The Banquet - Episode 45

The Banquet - Episode 45
Season 3 Sweet Selah Moments Podcas...

 
 
00:00 / 00:29:51
 
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PARABLES

Let's join Jesus and His disciples at a dinner party where He tells us about the grandest of dinner parties, a truly magnificent banquet, that awaits us. And, while we're at it, let's talk about banquets and foods and how to behave oneself when invited to one. Join Sharon and Nicole and listen in on their discussion.

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Read the transcript for The Banquet

Speaker 1 (00:00):

Welcome to the Sweet Selah moments podcast. We hope this little pause in your day refreshes and encourages you friend. Let’s take time to know God through his word and love him more and more. This Sweet Selah moments podcast is brought to you by Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries.

Nicole (00:22):

Welcome to episode 45, The Banquet. Oh, this sounds delicious, Sharon. We are going to be talking about food or at least the party setting in which food is served. Have you attended many banquets in your life?

Sharon (00:35):

Oh yes, Ray was in the military so there were banquets on every hilltop.

Nicole (00:41):

Oh nice.

Sharon (00:42):

But the most supreme banquet I ever went to was amazing. Ray was teaching at West Point as a history professor and it happened to be the 200th anniversary of the U S Constitution while he was there. So I don’t know who put it on, but somebody decided the Waldorf Astoria should host this huge banquet, celebrating that. And they had, it wasn’t Neil Armstrong, but they had some famous astronaut speaking. They had like a former Secretary of State speaking, like Big Deal. So it was $500 a plate back then, which meant we weren’t going, you know, I mean, just not. And then some power that be, in the banquet planning, decided that they should invite West Point history professors to come and represent the military at this banquet.

Nicole (01:35):

No kidding?

Sharon (01:36):

Yeah, so fun. So there were more history professors then could go. So we had like this little lottery, but the guys could put in for themselves and their wives.

Nicole (01:46):

Oh nice.

Sharon (01:46):

So I’m like, Oh please, please, please I want to be chosen. And we were, both of us.

Nicole (01:51):

No way, that’s amazing.

Sharon (01:53):

Yes. True.

Nicole (01:53):

Wow.

Sharon (01:54):

So we rented a limo, which I’d never been in a limo before. We never did that for our wedding. We drove a car.

Nicole (01:59):

Right.

Sharon (01:59):

We’re not limo people, but we took a limo with the other history professors to the Waldorf Astoria that has a two floor ladies room. No kidding. I mean, and a pianist that just sort of plays in the lobby, this classical music.

Nicole (02:16):

Oh my goodness.

Sharon (02:16):

And I wore this long gown and swished in and we had a waiter whose only responsibility was the eight of us at the table.

Nicole (02:24):

Wow.

Sharon (02:24):

Catered to our every need. I mean, honestly, I’m very seldom wordless, you know this about me. I was wordless. I was just…? My mouth was like…  So yeah, that was my banquet. But how about you?

Nicole (02:45):

Oh, that’s so funny. Well I can’t top that one! Oh, we’ve been to a few little banquets here and there, you know, like senior banquet or, we had some family members that got awards for college, you know, achievements and whatnot. Josh and I were supposed to go to our first fancy one last year, he won an award and we were going to go to DC and it was a black tie event.

Sharon (03:02):

DC?

Nicole (03:02):

Yes.

Sharon (03:02):

That would have been fun.

Nicole (03:03):

I was going to get myself a fancy long dress and then COVID. It was cancelled.

Sharon (03:07):

Oh honey, you didn’t get to go.

Nicole (03:07):

We didn’t get to go. But I think they’re doing it again this June, hopefully. I’m hoping it’s in person so I can get a fancy dress.

Sharon (03:15):

Oh, it is fun to get fancy dresses.

Nicole (03:17):

You don’t often get to do it. So you gotta seize that moment.

Sharon (03:21):

Yes, you do. They don’t happen often. I mean, the prom has been a while ago for both of us.

Nicole (03:25):

Yes.

Sharon (03:26):

So, well, all right then. Well, before we get to the parable of the banquet today in our podcast, I thought it would be fun to look back at a very famous banquet in the Old Testament. Esther’s. So remind us why Esther was desperate to get her husband in a good mood to speak to him on an important matter. What, what’s the background to Esther’s banquet? ?

Nicole (03:51):

Yeah. So there was this guy named Haman and he did not like the Jews. He particularly did not like Mordecai who was Esther’s cousin. So, Mordecai had refused to bow to him at some point and he was not happy. So he kind of went and was sneaky about getting a decree signed by the king that would eradicate all the Jews on one particular day. So he was out to wipe them all out.

Sharon (04:16):

Which is, you know, talk about an overreaction to someone not bowing to you.

Nicole (04:20):

I know

Sharon (04:21):

Okay, you didn’t bow to me, I’m going to kill every body in your race. Pretty awful.

Nicole (04:24):

Yes. He was a very proud, arrogant, angry man, it sounds like.

Sharon (04:27):

Yes, he was. Yes, he was. So, okay. So that’s our background. Well, so when Esther has this question to approach the king with, and sort of accused Haman, like why are you wiping out the entire Jewish race? Which by the way, I forgot to tell you, I’m your wife and I’m Jewish. So I’ll be dead. Before she does that, she has a banquet for Haman and her husband, set up to invite them to another banquet where she’ll ask the question. Isn’t that the most bizarre thing?

Nicole (04:59):

It is. You kind of wonder what she’s doing when she starts these little banquets.

Sharon (05:03):

Yes. Yes. It’s like I have to get him in a good mood to ask him a question, if he’ll come to a banquet to ask him the question.

Nicole (05:08):

Right.

Sharon (05:08):

Which means, he was a really tricky little husband.

Nicole (05:11):

Yeah.

Sharon (05:12):

I mean, Ray needs timing I have to say. If Ray’s coming home from a long day at work, it’s not the time to hit him up with the five chores I need done. I mean, I have learned this over the years, but I’ve never had to invite Ray to a banquet to ask him if he’ll come to a banquet so I can ask him something.

Nicole (05:27):

The final question. Yeah. That’s a lot of like buttering up really, you know?

Sharon (05:33):

Yes. It really is. Oh, for crying out loud. Well, our passage of scripture today starts with a dinner party that leads to the telling of a parable about a grander dinner party or banquet. So we’ve also got two here. We’ve got a dinner party and then at the dinner party, we’re eventually going to get to the parable of the banquet. So let’s go to our Sweet Selah moment of reading God’s word. And Nicole, why don’t you start off?

Nicole (05:58):

Okay. We are reading today from Luke 14. We’ll start with verses one through 14, “One Sabbath day Jesus went to eat dinner in the home of a leader of the Pharisees. And the people were watching him closely.”

Sharon (06:11):

“There was a man there whose arms and legs were swollen.”

Nicole (06:15):

“Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in religious law, is it permitted in the law to heal people on the Sabbath day or not?”

Sharon (06:23):

“When they refused to answer, Jesus touched the sick man and healed him and sent him away.”

Nicole (06:29):

“Then he turned to them and said, which of you doesn’t work on the Sabbath? If your son or your cow falls into a pit, don’t you rush to get him out?”

Sharon (06:37):

“Again, they could not answer.”

Nicole (06:40):

“When Jesus noticed that all who had come to the dinner were trying to sit in the seats of honor near the head of the table he gave them this advice.”

Sharon (06:48):

“When you are invited to a wedding feast, don’t sit in the seat of honor. What if someone who is more distinguished than you has also been invited?”

Nicole (06:56):

“The host will come and say, give this person your seat. Then you will be embarrassed and you will have to take whatever seat is left at the foot of the table.”

Sharon (07:05):

“Instead, take the lowest place at the foot of the table. Then when your host sees you, he will come and say, friend, we’ve a better place for you. Then you will be honored in front of all the other guests.”

Nicole (07:17):

“For those who exalt themselves will be humbled. And those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Sharon (07:23):

“Then he turned to his host. When you put on a luncheon or a banquet, he said, don’t invite your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors for, they will invite you back. And that will be your only reward.”

Nicole (07:35):

“Instead invite the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind.”

Sharon (07:39):

“Then at the resurrection of the righteous, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you.” Ohhh. Well, Nicole, this chapter starts out with a controversy? What’s the controversy? And why are those religious leaders all upset again?

Nicole (07:56):

Oh, you know, just the Pharisees trying to trap Jesus again, by pulling up any tiny thing they could think of against him. So here, they’re trying to say that healing was work on the Sabbath day and they were giving Jesus a hard time about healing the man with the swollen limbs.

Sharon (08:10):

So sad. It’s not like Jesus held a clinic on Sundays. Oh wait, no, it was Saturdays back then. It’s not like he held a clinic on Saturdays and just healed people endlessly.

Nicole (08:21):

Right.

Sharon (08:21):

But like a cow or a son that falls into a pit, you don’t say, Oh, sorry, Sabbath. You know, you help, right. This guy was right in front of Jesus and he wanted to heal him. So, well, it sounds like their dinner party was pretty fancy and big. Enough people there that there were seats near the front and seats near the back. So I don’t think it was just Jesus and the twelve disciples.

Nicole (08:42):

Right.

Sharon (08:42):

I wonder if this home was so big that it was like a banquet hall. I don’t know.

Nicole (08:46):

Maybe.

Sharon (08:46):

In any case people were jockeying for the best seats. It kind of reminds me of weddings where the front rows are reserved for the bride’s family and the groom’s family. And you don’t want the usher to seat you too far forward because what if the grandmother comes in and they’re like, you gotta move.

Nicole (09:03):

Right. That would be super embarrassing to have to be moved because they usually bring the grandparents in right before the wedding party comes in and the event starts. So then, you know, all the guests are seated and they’d see you get moved and it’d be super awkward. You’d have to get booted to the back row.

Sharon (09:18):

I know, it would be terrible. And you know, it’s so funny that this still applies, talking two thousand years ago and we still have people sitting in places of honor at weddings.

Nicole (09:27):

Right.

Sharon (09:27):

Some things never change. It’s just amazing. So, so instead Jesus is like, sit at the bottom of the table or sit in the way back. And maybe someone will say, hey, come on up.

Nicole (09:38):

That’s much better and much less embarrassing.

Sharon (09:40):

It really is. So much better, so much better. So, Nicole, what did you think of Jesus’ suggestion to the host of the dinner party that he invite poor people to his table? I’m assuming that Jesus is looking around at rich people at the table.

Nicole (09:57):

Right. That’s true.

Sharon (09:57):

So you should be inviting poor people. What’d you think of that?

Nicole (10:00):

I honestly found that super convicting Sharon. I don’t, I don’t often seek out poor people that need a meal to come to my house. I usually have friends and family over and just like the passage says, you know, I usually end up going to their house sometimes too. So it’s, you know, it’s like a give and take thing.

Sharon (10:12):

Reciprocal.

Nicole (10:14):

Yeah, so there’s no big reward for that. I mean, our family has always tried to look out for like local military families who don’t have a place to go for Thanksgiving. That’s been really fun to do over the years, but I really need to ask God to help me to be more aware of helping those in need.

Sharon (10:29):

The ones that can’t help you back.

Nicole (10:30):

The ones that can’t help you back, right.

Sharon (10:32):

Yeah. Yeah. I liked that. I thought that was a very piercing question.

Nicole (10:36):

Yeah. You don’t do that. You just don’t. Your friends, your family, yeah.

Sharon (10:40):

But inviting just some random poor person, not often enough. And you know, in my life I’m thinking of widows at our church, you know, women that have lost husbands and live alone.

Nicole (10:52):

Oh, yeah. Right.

Sharon (10:52):

What if Ray and I invited them over for dinner. I’m feeling badly right now because we haven’t. And of all the categories of people in my life where I know someone who maybe could not reciprocate well, but who, who could use some love.

Nicole (11:09):

Yes. Some company and a nice meal.

Sharon (11:10):

So now I’m feeling convicted too, which is good.

Nicole (11:13):

Right. It’s good to feel horrible like this.

Sharon (11:16):

It is sometimes because it, it gives us a greater awareness of, of the hurtings of other people, you know? So thank you, Lord. Thank you Lord for this. All right. Well, as Jesus makes the suggestion that perhaps we should be inviting people over who can’t return the favor, he then finally launches into the parable for today. So I’ll start reading this time. We’re still reading from Luke 14. I’ll start at verse 15 and we’ll read through verse 24. So here we go. “Hearing this a man sitting at the table with Jesus exclaimed, what a blessing it will be to attend a banquet in the kingdom of God.”

Nicole (11:54):

“Jesus replied with this story. A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations.”

Sharon (11:59):

“When the banquet was ready, he sent his servants to tell the guests, come, the banquet is ready,”

Nicole (12:05):

“But they all began making excuses. One said, I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me.”

Sharon (12:12):

“Another said, I have just bought five pairs of oxen. I want to try them out. Please excuse me.”

Nicole (12:19):

“Another said, I just got married so I can’t come.”

Sharon (12:22):

“The servant returned and told his master what they had said. His master was furious and said go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.”

Nicole (12:34):

“After the servant had done this, he reported there is still room for more.”

Sharon (12:38):

“So his master said, go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges.” Like behind the hedges?

Nicole (12:43):

Who’s hiding back there?.

Sharon (12:44):

A homeless person, maybe, that’s sleeping there? I don’t know.

Nicole (12:45):

Oh, maybe?

Sharon (12:48):

Anyways, go back Sharon, read. “And urge anyone you find to come so that the house will be full.”

Nicole (12:54):

“For none of those I first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet.”

Sharon (12:58):

All that work he went to. I mean, he’s got it all set up and I feel like that the invitations had gone out a while ago. Come on. Have you ever hosted a party and had hardly anybody show up?

Nicole (13:12):

Yes, I tried to do this, like got this little Valentine’s Day brunch at my house and the day before and that morning, like everyone started dropping like flies. Everyone’s kids got sick. Everyone got stomach bugs. So I just ended up canceling it because no one could make it.

Sharon (13:27):

Oh, that’s so sad.

Nicole (13:28):

I had made all these wonderful strawberry scones. And so I just had to sit there and eat them all myself.

Sharon (13:34):

Well, there are worst fates. Oh, you should have thought of me. I love strawberries.

Nicole (13:39):

I know. I should’ve delivered them to people instead.

Sharon (13:41):

Yeah. Yeah. It’s just so strange nowadays too, because a lot of people don’t even RSVP anymore. I was brought up in the age of the RSVP, you know, you’d get an invitation even for like a baby shower or something like that. And you always RSVP’d. So the hostess knew how many people were coming and she could plan. And I’ve in the last 20 years, actually. I’ve just noticed if I host anything, I don’t hear back. You have to sort of plan for anywhere from five to 25.

Nicole (14:11):

Which is hard to plan.

Sharon (14:15):

Yes, it is and it means you’re eating strawberry scones afterwards even if some people come because you want to make sure you’re prepared.

Nicole (14:20):

Right.

Sharon (14:21):

So, and I found when I was working for Moms in Prayer and I would do leaders’ gatherings, that happened a lot. My leaders, you know, would maybe come or maybe not come. You just weren’t sure, but you wanted them to come, even if it was at the last minute. So you kind of did your best.

Nicole (14:35):

It is strange that that has fallen away. Like even when we were planning our wedding, it was starting to fizzle out. And that was about 15 years ago, I think.

Sharon (14:41):

Yeah.

Nicole (14:42):

But I don’t know if it’s the digital age and Facebook and Evites. They don’t seem as immediate or real to me cause it’s not a paper. So maybe we’ve kind of gotten lazy. We just don’t respond to anything anymore.

Sharon (14:54):

No, we really don’t. And yet there’s somebody back there, the planner of the banquet making the strawberry scones.

Nicole (15:00):

Right. And she needs to know how many people!

Sharon (15:04):

Yes. Yes! We need to do better about this. Okay. Well we have guests who I think RSVP’d, they had the invitation. And that this, okay, so this wasn’t a little party. This was a banquet.

Nicole (15:16):

Right.

Sharon (15:17):

I mean, with lots of preparation and then they just changed their minds. What do you think about that?

Nicole (15:23):

They might have, I mean, it wasn’t like, Oh, hey guys I’m having a barbecue after work, come on over. It sounded like it was a lot of preparation. I don’t know, maybe if they just forgot or something. Cause I know, I know for me, if I’m not intentional about putting something on my calendar and really like planning around it and thinking through it and like, okay, in two weeks, I’m going to this baby shower. Make sure you have the gift ready. You know, when it comes up, I can be like, Oh, I’m not really ready to go, I don’t feel like it.

Sharon (15:47):

Right. I’ll just put $30 in a card. I’ve done that before.

Nicole (15:53):

Right. So it takes some thinking.

Sharon (15:53):

I thought you might like to buy you own things. Oh no, I forgot to buy your presents.

Nicole (15:55):

Sorry.

Sharon (15:55):

Right. Right, right, right, right. Right. So yeah. So that happens. But this, because Jesus is comparing it to the banquet of, you know, being with him, this is a big deal banquet. This is the thing you shouldn’t want to miss.

Nicole (16:09):

Right.

Sharon (16:10):

You know because basically it’s, we’re going to be talking about the wedding supper of the Lamb because that’s what this banquet represents. This is accepting Christ and being ready for heaven. And so the excuses take on more weight in light of how weighty this banquet was. And yet we can still be unprepared for this wonderful wedding feast of the Lamb that is coming up. So let’s look at the reasons for a minute. Why don’t you read reason number one. And let’s talk about that reason first. Why did the first person say I can’t come?

Nicole (16:43):

Yeah. All right. Reason number one, I have just bought a field and must inspect it, please excuse me. So I think reason number one really deals with work and sometimes how it interferes with our relationship with God and our putting him first, you know? Work feels so pressing and immediate that we can get really distracted from looking forward to that big feast.

Sharon (17:05):

Yeah. Yeah. It becomes, it consumes us. It’s immediate. I just bought the field.

Nicole (17:10):

Right.

Sharon (17:11):

Could not the field be inspected the day after tomorrow? You’ve purchased it.

Nicole (17:18):

It’s not going to walk away.

Sharon (17:19):

It’s yours. It’s not even if I don’t get this deal with a realtor, I won’t buy the field.

Nicole (17:22):

He bought it.

Sharon (17:23):

He bought it, for crying out loud! And you have to inspect it today?

Nicole (17:27):

Right.

Sharon (17:28):

Yeah. Yeah. So they weren’t thinking about the feast.

Nicole (17:30):

Yeah. Yeah. We’re good at making excuses and making it seem like a big deal for work when it’s really not as immediate as it is.

Sharon (17:36):

Exactly. And clearly, clearly the guy had forgotten about the banquet and we can forget about our Jesus coming back. We can get so busy with work. So that’s one excuse that we’ve got to watch out for.

Nicole (17:49):

Definitely.

Sharon (17:50):

And that’s even ministry work, you know? Cause like I get busy with Sweet Selah Ministries, but I do take my Sabbath. I stop at sun down and I don’t start working again for 24 hours-ish. And sometimes, you know, like I had somebody write me something, I think it was Jenny, our finance manager, and I wanted to answer it and I’m like, she doesn’t need that answer, Sharon, get off the computer and go do your rest thing.

Nicole (18:14):

It’s so easy though. It’s so easy to go back. It’s right there.

Sharon (18:18):

Isn’t it? It’s right there. And I love my work. It’s not like I don’t like it. I love it.

Nicole (18:21):

Right. It’s even harder to say no.

Sharon (18:24):

And yet I know I need my rest.

Nicole (18:26):

Yes, absolutely.

Sharon (18:26):

All right. Okay. Well, moving on to reason number two, this was reason number two, I have just bought five pairs of oxen and I want to try them out. What in the world is that?

Nicole (18:36):

This one made me laugh.

Sharon (18:37):

What is that? It’s just so funny. And I mean, we don’t buy oxen and want to try them out these days. What is it like getting a plow, you know? Oh a cool John Deere?

Nicole (18:49):

Oh yeah, a new tractor.

Sharon (18:49):

Did he want to try the tractor to see how it furrows? Or was it just like, would it be like getting a new car? Oh, they just bought a new car and it’s a convertible. It’s the first convertible I’ve ever owned.

Nicole (19:00):

Top down, go for a drive.

Sharon (19:00):

On a sunny day, drive by the ocean or banquet? You know, but it’s a want to, in this case, it’s not even work-related necessarily. I just want to try it out. How long is the banquet going to go for?

Nicole (19:16):

The oxen will still be there.

Sharon (19:18):

The oxen will be there at the end. The convertible with a little top-down is yours for a long period of time.

Nicole (19:25):

Right.

Sharon (19:25):

Like the oxen would be. But the immediate, Oh, but this would be fun now. And we do that, even with lesser invitations, so we’re like, Oh, I was going to do that but this sounds more fun.

Nicole (19:35):

We do. We’re not so good with commitment anymore.

Sharon (19:37):

No.

Nicole (19:38):

It used to be like, when you said you did something, you did not change your mind, whether it was fun or not. You committed to it.

Sharon (19:45):

I used to do that to my girls. I’d say, you honor your commitments in the order they’re made unless someone’s dying or something.

Nicole (19:51):

Yes, right, right.

Sharon (19:51):

You know? So if you said you’d babysit and then your best friend says, Ooh, you want to go to the movies with me? No.

Nicole (19:58):

Yeah.

Sharon (19:59):

You said you’d babysit. You need to honor your commitments. So anyways, that’s reason number two excuse, it’s kind of possessions, you know, a fun possession. It could be even a new phone in our digital age that you want to play with rather than go out and see actual people.

Nicole (20:17):

That’s true. Right. That’s so sad.

Sharon (20:19):

Oh, for crying out loud. So we’ve got to guard, not against just work. We’ve got to guard against possessions.

Nicole (20:24):

And the fun too.

Sharon (20:24):

You know, fun possessions getting in the way of the ultimate fun of sitting down with the Son of God in heaven and having it over, this hard life over…for crying out loud. So. Okay, so that’s reason number two, you go for reason number three.

Nicole (20:44):

All right. Reason number three, I just got married so I can’t come. That’s kind of a funny excuse. You’d think like you’d want to take your new bride out to a party and you know, it’s fun to go out together.

Sharon (20:55):

No kidding, yeah.

Nicole (20:55):

So I think this excuse deals with relationships and people, and sometimes we let relationships get in the way of preparing for that banquet with God again, you know?

Sharon (21:04):

Yeah, yeah, we can, we can do it with our kids. We can get so kid focused that we never take a quiet time because they just need me all the time. How can I possibly tell them go away so I can be quiet with God and yet Oh, yes we should. Or model it for them, you know?

Nicole (21:22):

Yes, there’s always a way.

Sharon (21:22):

But they need to see that. There’s a way to do it. And I know women who, when their husbands stopped going to church stopped too.

Nicole (21:30):

Yeah. I was going to say, that’s tough too. If you have a spouse that isn’t going to kind of like, well, my husband doesn’t go anymore.

Sharon (21:36):

I guess I won’t go. No, no, no. Our first and primary relationship is Jesus Christ, who’s the One inviting us to his banquet.

Nicole (21:47):

Right.

Sharon (21:47):

Right. And so it’s more important than any work commitment. It’s more important than any possession that might look more enticing at the moment. It’s more important than somebody you married.

Nicole (21:58):

Right.

Sharon (21:58):

Jesus has to be number one. And I wrestled with that when we were first married because Ray was sort of a, you know, go to church when it’s convenient kind of guy. And I was an every Sunday kind of gal. And it was really hard for me to set it as a priority for me, even if it wasn’t going to be for him and just say, you know what, honey, this, my relationship with God is first. And I love you, but I adore him.

Nicole (22:26):

Right.

Sharon (22:27):

And he’s always going to come first. And so, you know, I’ll make you breakfast first. I’ll go to church and come home and spend the afternoon with you. But it’s an hour. Give me a break. And that is, you know, I’m going to do it. And lo and behold, he started coming with me.

Nicole (22:41):

I was gonna say what a great example though. I know I have two friends that continued to go to church when their husbands were having a hard time and their husbands are back in sync with them now.

Sharon (22:50):

See, see?

Nicole (22:50):

And every time I see them, I just like, I’m like, thank you, Jesus. For the faithful wife that kept going and brought her children.

Sharon (22:55):

Right, right.

Nicole (22:55):

It’s so hard. It’s not easy. I know she struggled, but she did it.

Sharon (22:58):

She did it. Yes. Yes.

Nicole (22:59):

And it was worth it.

Sharon (23:01):

Yeah. Well, one of the times when Ray came with me, the pastor was preaching on the importance of weekly attendance and on the way home, he said, you know what, I’m feeling convicted. I’m like, Oh sure you are, because of pastor, not because of me. But good.

Nicole (23:15):

Oh, that’s great.

Sharon (23:16):

So anyways, okay. I think the bottom line, as I’ve sort of wandered away, let’s wander back. I think the bottom line is that we can get so wrapped up in the immediate what’s right in front of us, that we neglect the essential. No matter how busy we are in this life – and we are eventually going to run out of days to be busy in – we’re going to die. Are we ready to be called home to die? The ultimate banquet? I think it’s interesting that they were in the middle of doing things when it was banquet time. For many of us, our deaths are going to be like that. You know, my grandfather in England was in his early seventies and now at 63, I feel that was very young.

Nicole (23:53):

Yeah.

Sharon (23:54):

Right, seventy-two. And he, he had a normal day. He was in his office at home humming, a little happy tune.

Nicole (24:02):

Oh my goodness.

Sharon (24:03):

He had a brain aneurysm and instantly died.

Nicole (24:07):

Oh my goodness.

Sharon (24:07):

My grandmother heard the crash and he was dead.

Nicole (24:09):

Wow. So no warning whatsoever?

Sharon (24:10):

From healthy, happy. None.

New Speaker (24:13):

Just there and gone.

Sharon (24:14):

That’s right. And that could happen to me. In fact, I should warn my girls, I have brain aneurysms in my family.

Nicole (24:20):

They run in the family, prepare yourself.

Sharon (24:20):

But you never know, you don’t. We have got to be ready for the banquet.

Nicole (24:27):

Absolutely.

Sharon (24:27):

We just do, oy! So Nicole, talk to us about these last few verses. Let’s get going on this again and who got invited to the banquet instead? What do you think that this represents?

Nicole (24:39):

Yeah. So just a quick overview. The servant went back to his master and he was furious and said go to the streets and the alleys, go behind the bushes and find anyone and bring them to the banquet. So I think the overarching part of this is kind of talking about salvation. Because you know, Jesus came first for the Jewish nation when he came to earth and they rejected him.

Sharon (24:58):

They did.

Nicole (24:59):

They absolutely rejected him. And because of their rejection, he went out and offered salvation to us, the Gentiles. I’m so thankful for that.

Sharon (25:07):

Me too, me too.

Nicole (25:08):

But Jesus, doesn’t force people to come to him. He extends the invitation and we are free to accept or reject it. But I also just love that he goes out and seeks out the poor, the lame, the beggars. The people in the bushes. The ones that society rejects. It just, it paints this beautiful picture of just how compassionate and loving he is as our Father, doesn’t it?

Sharon (25:28):

Yes, yes, exactly. And you know, thinking of my Waldorf Astoria $500 a plate dinner, this banquet’s worth even more than that. And he’s hauling everybody to it, that wants to come.

Nicole (25:38):

No matter what, and didn’t have them pay.

Sharon (25:42):

No, they just had to come and they probably didn’t need a fancy dress.

Nicole (25:44):

Right. So that’s really neat.

Sharon (25:46):

So, okay. Yes. Well, there really is a banquet coming and Jesus hints at it during the Last Supper, when he says in Matthew 26:29, “Mark my words, I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

Nicole (26:01):

That’s so cool.

Sharon (26:02):

And then there’s even more about it in Revelation 19:6-10. Nicole, why don’t you read that for us so we can get excited about the banquet.

Nicole (26:09):

It’s so exciting. “So then I heard again what sounded like a shout of a vast crowd or the roar of a mighty ocean wave or the crash of loud thunder. Praise the Lord for the Lord, our God, the Almighty reigns. Let us be glad and rejoice. And let us give honor to him for the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb and his bride has prepared herself. She has been given the finest of pure white linen to wear for the fine linen represents the good deeds of God’s Holy people. And the angel said to me, write this, blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb. And then he added, these are true words that come from God.”

Sharon (26:50):

Oh my goodness, Nicole, some day. I wonder if we’ll be near each other, cause that table’s going to be huge.

Nicole (26:56):

I know I hope so. I know. I wonder if it will be round or like rectangular, how are they going to fit us all?

Sharon (27:01):

Yes, maybe round and with new bodies, you know, are we going to be able to see all the people? I mean, I don’t even know. I have a feeling I won’t be talking at that banquet either. My mouth will be dropped again.

Nicole (27:17):

You’ll just be in awe.

Sharon (27:17):

But Jesus, who we have not had the blessing of seeing walking around with skin on like his disciples did, the Lamb of God is going to be at that banquet. The One, the Giver of joy. It’s going to be fun. I love that God gives joy and a banquet is a joy time.

Nicole (27:33):

Oh yeah.

Sharon (27:34):

So I don’t want to miss it.

Nicole (27:36):

Me neither. And this one is going to be, it’s a wedding feast and we’re there as a bride, like all of us. So I don’t think there’ll be like lesser seats and greater seats. I think we’re all just there.

Sharon (27:45):

Yeah, maybe it really will be round cause we’re the bride.

Nicole (27:46):

I don’t know how it will be.

Sharon (27:46):

And he’s dressed us. We cannot dress ourselves.

Nicole (27:51):

Yes, which is super cool. We don’t have to stress about trying to be good. He’s, he’s clothed us in the fine linen that represents the good deeds of God’s Holy people. So he’ll dress us.

Sharon (27:59):

I’m so thankful. I know it. I wonder if we’ll look at each other and go, do you remember that podcast?

Nicole (28:08):

(Laughing) We talked about this.

Sharon (28:08):

We talked about this. We really did. Pinch me!

Nicole (28:08):

Oh, man, I can’t wait. How exciting! It’s going to be amazing.

Sharon (28:12):

We have got to keep first things first. We have to. All the days of my life, Lord Jesus, help me to do this. Well, let me pray. I’ve just sort of – I did, but let me pray. Jesus, I mean that, I want every day of my life to be eager for that wedding supper of the Lamb with you. Help us not to get so distracted by lesser things that we lose that anticipation, that wonder, that joy, that someday we’re going to be seated as your bride with you. Oh, Father God help us to put first things first. In Jesus’ name, Amen. Amen.

Nicole (28:53):

Well friend, are you looking forward to a seat at the wedding feast of the Lamb of God? Someday, we’ll be sitting there amazed. Until then let’s live in such a way that when that call comes that the banquet is ready we are eager to attend. We are so grateful when you comment, write reviews, or donate. If you want to donate monthly, be sure to write ‘podcast partner’ in the comments so we can include you in our email list. Go to sweetselah.org/donations. And please join us next week for episode 46, Loving Your Neighbor Even When it’s Inconvenient, otherwise known as the parable of the good Samaritan.

Speaker 1 (29:30):

We are so glad you stopped for a while with us. Sweet Selah Moments is a co-operative production of Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries. More information about this Sweet Selah Moments podcast, including show notes, can be found at sweetselah.org and at wordradio.net. Thank you for joining us.

 

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