(This was largely inspired by a sermon I heard today at Fellowship Bible Church. I highly recommend checking out the podcast on their website, fellowshipnashville.org.)
“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat” (Matthew 5:6).
Imagine the most lavish, ornate dinner party ever thrown. Call it a banquet or a gala if that helps.
Or if that’s not your cup of tea, imagine the biggest, wildest rave ever thrown with a top-notch dj and a lineup of great bands.
Imagine the guest list. You would think it would be full of celebrities and moguls and people who are listed in places like People magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People or Time magazine’s 50 Most Powerful People or Forbe’s 50 Most Wealthiest People in the World.
It’s not. If you look at the list closely enough, you see the poor, the crippled, the blind, the lame, the outcast, and the orphan. You see people that ordinarily wouldn’t even be let in the door.
Look closer. You see your name and my name there. We’ve been invited.
That’s the idea behind Jesus’ parable. The original guest list accepted but then backed out at the very last minute. So the King authorized the servants to go find the least of these and bring them in. Then he told them to go into the highways and byways and find people and compel them to come.
That’s our job as believers. Invite people to the best feast with the best food they’ll ever eat. We’re to compel them to come. Not in the sense of holding them at gun point, but to do all that is in our power to get them to come.
Jesus Himself told us what was on the menu. He said things like “I am the Bread of Life” and “Whoever drinks of me will never be thirsty again.” He’s not only the one inviting us, He’s the feast. He is the party.
We say, “You can come as you are. You don’t have to get cleaned up first. You don’t have to bring anything other than just your appetite”
That’s the Kingdom of God– a party like you’ve never seen offered to people like you and me who can’t seem to ever get their acts together and always seem to make stupid choices and dumb mistakes.
The sad part is that the most religious people and the most holier-than-thou types won’t be there. Jesus said matter of factly to the Pharisees that they wouldn’t even get a taste of the banquest because they rejected the offer a second time.
The best part is that for people like you and me, the offer still stands.
Will you come? Will you invite someone else?