Jean’s Gospel: The Great Banquet

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25 Responses

  1. Papias says:

    Table in the Wilderness

  2. Jean says:


    That’s a powerful song. Thanks for sharing that.

  3. Owen says:

    This is a great morning meditation, thank you – really puts one in the right frame of mind for the day.
    Sometimes it seems the greatest challenge we face in living out the great commission is convincing the “first group” that they need the gospel more than they need their families and posessions.
    But then, convincing is the work of the Spirit.

    And I am very fond of the song , also – Taff’s music has encouraged me for years.

  4. Jean says:

    Thanks Owen. I think the closest analogy of the “first group” in today’s America might be folks who grow up in the church, perhaps were regulars at Sunday School throughout their early years, and self-identify as Christian, but as adults take the Faith for granted.

  5. Owen says:

    Jean, that’s a perspective I hadn’t thought of . Now that I re-read the context, it makes sense. Jesus was at a Pharisee’s house at the time when he spoke the parable, so he may have been , in a veiled fashion, referring (at least in part) to the first group you described in your #4.

  6. Jean says:


    One clue for me was from John the Baptist’s sermon in Luke 3:

    “And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.”

  7. Owen says:

    Ooohh, ouch.

    That’s one heckuva clue. Also a stern warning.

    Makes a person wonder how they failed to pick up on that one……

  8. Em ... again says:

    i prefer to see the here and now (the last 2,000 or so years) as the appetizer course … the banquet is waiting for all to arrive and be seated together … i think i hear a voice coming from the dining hall, “set another place at the table…”
    ” but” – i hear someone say – “how can you call the Bread of Life mere appetizers?”
    well, i do – i call the food we now feast on just the the preliminary – what keeps us nourished as we wait … just as i see Jean’s post as good food for thought this morning

  9. Owen says:

    Interesting point of view, Em – I, too, can hear people screaming about the “appetizer” reference. Doesn’t bother me, personally.
    On the one side, some might say, “What else do you expect Christ to offer us but his own body and blood? How can you reduce that to a mere appetizer?”
    On the other hand, we are also told that our minds cannot yet fathom the riches He has in store for us on the other side……

  10. Mr Jesperson says:

    I have always loved that song by Russ Taff. It is one of the best that he has performed.

  11. Mr Jesperson says:

    I find it fascinating that the first two excuses that Jesus gives are business related. They are literally that the invitation goes out to those who are too busy with the commerce of the world to have time to come to the banquet. I have a business degree so this sticks out to me in a way that it might not to someone else. Their priority is Mammon, success and temporal, instead of eternal, matters. The fact that this was spoken in a house of a religious leader shows that this was also being spoken to those who considered themselves as religious zealots for the Torah. There has to be a strong warning here for those who are in the “business of religion” but have gotten so tied up in their own Tradition that they have lost understanding of God’s true purposes.

  12. Owen says:

    Me too, Mr. J. And IMO that album was his best. (“The Way Home”)

    Although a real close second is “Under their influence”

    I’d post my favourite from that album, but it doesn’t have to do with Jean’s post, and I don’t want to hijack his thread. 🙂

  13. Owen says:

    @ #11 – yes, and it reminds me of Paul’s discourse in 1 Cor. 1, from about v.18 on.
    The whole “but God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise” thing.
    God’s economy is a whole lot different.

  14. This is a great passage to work at distinguishing between law and gospel. Everyone seems to have focused on the us part – the gospel part. The parallel passage in Matthew 22 brings out the law a little more clearly.

    Who were those first invited to come to the marriage feast? Israel. Who is the first to reject and be rejected? Israel.

    When we compare to Matthew we see that the angry master destroys his first invitees and burns down their city.

    Seeing both the law and the gospel can come in the same passage. I have explained it this way before, but my example is dated. Come the 9th inning, the Dodgers’ manager would signal to the bullpen calling in the closer Eric Gagne. The outfield signs and the others that circled the stadium would flash “GAME OVER – GAME OVER” -(Gagne had saved 55 games in a row.)

    So, is GAME OVER a law passage or gospel? It depends which dugout you sat in. So here we see that the wedding feast is going on – gospel news for those called late who would have missed out had the original invitees had RSVP’d “will be there”

    Now this is terrible news for those not showing up – God has declared to the old Israel – “you are outta here!!”

  15. Owen says:

    MLD – interesting analogy. I’m sorry to have to ask this, but give a less-learned layman a little help, here…..are you saying that the original invitees are “outta here” due to their reliance on the law to save them? (That’s my read on it – feel free to correct me.)
    It also occurs to me that God in His infinite wisdom already knew which way things were gonna go.

  16. Owen I think they are “outta here” because God had them executed and burned their city (refer to 70 AD)

    God used the totality of biblical history to prepare not only the wedding feast for Israel, but preparing Israel for the wedding feast. Their rejection sealed their fate.

    My point about recognizing both the law & gospel in a passage was to avoid walking away with just the gospel side of the story – God’s acceptance of his new Israel (gospel) but also recognizing the rejection of his old Israel (law)

  17. I think in real life no one depends on keeping the law to save them. People just think they are good enough and they are going to heaven for that goodness with no reference to the law.

    The law doesn’t say keep me and you will be saved – the law says you are not good enough and there is nothing you can do about it.

  18. As I think of it more, I think the condemning strike against Israel was their claim “we have Abraham as our Father.”

  19. Owen says:

    Thanks, MLD.

    “God used the totality of biblical history to prepare not only the wedding feast for Israel, but preparing Israel for the wedding feast.”

    I see what you mean with the above statement. I’m going through a Bible History course currently, one that lays out pretty well the order of events and the grouping.
    It also hadn’t occurred to me that the destruction of the first invitees’ city described in the Matthew 22 story was actually literal. I hadn’t got there yet.

  20. Josh the Baptist says:

    I want to post on both of these so when it comes up in the recent comments, no one will know which one. 🙂

  21. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’m only gonna comment on this one now. Mld’s back to his “Don’t believe the words of Jesus” act.

  22. Josh the Baptist says:

    I bet if I were to string a few of these in a row, people would see the recent comments and think – Oh no, Josh and MLD are at it again. Then they’d click on it and not find my comments.Maybe they’d think I was cussing and got moderated.

    Brilliant!! Brilliant, I say!

  23. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’ve fallen through a whole in the Matrix or something.

  24. Josh the Baptist says:

    Everybody else is watching new episodes, and I’m stuck in re-runs.

  25. Josh the Baptist says:

    Aww man, Jean’s on to me. Time to go back to the future.

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