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PARABLE OF THE WEDDING BANQUET

TEXT: [MATTHEW 22:1-14]

MEMORY VERSE: Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me {Revelation 3:20}

Note for teachers: Make the students come up with someone from whom they all want to get an invitation. Next, they decide where the party is going to take place, the games and the kind of food that’s going to be there. Now that we’ve arranged what we think is the perfect party, how many of you are going to call the person who invited you and tell them that you’re going to come to the party?

We will all be very pleased to be invited to this party and will make every effort to participate in this gathering.

This was just an event we organized in a few minutes. It would be exciting if we could really go to this party, wouldn’t it? I want to turn our focus this morning to the world’s greatest event planner. For all men, women, boys and girls, God, our father, have a plan. Since the very beginning of life, he has had a plan. When He made the very first man and woman He wanted to have a close relationship with them and never to be apart from them. When Adam and Eve disobeyed the only command of Heaven, they brought sin into the perfect world that God had made. 

The penalty was to be separated from God for their disobedience. Any person born after them was born with sin in their heart, because they sinned.

God had a purpose when Adam and Eve committed sin. He told them that he would send a Savior to save the sins of every man, woman, boy and child. God later told Abraham that the Savior of the Universe will be one of his descendants.

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob’s descendants were chosen as His people by God in the Old Testament.The people of God are also known as the Jews, the Hebrews and the Israelites. To His people, God gave His laws and promises. The plan of God was to use His people to show the world that He is the One True God and to point others to the Promised One.

Savior, when He came down to earth.

It’s hard to keep the history of God short, but it’s necessary for you to understand the history of God.

God’s people to better understand the lesson we’re going to learn this morning. God had invited His people to be part of the greatest event that would ever take place, if you can imagine this in your head. Hundreds of years had passed, and his people were still waiting to fulfill his promise. The Jews, sadly, were very proud of being chosen by God. They were not always faithful to him. In reality, many of them worshipped and rebelled against other gods. For many Jewish people, it was as if the invitation that God had given them was hidden in the bottom of a cabinet, never to be noticed again. God has continued to teach His people compassion and redemption. Still, God keeps His Promise, and If many of His people were still awaiting it to happen or not, He would send the Promised Savior.

Let’s open up our Bibles now and turn to Luke 14. We’re going to read verse 1. Jesus was invited to a Pharisee ‘s house to feast. Who can remember who the Pharisees are? The Pharisees are the religious figures of the day of Jesus. They’ve been trying to follow all the rules of God to satisfy Him. Not only did they obey the laws God made, but they made over 700 additional laws to make sure they obeyed the laws of God. These were not the laws of God, but they were added to enable them not to disobey the laws of God. These rulers taught the rules to the people of God and required all to follow all the laws, including those they had produced. The Pharisees were so fascinated with rules that they forgot that God wanted them to love one him, and have a relationship to him.

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Jews are the Pharisees. They are the founders of the Chosen People of God. It was a great blessing for them to be part of the family of God. It was not because of some great thing that the Jews did, as we mentioned earlier, that made them the chosen people of God. (Deuteronomy 7:6-8) It was the intention of God to select them to show Himself to the world and through them to send a Savior.

They did not see God ‘s promise of a Savior right in front of their own eyes, since the Pharisees had turned their attention to their own obedience to the rules. They saw him as their adversary, instead of seeing Jesus as the amazing fulfillment of God’s promise. The Pharisees spent their time battling against Him, attempting to deceive Jesus to show that He was not really the Son of God, instead of working with Jesus to help people come into the Kingdom of God.

Finally, here is the promised Savior of God in front of the Pharisees who should have believed that the promise of God had been fulfilled but did not believe in Him. They were hard-hearted and stubborn. They liked to be part of the chosen God, but they did not like the message of Jesus as to how to come to God. By believing in Jesus, they didn’t want to come to Heaven. They decided to come from their own righteousness, which held all sorts of rules.

Jesus knew their souls, and He taught them a parable on the day He was at the house of the Pharisee. Who recalls what the parable is? In order to help people understand the truth about God and His kingdom, a parable is a story.

Listen to a parable spoken by Jesus. Once upon a time, there was a man who made preparations for the Great Banquet. He decided to share his food and celebrate a wonderful time. He sent out invites to those who were going to come to his banquet. With the invites, he sent his servants out and the guests said that they would come to this man’s Great Banquet.

That man started the arrangements for his banquet. He made sure all the guests who said they were coming had enough food prepared for him. When he had finished all the preparations for the banquet, he sent his servant out to inform the invited guests that it was time to come and enjoy his Wonderful Banquet.

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The servant must have been eager to go and inform each guest that it was time to come to the banquet. He had tasted the food he was cooking. He saw the table waiting for each guest to come and take his / her seat, with several location settings. He also saw the excitement and happiness in his master’s face as he was excited to share this wonderful banquet with his invited guests.

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When the servant arrived at the guests’ houses, he had met several reasons for not being able to come to the Great Banquet.”One invited guest said,” I just bought some land and I’m going to have to go check it out. Another invited guest said, “I just bought ten oxen. Please excuse me from attending the banquet.” I need to see if they’re going to fit well in my area. Please excuse me from attending the banquet. “Another invited guest said, “I’ve just married, so I can’t come. How disappointing the servant’s news was. By welcoming them and preparing a great feast for them to enjoy together, he realized how generous his master was. There were none of the invited guests planning on coming to the Great Banquet.

He was quite upset when the servant told his master about all the reasons and how none of the invited guests would come to his banquet! These guests invited were rude.

They told him that they were coming; he made arrangements and planned and prepared all the food.

Now who is going to eat all the food that’s been prepared?

The master instructed his servant to go out into the streets and alleys and to invite to his banquet the needy, the handicapped, the blind and the lame.

The servant did as he had been told and went back to his master. I did as you told me, “he said,” and there’s still space for more guests to sit down at your banquet.

“The man said,” Go out of town, go up and down the country roads and invite everybody to come to my banquet, so that my house will be packed. All those who were originally invited and found excuses not to come here will not be able to eat any of my food.

In Jesus’ parables, the audience He talked to will be reflected in His parable.

Since Jesus talks to the Pharisees, let’s see if you can find in the parable of the Great Banquet what characters they play.

Who do you think portrays the Pharisees in this Parable? The Jewish leaders who would not recognize Jesus as the path to God are the welcome guests. Through His promised Savior, God welcomed them to be saved, but they made all sorts of reasons as to why they did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God and would not recognize Him as their Savior. They believed Beelzebub (the devil) was Jesus. Matthew 12:24 they wanted some great miracle sign from Jesus (Luke 11:16) (He had healed many people they heard about already) and then they would believe. Their reasons as to why they have not acknowledged

Jesus prevented them from being rescued and from being part of the everlasting kingdom of Heaven. John 10:22-39 they rejected God’s invitation to them to spend eternity with Him by making excuses.

In Jesus’ Great Banquet parable, the excuses in the first two parables are pure lies. No one in the Bible bought land without first testing it out.

It would be like going to the computer and purchasing a piece of property for us that someone was selling on e-bay and we never actually went to the property we were buying. No one purchased oxen and tried it out afterwards. It’d be like buying and driving a car to see if you like it. The third reason is real transparency. His wife was the responsibility of the man who was married, but he had previously said he would come. His duty was his priority, and he chose to disregard his invitation.

People nowadays make the same excuses. We may be more interested in making more money and getting more stuff than accepting the invitation to follow Jesus and become a fisher of men. We may also be so busy doing many things that we have little time or would not make time for Jesus to be our Lord and Savior (sports, hobbies, friends, video games).

Many of us have duties, such as education, job, etc., but duties can never be an excuse to say no to God. Our response should be yes, when He invites us to join Him and serve Him. He’s going to encourage us to do the things we need to do and be obedient to serve Him in the place to which He has called us.

In Jesus’ days, people who were crippled, blind or lame were known as outcasts. They were looked down upon by people and were not handled well. Jesus told the Pharisees in the parable that the crippled, blind and lame embodied all people who the Pharisees did not believe could ever be holy in the eyes of God. 

The master invited the outcasts to be part of his banquet, as those invited to the banquet found excuses not to come (Pharisee / tax collector, Luke 18:9-14).We need to know that in order to understand the final party who were invited to the Great Banquet, In His Word, God vowed to give His Savior first to the Jews and then to all the Gentiles. A gentile is someone who is not a Jew (Isaiah 65:1, Deuteronomy 32:21, Romans 15:8-12). You and I, if we have no Jewish family members, are Gentiles. In the parable of Jesus, the Gentiles are portrayed as the ones welcomed from the roads and country lanes.

The parable of Jesus asking the Pharisees does not make them feel proud at all.

Basically, Jesus warned them that they would lose out on God’s Great Gift of Redemption because of their rejection of Him.

 Jesus has much for us to understand when we study this parable together. 

What we felt would be a wonderful party for us to be invited to.

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This parable tells us that we were all invited to the greatest event of all time! Jesus tells us that God sent His invitation to all for redemption. He kept his word of sending a Savior to the Jews and Gentiles (John 3:16). Jesus says, “Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will never push away anyone who comes to me.” John 6:37

Have you accepted God’s invitation to be saved by faith in His Son, Jesus? If your sins have been cleansed away and you have a personal relationship with Jesus on this planet, then one day you will spend eternity with Him in Heaven. We are told in Revelation 19:7-9 that one day anyone who accepted the invitation to be saved will celebrate with Jesus a wedding meal.

Are you like the Pharisees and the religious leaders who believed they were decent enough to keep the laws of God and didn’t believe they had to put their trust in Jesus in order to spend eternity with God? Do you accept that you are lucky enough to go to heaven because your parents are Christians and that you attend church? Jesus taught in this parable that those who were invited and made reasons not to come would be unable to taste the food prepared for them. You have not embraced the invitation of God to come through faith in His Son Jesus if you believe that your good deeds are the way you can get to heaven. You will not experience everlasting life with Him.

Can you enjoy a close friendship with Jesus while you live on this planet if you have accepted the offer of God to be saved? Do you spend time each day reading your Bible and praying for Him? Do you show Him your love in obedience to His Word? The life you are living here prepares you for the Great Banquet (Wedding Dinner) when you will walk in the presence of God forever and ever.

If you have accepted the invitation of God to be saved, are you inviting others to the Great Banquet to join you? Do you tell them of the great love of King Jesus, and how he planned a way for them to live one day in heaven forever? You should invite them to the Great Banquet by sharing the Good News that Jesus died for their sins and rose again on the third day. It’s up to everyone you invite to say to Heaven, yes or no. In this parable, Jesus tells us that there is always room for more to come.

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