GIVE THANKS WITH A GRATEFUL HEART
https://youtu.be/BAo2iZ9vWHg Don Moen Give Thanks
The Great Feast Parable
Today we will celebrate another Thanksgiving Day. We will talk about being thankful and we are thankful for what we have been given. We will gather our family and friends, we will cook our best foods, we will use our best china. We will decorate and have a beautiful table. It is a special day for most of us. We have so much for which we thankful.
In considering what to write this week, I thought about how many times Jesus had dinner with people. He had dinner with Pharisees, with sinners, with friends with people who were outcasts. He fed thousands with fish and bread. He ate so often that in Matthew 11:19 he is call “a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.”(NIV)
It would seem that Jesus did most of his mission work while having a meal in someone’s home. In the Luke 14, we find Jesus going to one of the leaders of the Pharisees on the Sabbath. He heals a man which starts a conversation about healing on the Sabbath. Jesus questions them about what kind of things they might have done on the Sabbath. The crowd fell silent. Jesus begins watching guest pick their places at the table. It seems each wanted to sit at a place of honor. Jesus begins speaking and gives them some rules of etiquette. He ends the discussion with the comment, with the following verses.
“12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Now I don’t think he was saying don’t invite your family and friends. His point was about doing for those who can’t repay you. In other scripture, he tells them that what’s done in secret in seen by the Father in heaven and He will reward you.
After saying this, Jesus tells the story of the great banquet.
15 When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”
16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’
22 “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. 24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”
Jesus tells a similar parable later in His ministry in Matthew 22:1-14. In this parable, there is a king who invites guests to his marriage supper. Those on the guest list also refuse and excuse themselves. The king then invites those on the streets, good and bad. But when he notices a man without wedding attire, or literally in filthy rags. The king ask where are his wedding clothes. The man has no answers and the king says to “bind his hands and feet and throw him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth! For many are called but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:13-14 (New Living Translation) What!!! Why??? The whole parable hangs on the king, Jesus. Jesus is the way you get in the kingdom. There is only one way into the kingdom. The only entrance is through the king, Jesus Christ. The only clothes one can wear in are repentance and faith. The guest in the story came in his filthy clothes which symbolized his flesh. Man can never enter the king’s kingdom in our fleshly clothes. The parable ends with “For many are called, but few are chosen.” God draws us to Himself. But we in our rebellion so often refuse or try to come by our own means.
From this story in Matthew 22, we move on to Matthew 26 where Jesus prepares his disciples for His death. He goes to Simon the lepers home for the next meal. At this time, we see a woman with an alabaster vial anoint Jesus’ head. He announces the plans for Passover. This meal is one of the most important meals Jesus has in His ministry. In this meal, he institutes communion. “Do this in remembrance of me.” Jesus wants the disciples and all His brothers and sisters to remember that he will return: One day we will have a feast and have a giant celebration for the marriage supper of the Lamb. We will forever be with Him to rule and reign.
As we have our Thanksgiving dinner this year, my prayer is that we pause to remember the “things” we have here are temporal. Only the things done for Christ will last. (C.T. Studd) The line from this poem says it all. We should do as Jesus did; minister wherever we are and have an attitude of gratitude for what we have been given but hold it with an open hand.
One day Jesus will sit down with His bride, the church and we will have a wonderful feast at His table.
My parting scripture is from Revelation 3:20. One of the last words Jesus leaves for us.
“Look, I stand at the door and knock. If you hear My voice and opens the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.”
Today as we have a wonderful meal with our family and friends, think about that day when we will sit down at the king’s table and share a banquet meal with Jesus. Jesus desire is that no one would miss spending eternity in heaven with Him. Invite those who do not know Him to come by way of the cross through faith to that most glorious banquet being prepare for His children. We are longing for that day.
May God Bless you and your family,