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Messianic Meal

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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"The servant said, 'Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.' "

Luke 14:15-24

In the ancient world, fasting was more than not eating. In a world where meal preparation took up a vast majority of one’s day, fasting freed one from having to prepare food, allowing time for prayer, family, and catching up. The followers of Jesus in the gospels did not fast. This fact concerned the religious leaders, and they even asked Jesus why. Jesus basically told them, “Something new is happening and now is the time to party” (Luke 5:33-39).

Jesus’ view of the Kingdom of God looks like a large wedding feast.

Yet in our passage, Jesus tells a story where people refuse to attend the feast. The original guests were invited long before the feast took place, yet when the time came they could not lay down the daily burdens of life long enough to attend a lavishly prepared free meal. A second invitation goes out to the blind, the crippled, the lame, and people along the road, all people who were not welcome at Temple worship or special banquets because of disease or ethnic background.

This parable reminds us the kingdom of God is about community, and we choose whether to enter or not. It is about pledging an allegiance to the host of the banquet and to fellow participants, while leaving our individual stuff at the door.

Jesus enjoyed a good banquet feast. A feast is like fasting, only way better. If you attend a feast, you still are freed from the responsibility of food preparation, but you also receive all the benefits of a great meal—food, fellowship, and a joyous atmosphere.

For Jesus, the Kingdom of God is like eating out at a dinner party. Every day.

FOR FURTHER REFLECTION:

Is this a parable of judgment or inclusion? Is the kingdom of God only a future promise or a present reality?

PRAYER:

Great Host of the banquet table, thank you for your invitation to participate in your meal. Help me to say yes to you and to your other guests. Forgive me of the times when I say no as I attempt to get my own way. Amen.

READ THE PASSAGE IN CONTEXT:

When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him,"Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!"

But he said to him, "A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.'

"But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, 'I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.'

"And another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.'

"And another said, 'I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.'

"So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, 'Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.'

"And the servant said, 'Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.'

"And the master said to the servant, 'Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.' "

Luke 14:15-24

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