Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Morning Cup of Tea: The Parable of the Feast

Good morning! Being the first day of the week many of you are probably at worship at the time of this writing. I usually try to have it written earlier but I over slept. Today I am home. My husband is working. 
   Today's lesson is Luke 14:1 - 25.  Jesus has been invited to dinner at the home of the ruler of the Pharisees. A man with dropsy was there. Dropsy is what we know as edema, or swelling, usually the legs and such, oftentimes due to congestive heart failure. Although no one said anything about it being the Sabbath, Jesus obviously knew what they were thinking because he reminded them that if an ox was in the ditch they would pull it out, no matter the day of the week. 
 Jesus then began to talk with them about not automatically sitting in places of honor at gatherings, but to sit in a lesser place. That way their host can choose to ask  them to move up to a better place instead of asking them to give up their seat to someone of more importance. Those who try to exalt themselves usually find themselves humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted (v 11).
  Then he spoke to them about not inviting friends or family to feasts, who can and will repay with invitations to dinner, but to invite the poor and others who cannot repay. 
  Jesus told them a parable of a man who decided to have a great feast. He invited all his friends. One by one, they all sent their regrets. One said he had just married so he could not come. One just bought a piece of land and needed to go see it. One bought 5 yoke of oxen and needed to test them. Lame excuses indeed!
  When the master heard these excuses he was angry. He sent his servant out to the streets and told him to bring in the poor and the lame and the maimed and the blind. The servant did so and reported to the master there was still room at the feast. The master sent him even further out, to the highways and the hedges to bring people to the feast. 
   This one made me think, how often do we make excuses not to go to worship or to do what God wants us to do, such as visiting the sick, or simply writing a note to someone in need of encouragement?   I can't go because little Johnny is sick. I can't do it because I don't feel good. We all know the excuses. Some may be legitimate reasons but sometimes its because we just plain don't feel like it.
  Also, I think there is a parallel between the feast and our command to go and teach. Many of our friends and loved ones may give excuse as to why they cannot come to worship with us, or why they can't do a bible study with you. We are to move on to others whom we don't know, and teach them. We should continue further outward to bring others in. 
  What are your thoughts on this? I'd love to hear your comments and questions. If I don't know the answer right away I can surely find the answer. Until next time, have a great Lord's day.

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