Luke 14:18 But they all alike began to make excuses. (NIV)
The wedding season is upon us. It’s a beautiful thing to consider the bride and groom with all the pageantry: Guests are invited; food is prepared; and a host of plans are made in light of the special day. I have heard a few remarks, however, about the disappointment of “no-shows.” Something came up and someone missed the wedding. After invitations were sent out and tables were set, the expected guests were missing.
The parable of Luke 14 is not so far removed from our day. Jesus said that a special banquet was prepared and guests were invited. Nevertheless, one by one each had an excuse why they could not attend. One guest said that he had some property to inspect, while another offered the excuse of a pressing business purchase. All of them had an excuse.
Ultimately, the value of the prepared banquet did not rise above their personal endeavors.
We have excuses too. There are many reasons why people are not committed to the church. I’ve heard a long list of reasons why church members do not attend Wednesday Bible Study class. Others have told me how difficult it is to make it back for Sunday Evening worship. The list goes on and on from church fellowships to prayer meetings to serving.
The real issue comes down to priorities. It might just be my age, but I’ve seen enough to know that everyone does what they want to do. Nothing more. Nothing less. Seeing that values vary, the “banquet” i.e., the church, worship, involvement, is left for those who believe that Kingdom work is greater than everything else.
I’ll mince no words here: Jesus said, Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. This is the only way we can tell the intentions of the heart. The treasure is time, effort, energy, passion… perhaps finances. Intentions do not reveal the heart. It’s what we do that reveals what we value. Excuses? Well… there are many. Anyone can make an excuse.
Jesus called the banquet, “a great supper” Luke 14:16. Jesus spoke of it as supreme, critical, and all-encompassing. When the original guests did not come, the Master sent his servant to the highways and hedges, which simply means that the table will be full. Someone will come. It might not be the original invitees or those who think they are qualified. Someone will come and those who do will be given a place by the Lord Himself that His Word may complete, “so that my house will be full.”
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole