Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. — Extract Luke 14:15 (NKJV)
My constant struggle throughout my life has been with the feeling of rejection. Being adopted early on in life, I felt rejected and abandoned, unloved and unwanted. And there are days that I still struggle with those feelings today. At times of stress and distress we tend to revert to our old thinking patterns, particularly those which we developed earlier on in our childhood days. Perhaps you, too, struggle with rejection, or to feel accepted, or feel left out at times
Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.
— Extract Luke 14:15 (NKJV)
And, I am sure that you – like most of us – would love to eat bread at God’s table? But, perhaps you feel left out? Perhaps you feel that you don’t qualify? Perhaps you feel that you’re not good enough? Perhaps you feel that because you don’t have a faith or follow Jesus, that you’re not invited?
Well, I have news for you: Jesus invited in the left out.
Immediately after he said that you are blessed if you eat bread in the kingdom of God, he told the story – or parable, in Luke 14:16-24 – of the great banquet. It was a banquet fit for a king, and in the account in Matthew the banquet is a wedding feast given by a king. It wasn’t just a small buffet put on for a birthday; it was a highly regarded, well-planned, well-respected, well-thought-of, elaborate, high quality gourmet feast in luxurious surroundings; and all the noblemen and the famous and the highest in society had been invited. And the time was here – it was about to start.
But there was a problem. None of those invited were ready. They were all busy. One had bought a field, and had to go and see it. (To visit a field instead of going to feast? I know what I would have chosen!) Today, he might say that he had just purchased a new outlet for his business venture, and he had to go and inspect it. Another had bought five oxen, and was going to test them. Today, he might have said that he had just bought 5 new top of the range luxury cars, and he wanted to go and test drive them. Another said that he had just got married, and therefore couldn’t come. Perhaps he had a better excuse than the others, but he still missed out. Why didn’t he treat his wife? One by one, all those invited declined, gave their excuses, and just got on with their busy lives.
But the banquet goes on without them. The master of the banquet sent his servants out into the streets, the back streets, the city and the country, and brought in the poor and the lame and the blind – all those who had previously been left out, with no invitation – were brought in. He invited in the left out.
If you are already in, and you are a Christian today; if you are born again and follow Jesus; if you are faithful and walking faithfully with the Lord, in everything you say and do each and ever day; there is still a message here for you. In fact there are two.
Firstly, we are called to be like Jesus, to walk like Jesus, to talk like Jesus, to do as He would do. He invited in the left out. And, therefore, we must do the same. We must invite in the left out. We must invite them to the banquet. And to do that, we must put on a banquet in the first place. If we are part of a church, then we must put on a banquet. Is it enough to invite them in to a Sunday worship service, when then don’t worship or know God in the first place? No! We must prepare a banquet, and invite in the left out. And if we are not part of a church, we must still find a way to prepare a banquet and invite in the left out.
Secondly, we are also called in, and we must not – like the characters in the parable – be too busy when we are called. Life is so hectic and full, there is so much to do, but Jesus is calling us to the banquet. Will we go? Will we put down our tasks and our talks and our tedium, and will we join Him at the banquet?
May we pray: Thank You, Lord, that You invite in the left out. Thank You that You invited us in, and help us to be ready and to accept the invitation when it comes. And help us prepare a banquet for all those who are currently left out, and invite them in. We ask this in the precious name of our Saviour, Christ Jesus; Amen.
If you’re feeling left out, or struggling with acceptance or being accepted right now, we would like to pray for you – please get in touch. Don’t feel as though you have to battle alone – Jesus accepts EVERYONE, regardless of race, religion, colour, creed, sexuality or sin. After all, He accepted me, didn’t He? May God Bless You.
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