Sermon 1 September 2019

Jesus is challenged by the behaviour of the guests were taking places of honour. He takes it upon himself to give a parable, which is quite strange because it does not sound like a parable. It sounds more like a reflection on the party. It is a parable because it he is using the situation to talk about the kingdom of God. I wonder if the guests realized he was not talking about them and the party.

It seems strange that having used the guests to give a parable of heaven, he then talks to the host directly. He suggests that he invite a different type of person. To invite his friends will only get him an invitation to a party. To invite those who cannot invite him back is to gain something greater, a place in God’s banquet.

Why does he use the guests as a parable and talk directly to the host? I do not think it is an accident. The parable looks at the heart of a person’s action, and how God will treat those who think top highly of themselves.

The conversation with the host is about what our actions gain us. To look at our actions from a point of worldly thanks and benefit is little gain. To use our action to serve God is of great gain.

There is also a point of the host looking at himself as one of those who can not repay for the invitation to the feast. In God’s kingdom he cannot repay God’s invitation. If he only invites those who can repay, then God will only invite those who can repay. Which means no one will be invited.

The Jewish people of Jesus’ time believed they were worthy of the high place on Earth and in heaven. There are Christians today who believe their position gets them a good seat, and probably believe it will give them a good place in heaven.

The Jewish people in Jesus’ time invited those who would benefit their lives. There are Christians today who invite people who will respond to their generosity in like.

Jesus challenges them to understand what is important in their lives and in their faith.

How do we use our celebrations to serve God?