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. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”Jesus replied with this story: “A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations. When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant to tell the guests, ‘Come, the banquet is ready.’ But they all began making excuses. One said, ‘I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I have just bought five pairs of oxen, and I want to try them out. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I now have a wife, so I can’t come.’ “The servant returned and told his master what they had said. His master was furious and said, ‘Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ After the servant had done this, he reported, ‘There is still room for more.’ So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full. For none of those I first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet.’”—Luke 14:`12-14, 16-24
Who is it that we reach out to and encourage to trust Jesus? Do we just go to those who are like us? Jesus said “Don’t invite your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors. For they will invite you back, and that will be your only reward. Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. Then at the resurrection of the righteous, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you.” When is the last time we reached out to someone like that?

Jesus told us that “it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:23-26). They do not see their need and they have become dependent on their wealth (Luke 12:13-21). There are rich people who respond, but they are few. Take a look at Isaiah 58:6-9 and Matthew 25:34-36 to see among whom the Lord Jesus expects ministry to be taking place.

According to the passage above people make excuses for not coming to the banquet. One said, “I have bought a field and must inspect it.” He was into real estate and that was what occupied his priorities. Another had “just bought five pairs of oxen and I want to try them out.” He was into business “machinery” and focused his time there. Still another said “I now have a wife, so I can’t come.” His spousal relationship was his main concern. They were not going to make time for the banquet. They did not see it as very important.

Personally, the most responses to the gospel that I have seen are those in prison and those who are sick. Who will we go to today? “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (I Peter 3:15). Who will we invite today?

Dear Father, please help me to sensitive to the people I come into contact with today and invite them to banquet with Jesus!

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