Just a few notes: I think the videocasting experiment is about to end. It’s not working to relay down to the nursery and we haven’t had anyone else tuning it, so we’ll give it another week or two, but there doesn’t seem to be a need for it. We’ll revisit the idea—I think we have a greater call for finding a way to store and use as a video archive than we do for a livestream, so that’s my next experiment.
Outline: Luke 14:15-24
Subject: Be present at the Wedding Feast
No one must miss Heaven, but some will
The grace of God provides more than mere adequacy for eternity and He determines that it should be shared.
Each of us should: 1. receive the grace; 2. extend the grace
Setting: Jesus has just highlighted not to exalt yourself at a banquet, but to attend humbly and allow others to exalt you if you deserve it. One major point is that the host determines who is important. Not the attendees.
Culture: Banquets and feasts were a critical part of social existence at the time. These were important--general evidence suggests a great deal of back-and-forth invitations, who invited whom being social position markers, and a very closed loop: if you were on the list, you were on. Declining an invitation was a sign you deemed yourself more important than the one who invited you.
With that in mind, Jesus tells the story of a banquet.
1. The invitation is sent out to those that are worthy first
A. These are stand-ins for the Pharisees, Sadducees, and other self-important folks
B. When the time comes to actually participate, these all have excuses
C. Those who make excuses do so because they see God, the Host, as lesser than they
2. The invitation is sent out to those that are unworthy next
A. These are those who have responded to Jesus in His earthly ministry
B. These participate first--but they were unworthy at the outset
C. These have little in terms of ability to payback: poor, crippled, blind, lame--certainly not
equal, not even capable of returning pennies on the dollar expended
3. The invitation is sent out to those that are utterly rejected finally
A. These are those who were not there at the beginning
B. These participate as fully as the first--but were unworthy and distant at the outset
C. These were so detached that they were lying in ditches or passing by, but were found by
those sent by the Host
D. These are us
First: Have you rejected the banquet? You may have said you were coming, but have you truly shown up? Or do you remain aloof, counting yourself as the one who determines whether you will go at all? Or when you will go? Today is the day, step from one who acknowledges the "save-the-date" card and be one who admits their need and becomes a disciple!!
Second: If you are attending, how are you behaving? As one who deserves to be there? Or as one who did not deserve the invite? Do you, the one plucked from the ditch hold those pulled from the hedge in disdain?
Third: Have you come alone? Who can you go get?
We’ve been looking back at the old Experiencing God Bible Study in the evenings, but we’re not using the videos. Instead, I’m trying to highlight certain of the strong aspects of the material and have a discussion. So, I’ll give you the outline that I have used for that: