the practice of religion based on rules. When Jesus healed on the Sabbath, he was breaking one of their rules; but the purpose of doing so was to demonstrate God does not hold us to such rules – they were created by man, not Him. Next, Jesus uses the feast itself to teach us a couple of lessons: don’t think more highly of yourself than others, and make your motivations purely for the betterment of those who cannot help themselves – not because you think there is something to be gained from doing good. We are called to do good because it’s right and just, not because of the earthly outcome.

  • Elisabeth7291

    A poignant message for the day before Thanksgiving when most of us with be gathered around tables amply filled. For me, this was a reminder to bless those who can’t afford or are not in a position to repay the efforts. May my heart be sensitive and obedient to the Spirit’s prompts this holiday season.

  • This is such a challenge in our churches – how often do we provide events that appeal to the middle classes? Or use language that alienates the uneducated? Jesus challenges us to be different, to focus our aims on those who haven’t yet heard the message, the lame, the broken and the lost. May I have the heart to love these and reach out.

    • Dana

      Amen

    • Tochi Heredia

      Thank you for sharing this insight Rachel, so much think about

    • Susan

      This is my challenge that God has placed before me; to take Him to the hurting, the broken, the lost. I presently co-lead a Bible study at my church and God has impressed upon my heart that this is not enough, that I must take Him outside the church and start a Bible study for women of the community who may have no church affiliation. This is a frightening step of faith for me, yet I know I must be obedient to His leading and prompting. Please pray for me as I begin this journey with Him.

      • Natalia

        Susan that’s beautiful. May the Lord give you the knowledge and strength you need to start this new journey. I wish there were more people like you, to start a initiative like this one, not waiting for anyone’s elese to give you “the go” to do it. Those women are going to be very blessed. And for us we need to remember that is not only during Thanksgiving that we need to go the extra mile and help others, is something that we need to do everyday. We need to make Thanksgiving every day for those who are in hunger of God’s Word.

      • Jeanna

        Praying for you, Susan. Can’t wait to here about your next steps!

    • Mari

      What a great insight Rachel. We get so caught up on ourselves that we forget. Thank you for the reminder.

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