Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Alpha Invitation

by Rev. James wong
In Luke 14:15-24, Jesus told a story about a man who prepared a great banquet and sent out many invitations. But on the day of the banquet the invited guests all had their excuses for not coming. The master told the servant to quickly go into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame. They all came but there was still room for more. The master ordered the servant again saying “Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full.”

Jesus told this interesting story in response to the comment of a man who was having a meal with him. He said: "What a blessing it will be to attend a banquet in the Kingdom of God!" (Luke 14:15). It is obviously a blessing to have a banquet in heaven in the presence of God. There are a few important truths we can learn from this great parable.

1. The invitation must be sent out before anyone could come to know Jesus.
The master, out of his love, wanted to invite his friends to share in his banquet. So, he sent out his invitation to his friends. We too must send out the invitation before our friends could have an opportunity to have any contact with the church and to come to know Christ.

2. Some or most invitations will be turned down.
No matter how good your intention, some or most of your invitations will be turned down. People are busy and there are things that take priorities in their lives. A new purchase or even family matters will make your invitation a small matter. So, if someone turn down your invitation, do not be discouraged. It is just part of life but don’t stop there.

3. Some will respond to your invitation..
The master asked the servant to go to the street and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame to come for the dinner. These were the people hanging out on the street and alleys. They had need of a good meal and they all came. There will be people who will respond to your invitation because you are their friend or they are seeking for friendship or truth about life.

4. Urging for a response to our invitation is necessary.
There was still room for more and the master asked the servant to go out again to urge more people to come to fill his banquet hall. To urge is to “compel or constrain” in the original Greek. It means to encourage strongly or to give a push to get a response. It is necessary to give a push to encourage our friends to respond to our invitation. (See p.6)

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