The Greatest Banquet
AN AMAZING FACT: The largest single dish served in the world is roasted camel. To celebrate a wedding or honor a visiting dignitary, Mohammedan tribes in the Arabian, Syrian, and North African deserts usually give a feast where the main dish is without equal. This is how the stuffed camel is put together: Eggs are stuffed inside fish; fish are, in turn, stuffed into chickens; the chickens are then stuffed into sheep, which are roasted. Then the entire cooked sheep are stuffed into a camel. This colossal culinary concoction is the main course at these special feasts. Would you like fries with that?
Jesus tells the story of a wedding feast in which a king prepares a banquet for his son and daughter-in-law. Social gatherings in Bible times often involved large quantities of food. Unfortunately, the guests in Christ’s parable are not willing to come. The king sends out servants again, “Tell those who are invited, ‘See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding’” (Matthew 22:4). Once more the guests spurn the invitation. The king destroys them.
“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding’” (vs. 8, 9). The Pharisees listening to Jesus viewed the Jews as sitting down to eat a great meal while the Gentiles looked on with jealousy. Jesus showed that the very ones first called turned away from the invitation. Everyone is invited to the marriage banquet.
Christ calls us to come to a wedding banquet prepared for those who love Him. “Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!” (Revelation 19:9). What excuses do we make? Are we so preoccupied that we miss the greatest feast ever made? Or do we feel that we have an exclusive right to this banquet but are not truly ready? Unless we have on Christ’s robe of righteousness (the wedding garment), we will be cast out (v. 12). God wants all to come to the great supper.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
For many are called, but few are chosen. - Matthew 22:14
We went about it all wrong, on our own, not consulting God. We put ourselves in front when our own desires we should have placed behind. Now what ? "The Lord is more willing to give His Holy Spirit to those who serve Him than parents are to give good gifts to their children," (AA, 50). Although we've rejected God's best, by the influence of the Holy Spirit our backsliding can be reversed. Study with us now as we ask in prayer for His assistance and "avail ourselves of all the help and light that God has given" in order to understand this precious Everlasting Gospel (CH, 506), and in order to then share and speak truth with the heavenly oil of love that our words of reproof may be spoken in love (COL, 337), no matter the consequences.