For the proclamation of the Gospel and the edification of the Body of Christ
The excuses for not going
The Lord Jesus taught that the Kingdom of God is like a great banquet, which God invites many to participate in. The Host is of the highest quality; the event is the finest. Everything is of the first order. The hour comes closer, everything is prepared. The Host is waiting. However, here a problem arises: The guests don't go; the only response is excuses. They had received their invitations in advance, and they had time to put their things in order, but they don't go. Why?
They have many very valid reasons for not going. One had acquired a country property and he/she needed to go and see it. Another had bought several yokes of oxen and he/she needed to try them out. A third had married, and he should be devoted to His wife.
These three excuses have a certain degree of validity, nobody can deny it. They were part of man's normal activities that are right to attend to. Yes, all that is valid, but not towards God. If the host was less noble, and the dinner less select, then it could be ok. But when we are dealing with the one who invites, and the reason for the gathering, the excuses are unacceptable.
Must the Creator God of the heavens and the earth, must the King who rules over all things, be wronged? Must He be undervalued because He condescends to stoop down to man to honor him?
Each one of those excuses has something in common: they are looking for their own satisfaction. The ego is the center, and the decision taken follows that road. Those men have something important to do. They have acquired something valuable for themselves - country property, oxen, wife - and they are not willing to give it up. What a valuation! What blindness!
In the present, a country property, some oxen and a wife can have the highest value, who doubts it? However, in the light of eternity what is their real value? Today we dazzle ourselves with the games with which we kill the time, but in that day we will see (oh, so late!) that true gain was in obedience to the invitation of God.
It's not bad to have property, oxen and a wife. But it is bad for the reason that they are rejecting God. "If anyone comes to me, and doesn't hate their father and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers and sisters, yes, and even also their own life, they cannot be my disciple Anyone of you that doesn't give up all that he possesses, cannot be my disciple" (Lk. 14:26, 33).
But look at what God does. When the invitation is rejected, he replaces the reluctant guests with others. He won't stop the banquet that He has prepared with so much expectation from taking place. Therefore, He sends for all kinds of people, less distinguished, but more prompt. They don't have such good reasons for not going. They don't have many goods, nor do they have many parties to celebrate. So the unoccupied ones, the vagrants, the waste of society arrive. They are introduced into the banquet in numbers, until the house is filled. What grace! How great is the kindness of God towards you and me!