Noted in Luke 14:1-24 are several lessons on being inclusive. In the first lesson, Jesus is invited to eat at the house of a prominent Pharisee. At the house was a man suffering from dropsy which is a condition of swelling in the legs; a painful condition. Jesus knew the Pharisee was trying to trap Him but this is probably why Jesus accepted the invitation. It would be another teaching moment.
Jesus always looked for opportunities to meet the needs of others and to teach about appropriate steps to take in life. He asked the question, “is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath” (v. 3)? Everyone stood silent so he healed the man in distress. He then pointed out that most people would agree that helping a farm animal or a child in distress on the Sabbath would be acceptable so why would it not be proper to help a fellow neighbor from distress on the Sabbath.
Next, Jesus tells two parables to the guests at this gathering to teach that serving others is what God is looking for. God is not concerned with our status in society or the church but rather with our heart. Everyone is invited to His kingdom so we should minister to everyone for the Lord’s sake; even those who will never be able to repay us.
Like the Pharisees in today’s passage, sometimes those who go to church and do all the right things are the ones that miss what really matters. That God loves everyone; the proud or humble, the liberal or conservative, the rich or poor, those that have it all together or those who don’t.
God invites us all to a feast; those liked or disliked, dressed well or poorly dressed, the unattractive or attractive. If tempted to judge, be reminded that everyone has tremendous value in God’s eyes. The feast Jesus is talking about is our time with God which is available to all. This day with God will be amazing because we can start our day spending time with Him in prayer and worship instead of coming up with all kinds of excuses for not accepting the invitation.