Friday, October 24, 2014

SERMON: Where does God fit into your life?

By DAVID BILDERBACK, Special to The Ottawa Herald | 8/23/2013

Jesus is eating at the house of a prominent Pharisee in Luke 14, and he relates a parable that illustrates the gracious invitation of God.

A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet, he sent his servant to tell the guests everything was ready. But they all began to make excuses. The first man had to go and see a field he had purchased. The second was on was on his way to pick up five yoke of oxen he had purchased. A third man had just gotten married.

Jesus is eating at the house of a prominent Pharisee in Luke 14, and he relates a parable that illustrates the gracious invitation of God.

A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet, he sent his servant to tell the guests everything was ready. But they all began to make excuses. The first man had to go and see a field he had purchased. The second was on was on his way to pick up five yoke of oxen he had purchased. A third man had just gotten married.

When the servant returned and reported their excuses to his master, the man became angry and told the servant, “Go out quickly to the streets and the lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled, blind and lame.”

The servant did as he was told. Returning, he said, “Sir, what you have commanded has been done and still there is room.”

The master instructed him to go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in so his house could be filled. The master then said “none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.”

Jesus told this parable to illustrate to the Pharisees their transparency and dishonesty. The parable illustrates how man puts material things, business and occupation and family ties and social relationships ahead of God. The Pharisees had the appearance of godliness, but denied its power. Jesus always related his parables in the hearing of both the religious establishment and to those the religious establishment felt were unworthy: The poor and crippled, blind and lame.

Yet it was this group of people whom Jesus was able to reach. They were given ears to hear. The Pharisees were unwilling to admit their need of anything besides religion. They were at ease in Zion. They had control and power and when Jesus made statements like the last shall be first and the first shall be last in His Kingdom, they felt threatened and this put them at odds with Jesus.  

With the parable, Jesus concludes that the elite of Israel, who reject the Messiah, will not be given a second chance. Each of us must decide our level of service and commitment to God’s Kingdom. Keep in mind, however, there is a different reckoning in heaven than here on earth.

 

David Bilderback is a Greeley resident.

comments powered by Disqus