People of the Shadows

SERMON NOTES
Rev. Dr. Jim Toole
Luke: On the Road With Jesus
Luke 14:16-23

“People of the Shadows”

Theme: This parable of the banquet illustrates God’s enormous inclusive Kingdom, where He loves all of us no matter what we have done or who we are. But this parable also gives us a model on how we are to love as God loves.

The traditional interpretation of this parable of the banquet is that Jesus was referring to the religious leaders as the guests who refused to come to the feast. Jesus was saying the Kingdom of God is much wider and as the religious leaders take Jesus for granted, the New Covenant would be open to all, even the gentiles. In the first century context the poor, crippled, blind, and lame were considered the marginalized or even outcast.

This parable illustrates God’s enormous inclusive Kingdom, where He loves all of us no matter what we have done or who we are.

Jesus is saying My Grace and Mercy is for all those who are in need of a Savior. All who are weary, tired and worn out, you are invited to the Great Banquet. This is a prophetic image of Jesus’ redemptive and restorative plan for the world. Jesus on the cross paid for our sins once and for all and declared it finished. We are no longer slaves, but we are free. We are restored. We are home again to the place of love.

This parable also gives us a model on how we are to love as God loves.

The church is the representation of the movement of Jesus’ Kingdom. The “good news” isn’t enough to say that we ourselves are the people dragged in from the country lanes to enjoy God’s party. That might be true. But we as party guests are called to be party hosts and go to the streets and invite those who are generally cast aside. 

You and I are called to get dirty, to get uncomfortable, and to compel people into the Kingdom of God. We compel people by the way we love.