The Pharisees had just been critical of Jesus’ healing on the Sabbath and Jesus had noticed their haughty, self-seeking attitudes at the dinner.
In the OT and other Jewish writings there are several references to dinning at a great banquet with the Messiah in his kingdom.
The Jews looked forward to the day when Messiah would set up his kingdom and part of the festivities would include a great banquet with the Messiah.
So the people hearing this parable about a great banquet would immediately identify what Jesus was talking about. He was talking about the Kingdom.
The host of a banquet sent out two invitations. An original invitation in advance and then a second invitation to notify that “dinner was served.”
In the preceding context to this parable Jesus had noticed the proud, self-seeking attitudes of the guests at the dinner he was attending. He told them not to seat themselves in the places of honor but to leave that to the host, otherwise, they would be shamed when they had to move. Last week we saw the relationship between pride and shame. I think that the principle we learned last week is applicable here.
He also tells them, that when they themselves give a banquet, they should only invite those guests who cannot repay. I’ve heard Dr. Pentecost say numerous times in his class on the life of Christ that hospitality was a sign of righteousness. When you invite those who can repay, your motives are wrong and it is not righteousness. So, I’m sure that is related to our discussion.
Someone comments that those who eat bread in the kingdom will be blessed. Who is it that will eat bread in the kingdom of God? The Pharisees thought that only they would make it into the kingdom and certainly not the outcasts of society. The outcasts were not at this dinner, nor would they be at the dinner table of the kingdom.
He was giving a big dinner which indicated he was wealthy. He had an original “dinner list” of people whom he invited.
What you may not realize is one of the cultural practices of that time, when a man was going to give a banquet, he sent out an invitation weeks or months in advance. If it was a marriage banquet, the invitations went out soon after the betrothal - almost a year in advance. The events in the parable assume that the advance invitation has been given and the 1st invitation we read about is really not the first.
The original quests all made lame excuses and could not / or would not come to the dinner.
This man was concerned with financial investments.
This man was preoccupied with his business.
This man was preoccupied with family matters.
The host invited anyone who wanted to come and filled his house so that there was no room for the original guests.
God graciously invites all to come to Him (1)1, but many are self-satisfied and preoccupied with their own lives and miss out on the invitation (2), and only those who are aware of their inadequacy will accept the invitation (3).
The original guests represent the nation Israel, and the poor, lame, etc. represent the Gentiles and those outside “the system.” The Host (God) offered the kingdom to Israel, but they rejected the offer. So the kingdom was given to the Gentiles and the outcasts of Israel who would accept it.
The self-seeking guests of the preceding section (14:7-11) would not even be allowed to attend the dinner by the end of the parable.
The class distinctions made in Israel (discussed in parable of good Samaritan) are appropriate here. The original guests would be the inner three circles - Priests, Levites and “Joseph Jew.” The outer circles would be the replacement guests.
The traditional double invitation would refer to the OT prophets prediction of Messiah and the Kingdom and Jesus’ claim to be Messiah and announcement of the kingdom.
References to poor and crippled and blind and lame sound like Isa 61:1-2.
There was more than enough room for all the outcasts, but no room for the original guests who refused the invitation.
The dinner went ahead as scheduled. It was not postponed. Could this mean that the kingdom was not postponed?
Pride - like the 1st group of invitees?
New Field = Materialism
New Oxen = Business
New Wife = Family