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Feasts and Banquets

There are several parables in the Gospels, where Jesus talks about Banquets, Wedding feasts, and even a "party" of sorts. A few of these are in Luke 14 and 15.

One that stands out to me today is in this passage.

Luke 14:15; 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!"
Luke 14:16; But He said to him, "A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many;
Luke 14:17; and at the dinner hour he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, 'Come; for everything is ready now.'
Luke 14:18; "But they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, 'I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it; please consider me excused.'
Luke 14:19; "Another one said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.'
Luke 14:20; "Another one said, 'I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come.'
Luke 14:21; "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 the poor and crippled and blind and lame.'
Luke 14:22; "And the slave said, 'Master, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.'
Luke 14:23; "And the master said to the slave, 'Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled.
Luke 14:24; 'For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste of my dinner.'"

Have you ever been invited to a party? A really big banquet? A large fancy dinner party?
This isn't a quick bite at McDonalds. This is a feast! A banquet! Not the type of meal you get everyday.
Have you ever had to RSVP or confirm that you were coming in advance. Maybe a "save the date" type of thing so that you didn't make other plans on that day.

It seems these people were invited to a banquet. It seems they were invited in advance and knew the date and time of this event in advance. But "at the dinner hour" he sent out servants to tell these people who had accepted the invitations that everything "is ready now".

It seems that we all invited to the banquet. And just about all of us said we would come.
In John 6:44; it says No one can come to Jesus unless the Father draws them near.
That may be true, but just because they are invited to the banquet, doesn't mean they have to attend.

It says in verse 18 that they all started making excuses.
I bought some land, I need to go take a look at it.
I bought some oxen, I need to go try them out.
... and even.. I got married, I have a new wife, so I can't come.

To me, these are pretty lame excuses. Who buys land without looking at it first?
Who buys livestock or farm animals without looking at them first?
but for sake of argument, lets say these things are true. They've waited this long to take care
of these things, now why, all of the sudden do they need to take care of these things during the
time of the banquet?

Matt 18:14; says it's not the will of the Father that anyone who comes to Him should perish.
1 Tim 2:3-4; says God desire "ALL men" to be saved. Not just some.
2 Pet 3:9; says God doesn't want ANY to perish, but that ALL would come to the knowledge of repentance.

So these people have been invited to the banquet, they have been given the opportunity to "draw near".
But yet... they are too busy today.

So the master becomes angry. Yes, the fact that God might be angry offends some people, but these aren't my words. This is verse 21 above.
The master says, go out and find the poor, the crippled, the lame.... and bring them here.

One thing about being poor and crippled, is that have plenty of time for banquets. The poor don't
have so many other "things" they need to go check up on. They don't have as many excuses not
to come to the banquet. They are hungry... so they come.
I think some people... just aren't hungry enough.

The servants tell the master "this has already been done", but yet there is still room.
I'm not sure how big heaven is... I do know the dimensions of the New Jerusalem, but the thing I notice
here is... heaven isn't a small place. There is more than enough room for everyone. There "is still room".
It seems that some Christians think heaven will "fill up" and run out of places for people to spend eternity.

So then the master says, well go out on the highways and byways... invite anyone you can find to come in to the banquet. I have set the table, I have prepared the meal... let's have a banquet.
If those who I've invited don't want to attend, fine.... I can find others. In fact... the passage ends with this phrase.... "For I tell you, none of those who were invited shall taste of my dinner".

Not everyone who gets invited will make it to the banquet. Many of them will never make it to the master's table.
Yet even some of those who accepted the invitation and came to the feast were cast out because they were not properly attired:

"So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.

And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:

And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.

Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

For many are called, but few are chosen." Matt 22:10-1

Do these verses perhaps speak of the proper attire to be wearing when we attend the wedding feast?

"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." Eph 6:11

"Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Eph 6:14-17
Yet even some of those who accepted the invitation and came to the feast were cast out because they were not properly attired:

That is a good point. I do agree.

It may be that the armor of God is the correct "wedding attire".
I think for me, when I think of the "clothing" of heaven, I think of the robes in Rev 7:9; Rev 7:13-14; and Rev 22:14;
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matthew 7:21-23)