The Great Supper

Luke 14:15-24  And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.  Then said he unto him, 16  A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: 17  And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. 18  And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. 19  And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. 20  And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. 21  So that servant came, and showed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. 22  And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. 23  And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24  For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.


I.   It is very likely that this parable is the same parable as that given in Matthew 22:1-14.    ..\..\MATTHEW\22v01-14.doc  I am going to treat them as being different because there are certain differences in them.

A.     Mainly the parable in Matthew involves a man at the wedding supper without the proper garment.

B.     The parable in Matthew describes the supper as being related to the marriage Supper of the Lamb of God, but the parable in Luke does not.

1.       I believe the parable is related to the marriage supper of the lamb, relating to the Jews that because the Israel rejected the invitation, Christ will invite others to his supper.

a.       It is obvious the invitation to the supper does not go to the bride.

b.       The bride is never invited to her own supper, she will be there.

2.       Because Israel rejected Christ as their Saviour and Lord, Christ first turns to those Samaritans that dwell in and surrounding Israel, then he turns to the Gentiles.

C.     The parable in Matthew 22:1-14 is given in reply to the Jews who have consistently refused His kingdom.

1.       Matthew 21:1-17 - The triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem is described along with His cleansing the temple of money changers.  Verse 15 describes the common people praising God, and the religious people being sore displeased at their praising Him and His cleansing the temple.

2.       Matthew 21:18-22 - Christ cursed the barren fig tree, and gave the promise of asking and receiving to His disciples.

3.       Matthew 21:23-27 - Christ answers the chief priests and elders of the people who question His right or authority to teach scripture.  Christ replies by asking them about the authority of John the Baptist, (whom they refused as sent from God) which they cannot answer.

4.       Matthew 21:28-32 - Christ gives them the parable of the two sons, which is a description of the Jews who have refused to serve God His way.

5.       Matthew 21:33-46 - Jesus gives the parable of the wicked husbandmen, which describes the Jewish people who mainly disregard God's Son - Jesus Christ, and kill Him.  Christ declares the vineyard will be let out to other, more faithful husbandmen - the Gentiles.

D.     The parable in Luke describes more about how to conduct yourself at a supper, whether it is a marriage supper or a dinner.

1.       The greatest supper is, of course, the marriage supper of the Lamb of God, to which all would like an invitation.

2.       This parable is teaching Jews how to be as God wants them to be, while the parable in Matthew teaches the Jews why God had rejected them.

E.      Sequence of events prior to the parable.

1.       Luke 14:1-6 - Jesus was taking a meal in the house of one of the Chief Pharisees on the Sabbath day, and He healed a man with dropsy, confusing them all.

a.       Dropsy seems to be a disease where a certain part of the body is filled with fluid, therefore that part of the body is larger than it should be.

b.       Sometimes it is the head, stomach, legs, so forth.

2.       Luke 14:7-11 - Jesus gives a lesson on not promoting yourself, but being humble, accepting the lower seat, and allowing others to exalt you, them giving you the higher seat.

3.       Luke 14:12-14 - Christ explains that there is no reward for inviting guests to your home that will recompense by inviting you to their home.  The reward comes in having guests in your home that cannot recompense you the favor.  The reward comes at the resurrection.

4.       Luke 14:15-24 - Now is the parable in our study, as Christ illustrates the puny excuses given by people who would rather look after material possessions than spiritual possessions.  These people have rejected their invitation to spiritually partake with Christ and their invitation has been taken back, and given to others.


II.   The parable expounded.

A.     The preparation and invitation of the great man.

1.       This supper was prepared with great celebrity and notoriety.

2.       Invitations were sent out ahead of time, so all would have time to prepare to attend.

3.       When the time of the supper came, a final invitation went out to all that had been bidden.

B.     Who is the servant?

1.       According to Luke 14:17, it is "his" servant. 

2.       Does this servant have a name? 

3.       I am sure he does, but his name is not given.

4.       I know we could assume the servant is the Holy Spirit, and I think we would be correct, but I also know God almost always uses "means".

5.       The "means" are almost always his people.

6.       Maybe the servant's name is not given so we will put our name there.

7.       I believe this verse is teaching that God uses both us and the Holy Spirit to accomplish his goals.

C.     Some might object to “his servant” being the Holy Spirit because there is a refusal to obey.

1.       As far as the working of the Holy Spirit being effectual, it is always effectual.

2.       The results are not what we would expect.

3.       Isaiah 55:8 states that God does not think like we think.

4.       His purposes are far greater than we, in this human body and fallible mind can ever understand, or think upon.

5.       We think the effectual working of the Holy Spirit is always to bring people to Christ, to be happy in the Lord, and to rejoice evermore; but that is not what the Holy Spirit wrought in the heart of Pharaoh.

6.       God hardened Pharaoh's heart, and used that hardening for his eternal glory and honor.

7.       I know the Bible states that Pharaoh hardened his own heart, but that was after God hardened it.

8.       Romans 9:17 emphatically declares that God raised up Pharaoh for the explicit purpose of revealing to the world his power and might

9.       God will show mercy on whom he will show mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

10.   All of this is the work of the Holy Spirit of God.

D.     Some times when it seems the working of the Holy Spirit is ineffectual.

1.       Romans 11:11 - The fall of Israel was not permanent, but happened (as pre-determined by God) so the Gentiles could be brought in.  Israel willingly disobeyed the clear commands of God, so they are held accountable to God.  Thus human responsibility and God's election are made clear.

2.       Romans 1:19 states that God reveals himself to every man, yet if we continue reading to the end of the chapter, we find these people did not believe, but rebelled against any knowledge of God. Therefore God turned them over three times in this chapter.  God will bring them into judgment because of their rebellion.

3.       Psalms 14 declares the fool has said in his heart there is no God.  A fool is the person who rejects what he knows is the truth.  The fool knows there is a God, yet denies that fact.  His willingness to reject God stems from the fact that he does not want to admit God as creator, or judge.  Therefore he does not see God as Saviour.  God will judge the fool.

4.       Romans 2:15 indicates that men use the facts of sin and the law (which God has written on their hearts) and the Saviour in one of two ways. (1) They will accuse themselves, or (2) they will excuse themselves.

5.       Romans 3:19 states that no person will be able to stand before God at the judgment and say they did not know, understand, or believe the law of God, which condemns them.  That law that God has put on their hearts condemns them.  This is the work of the Holy Spirit.

E.      There are three different types of excuses.  Of all these supposedly “permanent” symbols affluence, none will remain for all eternity.

1.       One had purchased ground – This is a “permanent” earthly possession, which can be passed down from generation to generation, which will not go out of existence as long as the earth remains.

2.       One had purchased five yoke of oxen – This is a “semi-permanent” earthly possession, which can be passed down from generation to generation, but will go out of existence.

3.       One had married a wife – This is a very personal human relationship (not possession), which relationship will remain until the death of one of the individuals.

F.      The excuses of those who were invited.

1.       I have bought a piece of ground, and need to go see it.

a.       Why would any person buy a piece of ground, and not know what it looked like, how it lay, and what kind of plans he had to develop it for his own use?

b.       How many of you would buy a house without first looking at it?

c.       The problem, of course, if not that the person did not know what the land looked like, or what plans he had to develop it.

d.       The problem is self – the person is more interested in his plans than in serving God.

2.       I have bought five yoke of oxen, and need to go prove them.

a.       Would any person buy one yoke of oxen (much less five yoke) without finding out before hand what they would do?

b.       How many of you will buy a car without knowing what it will do?

c.       The person had the same problem as the previous man.

3.       I have married a wife and cannot come.

a.       I have married a wife, and cannot come - what more can we say?  (ha)

b.       Who would marry a wife without knowing what kind of woman she was?

c.       Does he have to get permission from his wife?

d.       Did he get permission from his wife to be at the place the other people were?

e.       The problem here is the same as above.

G.     All of these excuses have a common thread.

1.       The problem is one of self-absorption.

2.       There is no willingness to give oneself to God.

3.       They are more interested in their own things, than in the things of God.

a.       These men will gain much earthly possessions, but they will die and leave it all behind and have nothing for all eternity – all because they did not seek the kingdom of God in this life.

b.       Matthew 16:24-27 – “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” 

c.       Often, we compare ourselves with ourselves, and determine we are pretty spiritual – we must compare ourselves with God and his commandments – then we will determine we are wretched indeed, and need to devote ourselves more and more to God, his holiness and his righteousness.

d.       II Corinthians 10:12 – “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” 

4.       They did not share the joy of the "certain man who made a great supper".

a.       That “man”, no doubt is Christ.

b.       These people did have joy, but not the joy of God.

c.       It must be remembered that those who reject the invitation of God to his supper are saved, chosen ones of God, not strangers to God’s covenant of grace.

5.       Those that could recompense would not, therefore lost their invitation.

a.       Losing their invitation does not mean they are lost.

1)      It means they will not have their place in the kingdom of God.

2)      God will give that place to another, just as he took the keys of the kingdom of God from Israel and gave them to the church.

3)      The lesson for us is that we ought to be obedient to God, or we could lose our place in the kingdom of God – God giving our place to another.

4)      See Luke 14:33-35 – “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. 34 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? 35 It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” 

5)      This verse does not teach that a person can lose their salvation, rather they cannot be a disciple – a learner or pupil, a follower.

b.       Their recompense was that God had made a covenant with Abraham, which included the Jews that lived in Christ's day.

c.       This covenant declared that God would bless the descendants of Abraham, and they would bless God (give God glory).

H.     The invitation extended to those previously uninvited.

1.       The invitation is extended to those previously uninvited because of the anger of the master toward those who had refused his invitation - the Jews.

a.       Romans 11:11 - “I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.” 

b.       God turned aside from approximately .2% of the world’s population to the 99.8%.

2.       The invitation comes as a surprise to the Gentiles (the poor, the maimed, the halt, and the blind), for they had not previously known of their invitation.

a.       Acts 13:44-48 – The Gentiles were not saved until the Jews refused to believe.

b.       When the Gentiles understood the invitation to salvation was to them, they were very glad.

3.       The invitation goes to those who do not have the ability to recompense - the Gentiles, who are sinners, just like us.

4.       When the servant relays to the Master that there is still room in the house, the invitation is further extended.

I.        The invitation extended to those previously thought unacceptable to attend such a supper.

1.       Acts 1:8 declares, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” 

a.       There are three places God commands his young church to evangelize.

b.       Jerusalem and all Judea,

c.       Then Samaria,

d.       Then the uttermost part of the earth.

2.       The first group of people the invitation was extended to was the Jews, but they rejected the invitation.

3.       The second group are those people who live in the area of Israel, but excludes the ruling Jews.

a.       The servant is commanded, “Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.”  

b.       When the “religious” people of Israel rejected Christ, the Holy Spirit of God used the means of preaching the gospel to call the common people.

c.       These are the people of Israel, Samaria, Galilee, Decapolis, and the surrounding area.

4.       The third group are Gentiles.

a.       The servant goes out into the highways and hedges.

b.       The highway refers to the place where roads come together, where people are standing talking with one another.

c.       Hedges refers to a fence, an enclosing barrier, or a partition - any place where people are.

d.       Compel them to come in - like forcing them to attend.

J.       None of the men which received the first invitation shall attend the supper of the master.

K.     Luke 14:25-33 - After these sayings were completed, great multitudes followed Christ, and he spoke to them, I believe continuing the discourse which He started in the house of the chief Pharisee.

1.       Verse 26 - Jesus does not mean that we ought to despise our family, but that we shouldn't give such puny excuses for non-service as those bidden to the supper gave.

2.       Verse 27 - Those that do not bear the cross of Christ cannot be His disciple.

3.       Verse 28-30 - There is a necessity of counting the cost before a project is started - especially is it necessary to count the cost of true service to God.

4.       Verse 31-32 - A great king will count the cost of battle, whether he will win or lose, then take appropriate action.

5.       Verse 33 - So every person should count the cost of discipleship before entering into it.

6.       Verse 34-35 - Good intentions are very good, but the carrying out of those intentions is better.  Good intentions not carried out is good only for the dunghill.