October 26 – Luke 14 & 15 – There is Joy in Heaven
Today’s Tasting: Luke 14-15
In Luke 14, Jesus continues with his teachings. It begins with him having dinner on the Sabbath with a leader of the Pharisees. There was a man at dinner whose arms and legs were swollen. Jesus asked the Pharisees whether it was permitted by law to heal on the Sabbath day. They refused to answer his question so he healed the man and then asked them which of them would not work on the Sabbath to rescue their son or even a cow they fell into a pit? Again, the refused to answer.
As they were preparing to sit for dinner, Jesus noticed that there were those who vying for a prominent seat near the head of the table. He used this opportunity to teach them a lesson in humility, telling them that “those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves with be exalted” (14:11). When Jesus was finished, one of the guests made the comment “what a blessing it will be to attend a banquet in the Kingdom of God!” At that, Jesus told them a story about a man who prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations. When the banquet was ready, he sent his servants to tell the guests. However, each of the guests had an excuse as to why they didn’t have time to attend. One had fields to mind, another had new Oxen to work, and yet another had just gotten married. When the servants returned with these messages, the master was angry and told them to go out into the streets and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame…telling them that “none of those he first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet”.
Large crowds were following Jesus, listening to his teachings. At one point he turned to them and began to explain the cost of being disciple. He explained to them that if they wanted to be His disciple, they must by comparison hate everyone else—their parents, siblings, friends, in-laws, even themselves. He tells them that if they will not carry their own cross, they cannot be his disciples. Jesus warns them not to jump into discipleship too quickly, they must evaluate these costs and make sure they are willing to pay the cost of following Him.
In Chapter 15, Jesus shares several parables about the importance of finding the lost. Through these stories, Jesus makes it clear that there is more joy in over the one sinner who repents finds his way back to God than in all the righteous who haven’t strayed away. This chapter closes with the story of the prodigal son who was lost and found his way back home.
Like the previous chapters of Luke, there are so many of Jesus’ teachings that it is hard to focus on any single one. That being said, the story of the man who prepared a large banquet is the one that resonates most with me at this season on my life. You see, all the people the man had originally invited to share in his banquet were too busy to attend when then time came. This parable made me think about all the times I have pushed God to the side because I was “too busy”. Too busy to read my Bible, too busy to go to Church, too busy to pray…
Fortunately, our God is a forgiving God and unlike the man who said “none of those he first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet”, God will always allow make room for us at His banquet table because Jesus has paid our way.
So the next time you think you are “too busy”, I want to encourage you to stop for a moment and remember the price Jesus paid so we would have a seat at the table and then ask yourself if you are really too busy. God desires nothing more than to have a relationship with us, but we have to do our part and that means we have to make time for him. No matter how lost you may be, there will be joy in the heavens when you repent and return to God.
How do you make time for God? Share with us some of the things you do to make “God time” a priority in your life.
Tomorrow’s Delight: Luke 16-17
Hugs & Blessings,
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