Friday, August 24, 2012

Banquet Fit for a King

I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet. (Luke 14:24 NIV)

Banquet
I read in an article recently of a place in South Korea where diners can immerse themselves to a great banquet. Every day 17 cooks prepare around 70 dishes from the royal menu, and diners get to taste and experience the dinner fit for a king.

The expression ‘a dinner fit for a king’ in South Korea has a codified meaning passed down orally for generations. According to Sonny Antunes who wrote the article ‘A Royal Banquet in South Korea’ at FineDiningLovers.com, it refers to a dinner that follows specific rules of etiquette. Such grand dining which was once limited only to members of the royal family and their guests is now available to anyone who lives in or visits Seoul.

Unlike the royal banquet of South Korea which today can be experienced by all, Jesus shared in a parable about a banquet that not everyone invited will get to taste or experience. A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to call the invited guests to come, but all of them began to make excuses. Then the master told his servant to go out into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame (Luke 14:16-24).

All of us know that when we are invited to a wedding banquet, it is a basic courtesy for us to respond early, especially if we are unable to turn up. RSVP or ‘rĂ©pondez s'il vous plait’ in French means ‘please reply’ in colloquial English, which is an etiquette we should all respond to as invited guests. Even if the invitation does not state the need to RSVP, it is still polite to do so, but not in the case when the invitation is from God to receive His salvation!

As followers of Christ, we are called to represent God in inviting the yet unsaved to return to Him, but not everyone who are invited will get to taste of His salvation. RSVP in such a case is a danger, for no one knows when death comes knocking on the door (Luke 12:20). Our task therefore is to bring whoever would receive Him and His salvation, not just the ones whom we think are ready or are good enough. Sinners or saints, everyone on earth needs the salvation of the Lord.

Are we doing our part in inviting the unbelievers to the Lord? Are we helping our loved ones and the people around us to taste and see the goodness of our God? Blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him and who will get to partake at the feast in the kingdom of God. For the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast for His peoples—a banquet of fine dining—and all who believe in Him will dine with Him at the wedding supper of the Lamb (Psalm 34:8; Isaiah 25:6; Luke 14:15; Revelation 19:9).

Dear Lord, thank You for receiving us, not just as guests, but as partakers at Your table. We know Lord that not all who are invited will get to experience Your salvation. Help us therefore Lord not to easily give up sharing the gospel to the unsaved or be deterred by their excuses, for such is a decision between life and death. Do not permit us to limit our scope in selecting the people to be saved Lord, but lead us by Your Spirit as to what we shall say in accordance to Your word and guidance.

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