Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, an ordained Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.
However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.
To see more Bible study outlines go to page two: More Bible Study Outlines.
BACKGROUND: The Hebrews
pictured their future kingdom as a great feast with the patriarchs as the
honored guests (Luke -29;
· The Sabbath issue was raised again when a Pharisee invited Jesus to a dinner -- and placed an obviously ill person at the table “in front of Him.” Jesus healed him and gave some important advice to His host (See Luke 14:1-14).
· Jesus then told a parable about a great banquet, representative of God’s kingdom, and guests who were too preoccupied with their own affairs to respond to God’s invitation (See Luke 14:15-24). This is our Bible study for today.
· Choosing to follow Jesus Christ is not a choice to be made lightly. Along with the reward, we must be aware of the cost. When that choice has been made it is final and involves the surrender of all (See Luke -35).
I. THE HOST’S SUMMONS TO THE BANQUET.(Luke -17)
A. A Pious Cliché.
And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. (Luke 14:15)
1. The man spoke.
This is, without a doubt, one of the pious platitudes that this man is used to giving. In that awkward moment of silence, when no one was saying anything, one old rascal speaks out and says, “Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.” I wish we could have been there. We could have asked him, “What do you mean by that?” I doubt that he could have told us what he really meant. At least I have never found a commentator who could explain what he meant. His statement was nothing more than a pious cliché.
INSIGHT: Today we speak. You hear a lot of pious platitudes in our church circles today. I get tired of hearing them. One of the most common clichés is, “Praise the Lord.” It is a wonderful thing to praise the Lord, but sometimes it becomes a little monotonous when a person uses that phrase constantly but does not praise the Lord in his heart! Let’s steer clear of pious clichés.
2. The Lord responds.
The Lord Jesus did not let this rascal get by with his cliché. Jesus turned to him, and I think His eyes flashed with anger as He spoke to him.
B. A Choice Parable.
Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. (Luke 14:16–17)
1. A personal invitation is given.
It was the custom to send out invitations to such a dinner a long time in advance, but as the actual day for the dinner arrived, a personal invitation was extended. God has issued an invitation. What is man going to do with it?
2. A salvation invitation is given.
God’s invitation is for salvation. You cannot buy your way in to this feast. You cannot elbow your way in. You come to this dinner by the grace of God. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8–9). You get into this dinner by receiving a gift. The only thing that will exclude any human being from heaven is a refusal to accept the invitation.
II. THE HOST’S RESPONSE TO LAME EXCUSES. (Luke -24)
INSIGHT: The Lord Jesus told the man, “You say, ‘Blessed is he that eateth bread in the kingdom’; that is pious nonsense. Here is what men are doing with God’s invitation:”
A. The Rejections By Those Invited.
1. The first man wanted to examine his newly purchased property.
And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. (Luke 14:18)
This is not an excuse, it is an alibi. I think it was Billy Sunday who defined an excuse as “the skin of a reason stuffed with a lie.” No one who was invited said, “I will not come to the dinner.” They were simply making excuses to cover up the fact that they did not want to come.
The first man to give an excuse was either a liar or a fool. Can you imagine buying property without first looking at it?
2. The second man had purchased ten oxen and wanted to test them.
And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. (Luke 14:19)
The first man let possessions keep him away. The second man let business keep him away. Again I have to say of this second man that he is either a liar or a fool. How could this man plow at night? In those days they did not have flood lights. This man was making excuses. “I must make a living,” is a phrase I hear often. People are so busy with their business they have no time for the Lord. One day we are going to die, and we will discover that business will go on as usual without us.
3. The third man stated that he had “Married a Wife” and could not come.
And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. (Luke 14:20)
a. His wife kept him from accepting the invitation.
There was a law in Israel that excused a man from going to war if he had taken a new wife. This man had the weakest excuse of all. Why didn’t he bring his wife with him and come to the dinner? His natural affection kept him away from the dinner. How many times I have heard a man say, “I don’t come to church because Sunday is the only day I can spend with my family.”
b. Today “things” keep us from accepting God’s invitation.
These things keep more people from God than anything else: possessions, business, and natural affection. How many people today are kept from the Lord because of these things? Well, God has an engraved invitation for you. It is written in the blood of Jesus Christ and invites you to the great table of salvation.
B. The Extended Invitation To Others. (Luke -24)
1. The servant is to go out into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in others.
So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. (Luke 14:21)
a. Everyone is welcome.
Having prepared a great dinner for many guests, the host did not want all that food to go to waste, so he sent his servant out to gather a crowd and bring them to the banquet hall. What kind of men would be found in the streets and lanes of the city or in the highways and hedges? The outcasts, the loiterers, the homeless, the undesireables, the kind of people that Jesus came to save (Luke 15:1-2; ). There might even be some Gentiles in the crowd!
These men may have had only one reason for
refusing the kind invitation: they were unprepared to attend such a fine
dinner. So, the servant constrained them to accept (see
b. Rejecters are rejected.
Not only did the host get other people to take the
places assigned to the invited guests, but he also shut the door so that the
excuse-makers could not change their minds and come in (see
c. Gentiles are included.
This parable had a special message for the proud Hebrew people who were so sure they would “eat bread in the kingdom of God.” Within a few short years, the Gospel would be rejected by the official religious leaders, and the message would go out to the Samaritans (See Acts 8) and then to the Gentiles (See Acts 10 & 13).
d. Everything is ready.
The message of this parable applies to all lost sinners today. God still says, “All things are now ready. Come!” Nothing more need be done for the salvation of your soul, for Jesus Christ finished the work of redemption when He died for you on the cross and arose from the dead. The feast has been spread, the invitation is free, and you are invited to come.
e. People still delay.
They delay in responding to the invitation because they settle for second best. There is certainly nothing wrong with owning a farm, examining purchases, or spending an evening with your wife. But if these good things keep you from enjoying the best things, then they become bad things. The excuse-makers were actually successful people in the eyes of their friends, but they were failures in the eyes of Jesus Christ.
2. The servant is commanded to compel others to come to Christ.
And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper. (Luke 14:22–24)
The Christian life is a feast, not a funeral, and all are invited to come. Each of us as believers must herald abroad the message, “Come, for all things are now ready!” God wants to see His house filled, and “yet there is room.” God wants us to go home, go into the streets and lanes, go into the highways and hedges, and go into all the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. (Luke 14:23)
· Some Christians have gotten the idea that if they erect a beautiful building, put up a sign, and place an ad in the newspaper, the unsaved will flock to church.
But it just doesn’t work that way! There’s an impelling go in the gospel that makes us responsible for our friends and neighbors. We must reach out to lost sinners and bring them in.
· In D. L. Moody’s day, it was a common practice for people to rent a church pew.
One Sunday morning, 19-year-old Moody marched down the aisle with a motley crew of society’s outcasts trailing behind him. He had rented four pews and was determined to fill them with those who were spiritually needy. Having taken the Savior’s “Go” personally (Matthew 28:19), he literally “went out into the highways and gathered together . . . both bad and good” (Matthew 22:10).
· Don’t make the mistake of believing that Jesus’ command to go applies only to missionaries in faraway places.
All of God’s children are to share the good news of salvation. What a tragedy it would be if our own neighbors never heard the gospel because we never told them!
· Ask the Lord to place a burden on your heart for a friend or loved one who is lost.
Then go and bring them in!
Who'll go and help this Shepherd kind,
Help Him the wandering ones to find?
Who'll bring the lost ones to the fold
Where they'll be sheltered from the cold? — Thomas
– Adapted from Richard De Haan, Our Daily Bread, June 26, 1995
· People are often too caught up in the insignificant pursuits of this temporal life to bother with eternal matters. The tendency for us, then, might be to become discouraged and stop extending the invitations.
· But just like the servant in the parable of the great banquet who was sent out again and again to "compel them to come in," so God sends us out into our world daily to look for opportunities to give out the invitation to others to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
· “And Jesus said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark ).
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “We must go to sinners if we expect sinners to come to the Savior.”
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REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the King James Bible (KJV), The Moody Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network ( www.ttb.org ), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: ( http://www.intouch.org/ ), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/ ), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook ( www.sermonnotebook.org ), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries ( http://rbc.org/ ), selected illustrations, and other references.
REV. RONALD PURKEY’S OFFICE
E-mail: Ronald Purkey