Thursday, October 25, 2018

Rejecting the Second Call

"When one of those at the table with Him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God” (Luke 14:15).

While Jesus was eating with the Pharisees, a man commented that those who ate at the feast of the kingdom would be blessed. Jesus used this point to tell a parable. He said a certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. It was customary to issue two invitations, one in advance, and one just before the meal was served. Thus, at the time of the banquet, the man sent out his servants to tell the guests that everything was ready.

In that day, it was a serious breach for a host to fail to issue this second call. But it was even more offensive for a guest to accept an invitation and then reject the second call, except in extreme circumstances.

In Jesus’ parable, the invited guests rejected the call to the meal and gave amazingly feeble excuses. The first said, “I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me” (Luke 14:18). What kind of excuse was this? No one would buy land without looking at it first; but, even if he had, he could easily wait until the next day.

The second said, “I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out” (v. 19). Did he buy these oxen without first trying them out? This excuse was so flimsy, it was an insult. The third said he had just gotten married and could not come (v. 20). Weddings did not happen suddenly in Israel. If this man knew he was going to get married, why did he accept in the first place?

These insulting excuses infuriated the master of the feast. He turned from them, inviting others to come, saying, “I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet” (v. 24). The meaning was clear: Jesus’ call to the Pharisees was the second call, and the Jews were making poor excuses. Thus, the feast would be given to the Gentiles.

The first call has gone out to all the world through general revelation (creation, etc.). The second call (special revelation) is the written and preached Word of God. The unregenerate man continues today to make flimsy excuses in rejecting this call. List some excuses used by unbelievers to reject the second call. How can you use Scripture to invalidate such excuses?