‘At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, “Come, for everything is now ready.” But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, “I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.” Luke 14.17-18
There are many applications of this parable, such as Jesus throwing the kingdom of God open to those beyond the Jewish faith, but perhaps it is at its most challenging when we apply it to ourselves. Jesus has invited us to partake in the wonders of his abundant life. This sounds so wonderful, and yet he points out that there are always going to be people who miss out because they won’t take up his invitation.
It is worth considering what might prevent you from fully embracing the life Jesus offers? Maybe you suspect he will ask you to give up something or you fear what others might think of you; or it may be you can’t take seriously an offer of intimacy with God, struggling to believe it really could be for you. As you read this parable, you can see the amazing offer that people are turning down - wouldn’t it be tragic if other people apply this to you as you hold back from what God wants to give you?
God is close to you right now, in all his gentleness and tenderness, so tell him what it is that holds you back from fully embracing the life he offers, and catch his heart for you.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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