In Luke chapter 14, Jesus tells a story about a banquet:
“A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations. When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant to tell the guests, ‘Come, the banquet is ready.’ But they all began making excuses. One said, ‘I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I have just bought five pairs of oxen, and I want to try them out. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ “The servant returned and told his master what they had said. His master was furious and said, ‘Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ After the servant had done this, he reported, ‘There is still room for more.’ So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full. For none of those I first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet.’” (Luke 14:16-24 NLT)”
It isn’t unreasonable to read this and feel like the master in the story is being a little harsh. Some of the guests had just purchased property, and another had just gotten married. These seem like legitimate excuses for missing a party.
In telling this story, Jesus is painting us a picture of his priorities. That while we spend time trying to build our lives, He’s pursuing relationship with us by inviting us to His table.
When the master finds out that those first invited didn’t want to come, he tells the servant to go out and invite all the poor and hurting people that he can. He does, and still the master asks him to invite more people until the house is full.
This story invites us not only to be thankful that God has invited us to His table, but also to live aligned with His heart, which is to make sure as many people as possible know that they’re invited too.