Part 2 - Lesson 5

Invited to A Dinner Party

This lesson is from Matthew 22:1-14 and Luke 14:15-24.

Jesus was at a dinner at the home of a Pharisee. As He looked around, He noticed all the other guests were rich, well-educated people with high positions in the church.

Jesus said to the Pharisee, “From now on, when you give a dinner, do not invite just your rich friends. They will only invite you back, and then you have not given anything. Instead, invite the poor. They cannot pay you back, but God will reward you in heaven.” Then Jesus told a story to show how God invites everyone to Him.

A rich man, Jesus told them, planned a big dinner party and invited many friends to come. He worked for a long time to make sure everything was perfect. At last, the day of the dinner arrived. The room was decorated just right; the tables were set, and the food was ready. The host told his servant, “Go to the friends I have invited and tell them to come. The dinner is ready.”

The servant went to the house of the first friend and said, “Come; the dinner party is ready.”

“I can’t come after all,” said the friend. “I have bought some land, and I must go look at it today. Please ask for me to be excused.”

The servant went to the second friend’s house. “It’s time to come,” he said. “Everything is ready.”

“I’ve just bought some new oxen for my farm, and I must go try them out right now,” said the friend.

When the servant stopped at the third friend’s house, the friend said, “Oh, I can’t come to a dinner party now. I just got married.”

The servant went to the home of the other friends who had been invited, but everyone had some excuse for not coming to the dinner party. When the servant came back and told the host, the rich man was angry. He looked at the beautiful dining room with the tables all set and no guests. He thought of all the work he had done to get the party ready.

“Go out quickly into the streets of the city,” he told his servant. “Bring in the poor, the blind, the disabled.” After awhile the servant returned.

“I have done as you ordered,” he reported, “but there is still room for more.”

“Then go out into the highways and fields and make them come in,” said the host. “We will fill this house up and not one of those I invited will taste a bite of my dinner.”

God, like the rich man in the story, has invited each of us to come to Him. There are many places in the Bible where He speaks to us, inviting us to learn how to live for Him. But too often, when we hear His voice calling to us, we make excuses. We have something else we want to do first, so we say, ”Not right now, God. Call me again when I’m older. Some other day I’ll do the kind act You want me to do, but now I’m too busy studying and trying to be popular. Someday I’ll read the Bible You have sent to guide me, but I’m busy watching TV and playing games right now.”

But someday may be too late. He wants us to follow Him today. If we do not choose to put the kingdom of heaven first now, we may never choose it at all. Then we will lose the wonderful blessings He has for us, just as the rich man’s guests lost out on the dinner party.

We may hesitate because we’re afraid that we are not good enough to come to Him. But he wants each one of us. We don’t have to be rich, or smart, or popular, or in perfect health or already free of sin. All we need to do is accept His invitation, just as the poor people accepted the rich man’s invitation to dinner.

“Come unto Me,” says Jesus.

Why not say to Him, right now, “Yes, Jesus, I come to You. I accept Your invitation.” Then He will come into your heart and make you a part of His kingdom.

On The Bible Trail

Jesus gives us many invitation to come. Look up the following Bible texts where He says, “Come.” Isaiah 55:1; Matthew 11:28; Mark 10:21; and   
Luke 14:17.

Treasure Chest Verse

Our Treasure Chest Verse is another invitation to come to Jesus:

“Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you.” Matthew 25:34