They all alike began to make excuses.
When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ But they all alike began to make excuses.
So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’”
The message of this parable had to be very clear to to the Jewish leaders who were present with Jesus. Since the days of their ancestor Abraham the Jews had an open invitation to fellowship with God. Yet so many in their history, and even those in Christ's presence, rejected the call to this intimate relationship. I wonder if those present even understood that God was inviting them, even at that very moment, to himself in Jesus?
We mistake the meaning of this parable if we dismiss it as a call to evangelization of the masses. For sure the invitation is open for everyone who will simply say yes but we would do well to remember that the initial invitees all tendered excuses and declined God's offer. In a sense we, who have been around the church for many years, can fall into that same trap. Thankfully the call remains for us to come and dine with the Master at his table of fellowship.
Help me to say yes every day Lord. Open my eyes to the excuses I give when you call me to intimacy.