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            Excuses are as old as time itself—they began in the Garden when God gave instructions, but Adam did not obey.  God asked Genesis 3:11 “Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”  Adam replied Genesis 3:12 “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.”  Eve said to God Genesis 3:13 “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.”

            From that day to this, people have been making excuses whenever they are asked to do something they do not want to do; or when they face decisions they do not want to make.  The art of excuse-making is all thru Scripture, and is included in a parable Jesus told.

            Just before the parable, Jesus said this—Luke 14:13 “When thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: 14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. 15 And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.”

            We are to help anyone who needs help and expect nothing in return—certainly wanting no praise or attention.  If we have real compassion and divine love in our heart, we willingly extend a helping hand to anyone who needs it, and especially so to anyone who is not able to return the favor or does not have the means to repay.

            Jesus gave this parable—Luke 14:16 He said, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, 17 and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ 18 ‘But they all with one accord began to make excuses.’”

            The man prepares a sumptuous dinner and invites many to attend.  When it came time for the guests to arrive, they all made excuses—they did not want to attend.  We must keep in mind that those invited were not asked to attend something that would be objectionable or unpleasant.  They were invited to a sumptuous meal, but they still all made excuses.

            Luke 14:18 “The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ 20 Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’”

            The Gospel is likened in the Bible to a Feast—Revelation 19:9 “The marriage supper of the Lamb.”  And God says, “Blessed are they which are called unto [it].”  At infinite cost, God has provided a Feast of eternal blessings for anyone who will repent, believe, and trust Him in faith.  Ephesians 1:7 “In Him [Jesus] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”

            Responding correctly to the Gospel invitation through repentance; acceptance; and adherence to God’s will and Word, includes divine protection by angels—who Hebrews 1:14 “Are only servants.  They are spirits sent from God to care for those who will receive salvation.”  Also included in accepting the invitation to the Feast—is being given Acts 2:38 “the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

            Scripture does not explain exactly what the Marriage Supper will be like, but all true believers will be gathered from Luke 13:29 “the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.” 

            Jesus will be the Host—so no one should miss it, and no one would miss it, except by their own refusal to accept the invitation—an invitation that includes following instructions from the Lord—Mark 11:25 “When you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

            When we reject the words of our Lord and Savior, and we refuse to accept His guidelines for godly living, we are asking to be excused from the Marriage Supper—we are asking to be excused from eternal fellowship with those who have kept the faith and washed their robes in the Blood of the Lamb; and we are asking to be excused from being in the presence of God and His Son Jesus.

            We have all missed appointments at one time or another; and we have all turned down invitations to some event, but this is one appointment and one invitation no one would ever want to miss out on—sitting down at the Marriage Feast in Heaven; seeing the King of kings in all His majesty; and living forever in His presence—no one would miss it, unless they refuse it.

            Let us consider the three persons who Luke 14:18 “with one consent began to make excuse.”  It is noted that they did not have an excuse; they made an excuse—deliberately and on purpose.  “The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.”

            It is obvious that he could have looked over the land before buying it.  Also, this purchase would not be made any better by viewing it now.  And since he owned the land, he could easily go to see the ground at any time and whenever convenient.  There was no good reason to make an excuse and look at his property instead.

            The fact is that the man did not want to accept the invitation; he did not want to attend the Feast—something else was more important; something else was first priority, so he manufactured an excuse to ease his conscience.  This man portrays the majority in the world with many possessions, whose belongings have their attention, their interest, and their affection—in spite of the clear teaching 1 John 2:15 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

            The second man who was invited to the sumptuous dinner, excused himself by saying: Luke 14:19 “‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’”  The purchase would be a considerable amount of money, but again, now that the transaction took place, he could check them out at any time. 

            Also, he was invited to an evening meal, so it is not a good excuse, as the man could not plow with the oxen after the sun had set—his excuse is unreasonable.  This man represents all those who are so absorbed by their work or occupation, that they have no time for their spiritual interests.  Most people in the world pass up opportunities that pertain to their eternal soul.

            The third man’s excuse is the least reasonable of the three.  Luke 14:20 “Still another [the third] said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’”  It is obvious that he could have taken his wife with him to the Feast, or could have asked her to attend with him, but the fact is he did not want to go and therefore made an excuse.

            Each of the three were unwilling to partake of the Feast.  They had no desire to accept the invitation because of being too involved with other things on earth.  They were not interested in things that pertain to the kingdom—a forgiving nature; love for God; or fruits of the Spirit Galatians 5:22 “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.”

            Only self, sin, and Satan would cause someone to desire things on this earth more, than desiring eternal life in Heaven—through faith in the Blood of Christ.  Even though God is clearly saying to us all 1 John 2:15 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world,” all too many do, and therefore forfeit their eternal salvation.  Nevertheless, Galatians 5:24 “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.”

            Two-thousand years have passed since the parable of the Feast Luke 14, and not much has changed—people still manufacture excuses of every kind, rather than accept the blessed invitation of the ever-living God of the universe. 

            Jesus clearly taught us Matthew 6:20 “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,” by giving your excess money to the poor on earth; but not many are doing that, and not many are accepting the invitation to put their wealth in Heaven—where their heart should be also.

            We all have had many opportunities to accept the invitation to forgive everyone from the heart, but have made excuses why we are not willing to do that.  Satan has us think—They have treated me this way for years; they never said they were sorry; they put me down and ridicule me any time I am near them; I hate being around them; if anyone mentions them to me, I’ll tell them to stay away from that person; they will treat you the same way—such subtle revenge is one of the devil’s snares.

            Yes, we are all invited to a great Feast; one that includes Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; along with many others and the Lord Jesus Himself, because they accepted the invitation, and followed the instructions in the Word; they recalled and responded—they got Ephesians 4:31 “rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”

            If we make excuses and turn down the invitation by refusing to forgive from the heart, the final result is clearly explained—Matthew 18:35 “In the same way my Heavenly Father will deal with you, if you do not all of you forgive one another from your hearts.”  The apostle adds Colossians 3:13 “Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”

            After the three men excused themselves from the Feast—Luke 14:21 “That servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’”

            Jesus said that there would be room for more—Matthew 7:14 “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”  Since many excuse themselves, Luke 14:23 “The master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 ‘For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.’”  The choice is clearly ours!


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