Jesus was committed to the preparation of the apostles and others that would follow Him. So, every message had an important component to their development. In this story, the lessons were about opening the family of God, and about counting the cost of following God.
In the first part, Jesus tells the story of the bridegroom being snubbed by the family and close friends. As that occurs, the bridegroom then invites others outside the original group to fill the hall. Jesus was foreshadowing the spread of the Gospel. Jesus came to be the Messiah for Israel. But, after the Jewish nation rejected Jesus, in Acts, we learn that God opened the hall and led gentiles from around the globe to be a part of the family at the wedding feast of the Lamb. In Romans 1:16, Paul writes, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, it is the power of God unto salvation to anyone that believes. First to the Jew, and then to the Gentile.” God’s plan was always to reclaim the entire world.
Next, Jesus discusses the cost of following Him. No matter how one slices it, Jesus was clear–He must be the center of the believer’s life. Jesus and the salvation He provides must never be an accessory nor an afterthought. Our Lord wants His chosen to understand that being Christ’s disciple is an all or nothing proposition. It does not mean that we do not live our lives and do our jobs, it simply means that as we do, we do all things in a way that reflects and honors Jesus Christ. Jesus was not being harsh or mean, He was simply making clear that following Christ is the life, not simply a component of our lives.
Paul said it best, “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” We conduct our lives with Christ at the core. Not as an afterthought or occasional token. Our faith draws us to be like Christ and to share the Gospel with any that will listen. That is the calling, and that is the life.
God Bless You
When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”
16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’
18 “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.’
19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’
20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’
21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’
22 “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’
23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. 24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”
The Cost of Being a Disciple
25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.
34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.
“Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”