By Jack Tanner.
And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready (Luke 14:17). Jesus gave this parable concerning the great supper that we can eat in God’s kingdom. Jesus, prior to the above verse of Scripture, gave a par¬able about whom to invite to a dinner or supper. When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbors; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: and thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the res¬urrection of the just (Luke 14:12-14).
PREPARATION OF JESUS
Jesus in this parable described His own ministry. Jesus spent most of His time with those who were often consid¬ered as outcasts. But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners? And Jesus answering said unto them, they that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (Luke 5:30-32). Jesus came to feed the hungry the well-fed would pick over their food and never digest the whole meal.
The preparation for the feast Jesus came to bring started long before His entry into the human family at Bethlehem, and also He patiently waited until He was thirty years of age. He said that He came to fulfill the law, not to destroy it. The law had strict qualifications before a descendant of Levi could begin his ministry as a priest. One of these re¬quirements was that the candidate must be thirty years old. As Jesus later said, He was both a King and a Priest.
Jesus was the long-promised Messiah, whom the Jews supposedly prayed for to save them from their present pre¬dicament, but many did not recognize Him. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name (John 1:10-12).
THE JEWS WERE ILL-PREPARED
The Jews were unprepared for the Messiah, but Jesus came to His own with a plan for their salvation that was waiting to be implemented before the foundation of the world. His coming should have been heralded with great enthusiasm and admiration, but He was not well received. Many would like a Messiah who would add to their own kingdom, but many times man-made kingdoms must be completely destroyed before the kingdom of God can be established. Although Jesus did not come to destroy the law that was given to Moses, men had added their own interpre¬tation to the law, which took away from its original mean¬ing and purpose.
For example, the first commandment: Thou shalt have no other gods before me (Exodus 20:3). Men from the be¬ginning of time have manufactured gods and built their kingdoms around these gods. The gods of lust, self-interest, popularity, self-righteousness, and many others are the gods erected all over the earth.
For people to establish a new covenant with God, they must first tear down the old idols that rule their lives and accept a King who is real, loving, selfless, and rewarding.
The King from the beginning prepared for His entry into His own creation. He came and called a feast, but many did not choose to sit with Him and eat. They were full of their own ideas, had their own agendas, and had no intention of eating at the Lord’s table.
WHO BENEFITS FROM EATING AT THE LORD’S TABLE?
All those who receive an invitation can sit and enjoy the feast that Jesus has prepared. Jesus first invited the Jews. His ministry was mostly to His own people, and He was greatly criticized for having any dealings with the Samari¬tans. It seems the Jews did not want to eat at Jesus’ table, and they did not want anyone else to eat there either. Since Jesus was not part of the elite religious “country club” society, His food was thought to be substandard or poison.
In the parable the call was given, Come; for all things are now ready. Preparation was being made on His part by His teaching and then the fulfillment of that teaching by His death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and delivery of His Spirit to the first church. All this preparation on His part has opened the door not only to the Jews but to all people.
WHAT CAN YOU RECEIVE AT JESUS’ TABLE?
There are more things in abundant supply at the King’s table than we can single out and give to each their proper importance. Some of them we will elaborate on, such as truth, compassion, hope, companionship, life everlasting, unspeakable joy, supply of needs, healing, and most impor¬tantly, salvation.
None of the above items can Satan supply at his table. His table is set with all the opposites. He speaks and lives a lie; he has no compassion for any of God’s creation since man was made in God’s image. Satan may promise a better future, but the hope he paints is only an illusion.
His companionship will last as long as it takes to com¬pletely wreck individuals, families, churches, and governments. Instead of life everlasting in heaven, following him will guarantee eternal damnation. The joy that Satan gives is very short-lived since it is soon tainted with much sorrow. He leads men with the promise that he can supply their needs; instead he provides hunger, thirst, warped minds, disease, and death. He does not have the power to heal even a mosquito bite. In fact, because of him we have sickness, disease, and death. It goes without speaking that there is only doom in following him. He has not purchased our sal¬vation or shed one drop of blood that men might be saved.
Bring a big appetite, sit at the King’s table, and eat all the abundant, life-giving foods. You can have second help¬ings or more until you are filled. Jesus does not want any¬one to leave the table hungry or thirsty.
THE WELLS OF THIS EARTH
The Samaritan woman came to the well to draw some natural water. Jesus told her He could give her living water and said, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life (John 4:13-14).
The wells of this earth cannot wholly quench the thirst. With a week’s pay in his pocket, a man on his way home stops for one drink at his favorite tavern. He has a wife and four children at home who are waiting to see their dad. He buys one drink and starts toward the door when he is met by one of his fellow workers. He decides to have another drink with his friend, and then another and another. Three hours later he drags himself home with most of his check spent.
His wife and children are in bed, so he tries to slip in without waking his wife. She is not asleep but refuses to say anything that would start an argument. She knows she will have to stretch her grocery budget again, and two of the children need new shoes. This is a story that repeats itself almost every week. Soon the drinker becomes defensive and blames everyone and everything but his own desire to drink from one of the wells of this earth. Earthly wells do not and cannot quench the thirst.
Excerpted from: “All Things Are Ready” By: Jack Tanner