An Open Invitation

An Open Invitation: 2016 Gospel of Luke #57

This is an exposition of Luke 14:15-24, This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, May 7, 2017.

Intro:

“Boy from the sounds of things – they must be having some party in there.”  Laughter and music fill the air.  “Look at those tables.  Have you ever seen so much food in your life?”  The king had spared no expense in this banquet in honor of his son and his bride.  “Oh look, there is the king and his son.  They are beaming – I’d say this banquet is a complete success.  And look the guests seem to be enjoying themselves.  Hey, wait a minute.  Something is wrong.  Look at the guests!  Over there is that blind beggar who usually sets near the market.  And over there, is that…it is… a leper!  I can’t believe this.  And over there, no it can’t be.  It is – it’s a tax collector?  What are they doing in there?  If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes – I never would have believed it.  I never thought I’d see such a motley looking crew at such a fine banquet.  Has the king lost his mind?  Something is wrong, very wrong.”

That no doubt would have been the reaction of the religious establishment if they had walked up on the banquet our Lord described in Luke Luke 14.  Jesus was in the home of a certain Pharisee.  He had been invited to dinner but not as an honored guest.  Rather, he was intended as the main course!  They were determined to get rid of him once and for all.  This was part of the murderous plot hatched by the establishment.  Jesus and his “new teaching” was causing quite a stir among the common Folk.  It was also causing some disturbance among the elite.  He must be stopped no matter what the cost.  Things had not gone well up to this point in the dinner party.  The hunted had become the hunter.  In stead of Jesus being on the ropes – the establishment was.  Jesus took up their challenge – healed a terminally ill man and then managed to insult everyone present and they have not said one word.  Finally in desperation one of the crowd jump on Jesus’ words about a banquet and the resurrection and he shouted – “Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”  Jesus’ response, in essence said, “I’m glad you brought that up.”  Let’s read about it in Luke Luke 14.

Text: Luke 14:15-24

Luke’s purpose is to bring his friend Theophilus to faith.
He wants him to understand the person and work of Jesus.
Because Theophilus is a Greek – Luke presents Jesus as the universal Savior.
He is not just the Messiah of the Jews – He is the Savior of the world.
We are in the last 6 months of Jesus’ earthly life and ministry.
The cross is on the horizon.
Our Lord set His face as a flint for Jerusalem.
There is no turning back.
All of history has been moving toward this event, this one moment.
Jesus is preaching the Gospel in very clear and certain terms.

This parable is a parable about the Gospel.  It is about the greatness of God’s grace and the wickedness of man’s heart.  It is about God’s great love and our profound indifference.  It is a humbling reminder that when all is said and done I owe my joy, my happiness and my eternal well being to the grace of God and the grace of God alone!

Thesis: The wonder of the Gospel is God’s love penetrating my cold indifference.

There is a style and method of evangelism that says the best way to win a man to Christ is to say to him, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.”  The problem is the natural man says, “Of course God loves me – why wouldn’t he?  I mean, what’s not to love?  And besides – that’s God’s job – to love me.”  While folks are quite willing to speculate on who might be outside the love of God – they assume that they, themselves, are safe.  That brings us to the crowd gathered around the table with Jesus.  They were very certain that they would be enjoying the “Great Banquet” – Jesus brought another perspective to the table.

There are three things in our text related to a biblical understanding of the Gospel.

  1. God’s gracious invitation reveals the compassionate heart of the Father.  (14:15-17)
  2. Man’s refusal of God’s gracious invitation reveals the foolish darkness of his own heart.  (14:17-20)
  3. God’s continuous grace in the face of blatant disregard reveals the depth of God’s love for us in Christ.  (14:21-24)

Conclusion:
The gospel is exceedingly wide in its appeal.  Whosoever will may come.  To reject that call is to remain in your sin and therefore under the judgment of God.  It is not merely a matter of missing a great party with wonderful food.  It is to spend eternity away from God, the object of His righteous wrath.

Are you saved?  There is nothing wanting on God’s part.  If you are not saved, the fault is not on God’s side.  The Father stands ready to receive all who come to Him by faith, trusting in Christ and Christ alone.  The table is set.  Everything is in order and in place.  Come and dine.

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