As Saul’s and David’s generals continue their war, let’s turn to Jesus today. All of Jesus’ parables bear directly on our lives, but today’s is unusually apropos for churches today.
It begins with a table guest, we assume a Pharisee since that is the crowd with whom Jesus is eating at the moment, trying to curry some favor with this famous Rabbi. Or to make a point about Jesus’ previous parable perhaps. Whatever the reason, it gives Jesus a great opening to make a very important point that the Pharisees continuously miss, then and today. Basically, Jesus says that God’s kingdom is for everyone except those who purposely reject it. We all have excuses for avoiding being part of the Kingdom with it’s requisite life, worldview, and interpretive change. “Our tradition is not what the Kingdom seems to require, so I’ll stick with my tradition, thank you.” “That seems like a lot of commitment to be part of this Kingdom and I’m really too busy for one more thing.” “I’m going to live my comfortable way for now and then later I’ll join the Kingdom of God.” “I’m part of the Kingdom already because I’m so good. I don’t need all that other ‘caring for people’ and ‘serving others’ stuff.”
But Jesus says, “When you give your excuses, you walk away from the Kingdom and will not be given a second chance at it. Then God finds others to take your place. He goes to those you won’t allow in and welcomes them who come without excuses and without expectations.”
What excuses have you made to not give your all to the Kingdom of God? What is keeping you from going “all in” for God? Too busy? Too comfortable? Doing fine on your own? Don’t like the people at the party?