No Passport, Just A Table

Bible Book: Luke  14 : 12-24
Subject: Kingdom People; Grace; Love; Missions

THE KINGDOM LIFE TABLE -NO PASSPORT, JUST A TABLE -PARABLE OF EXCUSES

INTRODUCTION

Jesus talks about the Kingdom of God as a great banquet, a party. He says that the King is throwing an elaborate and festive banquet to which He invites guests. God invites us to enjoy His presence forever and ever, feasting and celebrating, but there are many who will make excuses for not responding.

Can you imagine being on the invite list? This would have to be the greatest meal, the greatest party, and infinitely greater than any ever attended before.

For some of the poorest of the poor, it will be the only good meal they’ve ever had.

Menu: Not Hamburger-Helper, frozen pizza, Ramen noodles, or fish sticks. Krispy Kreme, maybe!

Meals are woven throughout the Bible

Garden, Passover, God hosts in Promised Land: Milk & Honey

Jesus’ ministry (John 15:2) Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:9)

Jesus, while on earth, gives us a preview of life in the kingdom to come.

Matthew 6:10, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

I. THE KINGDOM LIFE TABLE PROMISE.

12-14

People who have experienced Jesus’ gracious hospitality should extend the same type of gracious hospitality. If you’ve experienced it, you should extend it. Jesus is giving every person that belongs to Him an opportunity to be a missionary without a passport. He’s encouraging us to reach out to those who cannot repay.

Former Governor Perdue and Mary invited a Waffle House employee to the Mansion for dinner with her entire family, and he invited his entire family.

In Luke’s gospel, Jesus was either going to a meal, was at a meal, or coming from a meal. (Robert Karris, Eating Your Way Through Luke’s Gospel)

How would you complete this sentence: The Son of Man Came…

Karris says the New Testament completes this sentence with three answers. The first two describe why, the third describes how He came:

1. “To serve, not to be served, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

2. “To seek and save the lost”

3. “Has come eating and drinking”

Luke 7:33-35, “For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, 'Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' But wisdom is justified by all her children."

Most of all family occasion are around great meals, explain. In the ministry of Jesus, meals were occasions for revolutionary love, radical grace, kingdom mission. This text is a picture of what life in the Kingdom looks like. Jesus is teaching religious leaders things that they had not imagined.

In Luke 14:1-6 - Deals with Legalism

Luke 14:7:10 - Deals with Pride

Luke 14:11 - Deals with Principle of Humility

Jesus moves into Luke 14:12-24 by calling them to radical humility and counter-cultural hospitality. Serve the outcasts. Here, we see what kind of King we have, what kind of Kingdom we are part of, and what kind of people we should be. What if we applied this challenge often:

● Thanksgiving

● Christmas

● Superbowl Party

Jesus isn’t opposed to spending time with family and friends. Jesus accepted invitations of Lazarus and sisters

Early church was together - Fellowship /hospitality distinction - What is He saying? Don’t limit your guest list to only your friends, etc. He is also saying give preference to the poor. Where’s the Single Mom? Orphans? Special needs? Abused? The Marginalized? Jesus saw it as a more gracious, Christ-like, Kingdom-displaying act. We should show grace because of Jesus’ grace toward us. We were not deserving of His table! The proper response to grace - grace. We were poor (Matt 5:3), crippled (powerless), blind (unable to see truth), lame (unable to come to God). You need to see that you identify with them. Don’t be self-righteous. Realize that you had nothing, and have been brought to the table.

APPLICATION: Collapse the between you and the marginalized. Not just needs, but no class distinctive.

The Lord changed my moral life, but He wants my social life, too. Don’t live by the law of “pay-back.” Reciprocation as a goal is about self, but the Kingdom isn’t about self. “Grace is love that seeks you out when you have nothing to give in return.” (Paul Zahl)

Live for another reward - Luke 16:25, “But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.’”

Don’t always think of mission as extraordinary. Jesus didn’t start a program, a school, or have a crusade; He ate meals.

“Ordinary people doing ordinary things with gospel intentionality” (Timmis)

EXAMPLE: Dan Connell’s meals – bring an un-churched or un-saved friend. How are you doing at this? Have you practiced Kingdom hospitality? Built relationships? Invited others into community? Shared the gospel?

John Newton, “One would think that this was not part of God’s Word because it is so neglected by God’s people.”

Jesus turns the values of the world on their head. What attitude should we possess? Without grumbling, not “here’s a biscuit, shut up, let’s pray.” Lives are changed by simply asking, “Wanna come over to a cook-out Thursday?” Don’t be a “weird Christian.” Just love on them and share your story; be genuine; talk about grace. Don’t say, “I’d like to talk to you about the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse.”

Common Excuses:

Too scary

Too costly

Too busy

You have to eat!

May God help us show grace in ways that reflect that grace that we have received in Jesus.

II. THE KINGDOM LIFE TABLE PRINCIPLE. 15

This man breaks an awkward silence with an awkward statement. This is a pious statement; a lead balloon. The underlying assumption of his remarks is that the Pharisees will sit at the table. Jesus takes this statement and follows it up with a parable. His message: “just because you talk about heaven doesn’t mean you’re going there.” It’s not about a one-time decision, but a lifelong commitment and pursuit, like a marriage. It’s a relationship with God. This guy is a warning to all who have ever acted pious and self-righteous.

Don’t presume on the kindness of God. Jesus tells the parable at their own party and tells them they’re not coming to His party. But it’s not because they aren’t welcome or invited; it’s because they won’t believe in Jesus asking. They won’t respond to the King’s invitation.

III. THE KINGDOM LIFE TABLE PROBLEM. 16-24

v.16 translates “a man of great means”

Jesus as the Host. What King invites people to their party like this? Think about the greatest feast ever thrown, by the most famous person, and it pales in comparison to this invitation.

NOTE: The first invitation went out weeks ago, RSVP. Second, when it was time to come. To refuse was a massive insult. This is a picture of the Jewish leaders who believed in the law and prophets, and the Kingdom, but rejected the second invitation, Jesus, the King Himself. This imagery pictures Israel’s and the leadership’s rejection of the invitation.

APPLICATION: Those others think are more likely to be at the table (religious) will not be at the table. And those who will be there, will come from surprising places. James 2:5, “Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?”

A. EXCUSES FOR THE TABLE. 17-20

1. Field

2. Oxen – “I am going to test them”

(“Go try them out” seems like a preoccupation with something new)

3. Marriage.

Most excuses are financial or family. Something else is more important to them than attending the Great Feast. In first and second instances, materialism got in the way of honoring an invitation that was already extended; in the third, why not bring your date?

REAL REASON - Something is more important than Jesus. What lame excuses have you given? Or heard?

THINK! An invitation has gone out to you to participate in the resurrection feast. What’s keeping you from the party?

B. EXTENDED LIST FOR THE TABLE. 21-24

Luke 14:21 says to invite those not in the upper class.

Luke 14:22-23 is the Gentile mission

“compel them to come in” – be aggressive

We should be going everywhere, doing everything, inviting everyone to the banquet. There is still room!

NOTE: v.17 “Come, for all things are now ready”

Are you faithfully inviting others not just to a feast at your house, but to the Ultimate Feast?

An invitation to a guest’s home is a gracious offer – an invite to Jesus’ house is an offer of grace.

Jesus teaches that we are to use our houses and our wealth to make friends for the Kingdom.

Luke 16:9, "And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home.” (John MacArthur’s Study Bible)

16:9 unrighteous mammon. i.e., money. The unjust steward used his master’s money to buy earthly friends; believers are to use their Master’s money in a way that will accrue friends for eternity—by investing in the kingdom gospel that brings sinners to salvation, so that when they arrive in heaven (“an everlasting home”), those sinners will be there to welcome them. Christ did not commend the man’s dishonesty; He pointedly called him “unjust” (v. 8). He only used him as an illustration to show that even the most wicked sons of this world are shrewd enough to provide for themselves against coming evil. Believers ought to be more shrewd, because they are concerned with eternal matters, not just earthly ones.

Remember, in Mark 12:37, “The common man heard Him gladly.”