“Then Jesus said to his host, ‘When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.’”
Luke 14:12-14 (NIV)
My husband and I were on the “B List” for a particular wedding banquet. Honestly, we were excited to be on the guest list at all, so being “B List” guests did not insult us. Someone we watched grow up was getting married. Their parents were prominent in the local community and several hundred people could have easily been on the guest list for their child’s wedding. We were honored by the invitation, even as "B List" guests.
Creating guest lists can be difficult. The above verse from Luke 14 teaches godly guest list etiquette. Jesus tells us that when we have a banquet to “invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind.” As a woman who enjoys hosting birthday parties for our children and gatherings for our family and friends, guest lists have become something sacred to me. They are an offering to the Lord. Jesus says to look beyond the obvious guests on your list, such as family and close friends, and reach out to the outcasts and downtrodden.
While there may not be those who are physically crippled, lame or blind in our lives, there are those who are hurting, who feel unwanted and unworthy of an invitation.
When my children and I make their party guest lists together, we prayerfully ask the Lord to put those on our hearts who would be blessed by receiving an invitation. Perhaps a friend who is not able to host birthday parties themselves. Or someone who is dealing with paralyzing emotional pain. Maybe someone whose parents are going through a divorce. Perhaps a friend who is shy and tends to be socially isolated. Or the one who has rough edges, is not easy to be around and doesn’t see God’s loving acceptance of them. The poor, the lame, the crippled and the blind.
Truth is, without Jesus and His redemptive love, we are all “the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind.”
Even in Christian circles, we can feel like the outcast or the unwanted guest. We’ve all experienced that “I wasn’t invited” feeling. An invitation speaks of acceptance, inclusion, care, love, worth and friendship. God’s Word tells us to extend invitations to unassuming guests.
The Lord of Hosts lovingly beckons us to come to His wedding banquet. As we unfold and accept His invitation, we are seated at the table of the King. Just as we are chosen by God to be guests of honor at His eternal celebration, let’s invite unlikely guests and place them at the top of our own guest lists. You are honoring God by inviting the poor, lame, crippled and blind. “He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God” (Proverbs 14:31, NIV). And to add to the joy of honoring God, He has promised us that “you will be blessed…you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous” (Luke 14:14, NIV).
“Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.’”
“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”
“So Jehoiachin put aside his prison clothes and for the rest of his life ate regularly at the king’s table.”
Your Devotional Journal
Saying grace ~ Bringing my heart to God in prayer.
My Portion ~ Where Has God met me in His Word today?
Nourishment ~ How does God want to mold and change my heart?
Second Helpings ~ Where does God want me to be a doer of the Word and take action?
Time for Dessert ~ What can I share with others from what God showed me today?
"You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the LORD your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you..."