One invited guest says he has bought land and must go and see it— but no one buys land without first inspecting it! A second invitee claims he must try out a team of oxen he has purchased—but even a completely foolish farmer has to make sure a team of oxen can pull together prior to making an offer. A third claims to have “just married,” but no one forgets their wedding date and books a party during the honeymoon. These excuses are so patently ridiculous, they must hide something else. Anger at the one who issues the invitation? A desire to hurt the giver of the party? Many excuses for rejecting God are equally unreasonable.
Have you ever allowed anger with God to keep you away from His community?
What changed your attitude?
FAMILY TIME— What should we do when we feel angry at God? Find a Psalm where the author is “praying his anger.”
The excuses in our parable are beyond lame. They are utterly and probably deliberately illegitimate. In the Ancient Near East, there were two stages of invitation. A first invitation was given and a response offered. Then on the day of the event, a notice was sent, through a servant, that the feast was now ready, and the guests who had already accepted the original invitation should come. The key to understanding the reaction of the party-giver is knowing that all the guests who are no-shows have previously agreed to come.
Some people intend to be on God’s guest list, and make an initial response to His invitation, but then don’t follow through.
How has God invited you into relationship and commitment?
How have you responded?
FAMILY TIME— What commitments have you said yes to? A sports team? A set of music or art lessons? Talk about the need to say yes repeatedly to each practice or opportunity.