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24. THE GREAT BANQUET (Luke 14:12-24)

BACKGROUND: The guests, who got the first invitation, were originally Jews. Now we can apply verses 16-20 to all those who have been called by God through baptism and the Word of God.
  1. Recall the time when you last gave a party. What would you have said if somebody had told you to act according to verses 12-14?
    • Why does Jesus ask us to invite the poor and the sick to our parties?
       
  2. Look at verses 18-20. What was the real reason why these three men refused to come to the banquet?
    • Why do we often consider our possessions (18), our work (vs. 19), and our love-life (vs. 20) more important than the kingdom of God?
    • Which of these three excuses hits the mark in your life? (You can answer in your heart.)
       
  3. How highly did the invited men regard the master of the banquet?
    • One possible interpretation is, that the invited refused the invitation because they knew they wouldn't be able to repay it in the near future (vs. 12b). If this is true, what does it reveal about those who refused to come?
    • What was the biggest mistake of those who refused to come?
       
  4. The banquet in this parable refers to heaven. Why aren't most people interested in getting there?
     
  5. What were the biggest differences between those first invited and those who eventually got into the banquet?
    • Why did the latter group accept the invitation, even though those invited first didn't?
       
  6. Who in our time are "the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame" - those who gladly accept the invitation to heaven (vs. 21)?
    • Why didn't these people worry about repaying the invitation?
       
  7. Whom does the verse 23 refer to?
    • What does this verse teach us about evangelism (proclaiming the gospel)?
       
  8. To which of these two groups do you belong? (You can answer in your heart.)
    • What has God done in your life in order to move you from the group, which refuses the invitation to the group, which accepts it?
       
  9. "Come, for everything is now ready!" (vs. 17) What did Jesus have to pay in order to be able to offer this banquet?
    • Jesus says to you these words: "Come, for everything is now ready!" What is your answer?
GLAD TIDINGS: Jesus had to become "poor, crippled, blind and lame" in order to pay for the banquet in heaven. That is why the invitation is now free for everyone who wants to come.

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