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2007-03-11 - Is anyone hungry - Luke 14 15-24

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Message: Is Anyone Hungry?                          Newport Baptist Church

Scr: Luke 14:15-24                                            Date: 2007-03-11

Intro:   Jesus at a banquet at a Pharisee's house On the Sabbath

being carefully watched

Challenged them – healed a man on the sabbath & questioned what they would do if their son fell into a well on the sabbath

Challenged them on their desire for position – seating!

Challenged them on who to bring in to their own homes... Who should we invite?  The blind the poor, the crippled, the lame

One of the guests changes the subject!

The Jews pictured their future kingdom as a great feast with the patriarchs as the honored guests (Luke 13:28–29; Isa. 25:6–9), and Jesus used this picture to illustrate the importance of accepting God’s invitation to “salvation’s supper.” Salvation is a feast, not a funeral; everything we need has already been provided. All we must do is accept the invitation, come, and be filled!

Note here today the Invitation, The Excuses and the Response of the Host to those who reject him.

 1.      Vs 15-17 – The  Invitation

 a)     When a host planned a feast, he told his guests the day of the feast, but not the hour. He had to know how many were coming so he could butcher enough meat and provide sufficient food. The servants would then go out near the hour of the feast and tell the guests to come.

•       Invitations were often R.S.V.P.; thus these invited guests had already confirmed that they were coming.

 b)     The Jews invitation – messiah to come!

•       God had promised Abraham!

•       Jesus said John 3:16-18

 2.      vs 18-20 – The Excuses

 a)     Remember, the guests in this story had already agreed to come; but then they backed out. Their action and excuses were a terrible breach of etiquette as well as an insult to the host.  The three people all had feeble excuses.

•       1st Excuse - The first guest begged off because he had to “go and see” a piece of real estate he had purchased. In the East, the purchasing of property is often a long and complicated process, and the man would have had many opportunities to examine the land he was buying. Anybody who purchases land that he has never examined is certainly taking a chance. Since most banquets were held in the evening, the man had little daylight left even for a cursory investigation.

•       2nd Excuse - The second man had also made a purchase—ten oxen that he was anxious to prove. Again, who would purchase that many animals without first testing them? Not many customers in our modern world would buy a used car that they had not taken out for a “test drive.” Furthermore, how could this man really put these oxen to the test when it was so late in the day? His statement “I go to prove them!” suggests that he was already on his way to the farm when the servant came with the final call to the dinner.

•       3rd Excuse - The third guest really had no excuse at all. Since they involved so much elaborate preparation, Jewish weddings were never surprises, so this man knew well in advance that he was taking a wife. That being the case, he should not have agreed to attend the feast in the first place. Since only Jewish men were usually invited to banquets, the host did not expect the wife to come anyway. Having a new wife could have kept the man from the battlefield (Deut. 24:5) but not from the festive board.

 b)     Of course, these were only excuses. Billy Sunday who defined an excuse as “the skin of a reason stuffed with a lie.” These three guests actually expected to get another invitation in the future, but that invitation never came.

•       People today make the same mistake that the people in the parable made: they delay in responding to the invitation because they settle for second best. There is certainly nothing wrong with owning a farm, examining purchases, or spending an evening with your wife. But if these good things keep you from enjoying the best things, then they become bad things. The excuse-makers were actually successful people in the eyes of their friends, but they were failures in the eyes of Jesus Christ.

•       I cannot come actually means I WILL not...  Jews would reject God's messiah Jesus Christ - We cannot do the same

 3.      vs 21-24 – The Host's Response - There were two responses by the host: he shut the door on the excuse-making guests, and he got others to take their places at the feast.

 a)     The New Guests -

•       Having prepared a great dinner for many guests, the host did not want all that food to go to waste, so he sent his servant out to gather a crowd and bring them to the banquet hall. What kind of men would be found in the streets and lanes of the city or in the highways and hedges? The outcasts, the loiterers, the homeless, the undesireables, the kind of people that Jesus came to save (Luke 15:1–2; 19:10). There might even be some Gentiles in the crowd!

•       These men may have had only one reason for refusing the kind invitation: they were unprepared to attend such a fine dinner.

•       They had no excuses. The poor could not afford to buy oxen; the blind could not go to examine real estate; and the poor, maimed, lame, and blind were usually not given in marriage. This crowd would be hungry and lonely and only too happy to accept an invitation to a free banquet.

 b)     The Old Guests - Not only did the host get other people to take the places assigned to the invited guests, but he also shut the door so that the excuse-makers could not change their minds and come in (see Luke 13:22–30). In fact, the host was angry.

•       Jews rejection of the Messiah

•       Isaiah 55:6  - Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near

•       Proverbs 1:20–33 – turn and read! - give a solemn warning that we not treat His calls lightly.


man at the Table in vs 15 is a challenge to our confidence that we are good enough for God because of what we have done.  In no way did those invited help prepare the meal.  They did not prepare it, they did not issue the invitations, they did not hire the servants to spread the word of the feast.  They were simply invited to come.

Their response?  Excuses.

I bought a field

I bought 5 yoke of oxen (10 oxen!)

I just got married

the message of this parable applies to all who are far from God today. God still says, “All things are now ready. Come!” Nothing more need be done for the salvation of your soul, for Jesus Christ finished the work of redemption when He died for you on the cross and arose from the dead. The feast has been spread, the invitation is free, and you are invited to come.

there is still room.

He wants us to go home (Mark 5:19), go into the streets and lanes (Luke 14:21), go into the highways and hedges (Luke 14:23), and go into all the world (Mark 16:15) with the Gospel of Jesus Christ

This parable was the text of the last sermon D.L. Moody preached, “Excuses.” It was given on November 23, 1899 in the Civic Auditorium in Kansas City, and Moody was a sick man as he preached. “I must have souls in Kansas City,” he told the students at his school in Chicago. “Never, never have I wanted so much to lead men and women to Christ as I do this time!”

There was a throbbing in his chest, and he had to hold to the organ to keep from falling, but Moody bravely preached the Gospel; and some fifty people responded to trust Christ. The next day, Moody left for home, and a month later he died. Up to the very end, Moody was “compelling them to come in.”  

Will you accept the invitation?

Will you be the servants going and inviting others to come in?

Will you come in?

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