Jesus is About Invitation
Jesus is about invitation. 16But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. And he isn’t just about invitation once and then He’ll drop it, He is about all the time. 17And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ What beauty there is in this word “Come, for everything is now ready.” When everything is now ready, there is nothing left to do. The work has been completed, all preparations are done. you will not be disappointed, just come and receive. For God to say to us now that everything is now ready is to hear that He has done everything for our peace and salvation and joy. You do not issue an invitation for your guests to come and offer help, to come and do, to come and work. Your invitation is for them to come and receive your work and benefit from that.
Who are Invited?
You who are full of sin, come and receive God’s work of reconciliation and freedom from the load of “do this” and “don’t do that” and “I know I’m not supposed but I did it again” and “I didn’t know I was supposed to and I’m sorry” and “there’s too much to do.” You who are full of shame, receive God’s work of being shamed for you so that He might honor you and invite you into His presence with the full confidence that your shame is covered. You who have been hurt by others, receive God’s love for you while you were His enemy so that healing might begin to take place.
Come and pray. Come and hear. Come and receive. Don’t say, “I have to clean this up, first”, “I have to stop doing this, first”, “I have to improve on this first”, because you are not hearing what He wants you to bring – Come, for everything is now ready. What He wants you to bring is exactly who you are – broken, sinner, full of faults and exhaustion living in this world.
Come Implies Leaving, Too
Coming sometimes implies leaving something. There is truth to this.
5 “Come, eat of my bread
and drink of the wine I have mixed.
6 Leave your simple ways, and live,
and walk in the way of insight.”
An invitation from Jesus to come is an invitation to leave your selfishness, leave your anger, leave your greed and come to love and forgive and increase in giving of your money and yourself. However, Jesus doesn’t you accept only when you have left these things because there are some things that we never fully will leave and also because there is nothing we could leave without His forgiveness and freedom. Those in bondage to sin don’t fully see it until they are freed.
What Can I Bring?
His invitation to come is to come with our anger, come with our lust, come with our worry and anxiety and greed and foolishness. Come with our lips that we should not kiss our mother with a times. Come with our eyes that we have allowed to see images that damage how we view other men, women and children. Come with our ears that we have allowed to hear gossip and idle talk. Come with our hands and feet which we have allowed too often to be idle.
We Cannot Repay Him and He Invites Us Because of This
When we come like this, we come honestly and without excuses. When we come like this, we come recognizing that we have nothing to offer God except our sin and shame. That, however, is exactly who He invites. Luke 14, 12 He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you.“
We cannot repay Him because everything is now ready. He has paid it all. There is nothing we could offer and there is nothing left to offer. It is finished and you receive the riches of being a baptized child of God. He isn’t the type of God that stands at the top of a ladder and says, “Come,” but the One who “came down from heaven, was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary,” and bore a cross so that He can continually come to us with His grace and kindness and a feast that continually offers forgiveness and joy.
He Can Be Rejected
When He says “Come,” we can say, “No.” He is used to rejection. He came to His own and His own received Him not. There will always be excuses and when we accept those excuses, we are accepting the invitation to think, speak and do according to the foolish ways and not walking in His ways of insight and life. We are accepting death rather than life. But you have passed from death to life.
Everything Means Everything and Now Means Now, Always
Come, for everything is now ready. Now means now and it will mean now in 10 minutes, 1/2 day and 20 years. You can’t say, “Oh, I did that years ago” because coming to Jesus is a way of life. He calls to relieve you and to take away your burden. The invitation to hear and believe His Word may not seem like a big deal because God’s Word doesn’t always seem like a big deal, but it’s like a grain of mustard seed or a little leaven. It grows and grows and grows. You are changed because of it today. Jesus is about invitation and about changing your heart to love that invitation today and every day.