All alike make excuses. Have you ever made excuses concerning the things of God? I have. Did we ever think our excuses had a connection with our resurrection, eternity – heaven? A parable means to lay along side. Jesus laid out a story. Our job is to find where we lay in the story. Where do most people find themselves laying in the story when it comes to God and excuses? 

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE CHAPTER 14

All Alike Make Excuses (Luke 14:15-24)

By Delbert Young

Audio

All Alike Make Excuses – Luke 14:15-24

Scriptures: Luke 14:15-20, Isaiah 25:6-9, Luke 14:21-23, Luke 14:24

Jesus was only a few weeks in real time from being arrested and executed. He was at the house of aprominent Pharisee for a luncheon on a Sabbath afternoon where he healed a man of dropsy – heart, or liver, or kidney failure, told a parable about the chair of humility, and taught about doing nice things for people who could never repay. Though they could never repay, we would be blessed by God and repaid at the resurrection of the righteous. Pharisee type people think they are “shoe ins” for the resurrection, so with the mention of the resurrection the next subject matter took place.

Luke 14:15-20 When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “BLESSED IS THE MANwho will EAT AT THE FEAST IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD.” Jesus replied: “A CERTAIN MAN was preparing aGREAT BANQUET and invited many GUESTS. At the time of the banquet he sent his SERVANT to TELL THOSE WHO HAD BEEN INVITED, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ “But they ALL ALIKE began to MAKE EXC– USES. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please EXC– USE ME.’ “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please EXC– USE ME.’ “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’

At least they were polite. They did say, “Please excuse me.” When we make excuses we do it in such an apologetic way. Sometimes there were reasons, but more often we make excuses. Have you ever been given a really lame excuse by someone who didn’t do what they were supposed to do? How did you feel? Have you ever given a really lame excuse for not doing something? I’ve done both. You’ve got to realize with nearly thirty years of being a pastor I’ve heard nearly every excuse you can imagine why people didn’t come to church. I’d share some but…

Jesus told another story/parable. Remember, a parable means to lay along side. Jesus laid out a story. Our job is to find where we lay in the story. Off the top, where do you think most people find themselves in the story when it comes to God and excuses? Have you ever made excuses concerning the things of God? I have. Did we ever think our excuses had a connection with our resurrection, eternity – heaven?

This person at the table gave his beatitude, “Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God,” but finds himself in the wheelhouse of Jesus when talking about the kingdom. What he said was true,“Blessed is the man…” but his conception of who will attend the feast is erroneous and it’s got to do withexcuses. Jesus said let me tell you a story concerning your idea of the feast. Jesus shattered false religious beliefs. That’s a good thing to avoid deception. Accepting what he says is up to us.

The Jews viewed the kingdom of God and eternity, we’d say “heaven,” as the feast in the kingdom of God. In a world where the obtaining of food was a daily ordeal, this is understandable. To relate to their thinking, the scriptures speak of eternity as a never ending huge banquet and party.

Isaiah 25:6-9 On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a FEAST of rich food for all peoples, A BANQUET of aged wine — the best of meats and the finest of wines… he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces… In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; WE TRUSTED IN HIM, and he saved us. This is the LORD, WE TRUSTED IN HIM; let us rejoice and be glad in hisSALVATION.”

It’s “we trusted in him,” not “we made excuses to him.” We trusted in him concerning his teachings. We trusted in him concerning our finances. We trusted in him concerning our giving. We trusted in himconcerning our families. We trusted in him concerning our lives – purchases, worship, and marriage. The banquet is about our trust in him, not making excuses. How much do you trust him? Where do you not? This is important to identify for it’s there you make excuses! It’s there we all alike make excuses.

When Jesus began speaking of the great banquet they knew exactly what he referenced. In the Revelation this same concept is projected as “the marriage supper of the Lamb” we’re invited to attend (Rev 19:9). A lavish never ending banquet was their analogy of eternity or “heaven.” What’s your concept of heaven? A mansion? Doing nothing? Just dipping your feet in the river of life for a thousand years? Walking on the street (1 street, Rev 21:21; 22:2) of gold? Continuous praise around the throne? To me all those thoughts become boring after a while. A mansion is fine, but wouldn’t you want to get out and do something? How much and how long would you want to dip your feet? Imagine the wrinkles. How long can you eat? I love to praise, but eventually I want to hear some preaching, or something. There’s got to be more to eternity. It’s definitely where all needs and desires and hungers are met in total peace, happiness, contentment, fulfillment, and bliss. I think that’s the concept of the great feast. At any rate, it will include some rich food, the best of meats, and a large selection of drinks.

Let’s place the characters in the story thus far. God (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit) prepared a great feast. The nation of Israel is the initial invited guest way back including Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They are also the ones who make the initial lame excuses when the time of the banquetcame. The servant is initially Jesus coming to tell them the great banquet is ready. I say initial. It’s not only Israel now and not only Jesus now.

They received their RSVP invitation, but…

Luke 14:18 “But they ALL ALIKE began to MAKE EXC– USES.

As I studied through the parable, I saw Jesus built it around the brazen disrespect toward God expressed through mass excuses. It wasn’t only one or two making excuses. It was massive – all alike. This was mass discourtesy, insult, and mass disrespect. It was a statement saying “I want no relationship with you.” Is this what we really do when we make excuses to God?

Luke 14:18-20 The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’

Their excuses were ridiculous, but I think, “Well… I make some ridiculous excuses not to do what I know God invited me to do.” I need to realize when this happens I’m actually insulting Father God. I’m insulting Jesus. I’m insulting the Holy Spirit. I need to ask, “Do I really want a relationship with him?”

The first excuse was he bought property, but now must go and see it? What? No one purchases property without first seeing it. Plus, the property would be there after the banquet to go see. It’s absurd. People will miss the kingdom because they must go check out their stuff they bought. People say, “Well, Pastor, I’ve got property at the lake I need to go see.” Is there anything wrong with buying stuff or property? No. That’s not the point unless your stuff or property is an excuse to not do what Jesus has invited you to do.

Another said he’d bought a new tractor (five yoke of oxen) and needed to try it out. He had to work. “Well, Pastor, I had to work Sunday.” Is there anything wrong with working on worship day? No, unless it interferes with the banquet and eternity. We do realize people will miss the kingdom because they are too busy for God.

The last one said I just got married. I’ve heard men blame their wives and wives blame their husbands and parents blame their children and children blame their parents. Is anything wrong with spending time with your spouse and family? No, but the greatest thing you can do with and for your family is worship together and make certain they get into the feast in the kingdom of God. People will miss eternity because of their family related excuses.

All alike shows how we all alike tend to make excuses. It’s a warning to evaluate. Pharisees believed they were a shoe in for the kingdom and the resurrection of the righteous. We know they were not, but somehow we think it’s different with us. Is it? The invited guest snubbed the party. However, the party wasn’t canceled. They lost their seat and the guest list changed.

Luke 14:21-23 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the houseBECAME ANGRY and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring inTHE POOR, THE CRIPPLED, THE BLIND AND THE LAME.’ “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’ “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes andMAKE THEM COME IN, so that my house will be full.

How do you make them come in? The kingdom will go on despite the Pharisees and Judaism. However, those invited lost their place. The master didn’t reject them. They rejected the master with excuses. Every seat will be filled, but by those they would never suspect.

The banquet of Jesus will include those far from God living in the bushes of life, street people crippled and lamed by life. The poor, crippled, blind, and lame, those outside and far away reference we gentiles. Does being referred to as poor, crippled, blind, and lame offend you? It doesn’t me.It’s not until I realize I’m a mess I become blessed. I’m not wealthy enough to fix me. I’m not strong enough to fix me. I can’t see how to fix me. I can’t maneuver well enough through life to fix me, but he can if I won’t make excuses or allow them to be. It’s because I don’t make excuses I get to come to the banquet.

Luke 14:24 I TELL YOU, NOT ONE OF THOSE MEN WHO WERE INVITED will get a taste of MY BANQUET.'”

The direction of the parable changed. Jesus spoke in the third party until here. It’s been “a certain man…”(v16), “sent his servant” (v17) “his master” (v21, 23), “the owner of the house” (v21), “sir” (v22). Now it’s“MY BANQUET.”

Jesus let them know and lets us know making excuses will exclude them or us from the great banquet. They were pre-invited, but lost their place. Lame excuses can cost us everything. I want to close with this verse.

Luke 14:23 “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.

Jesus wants his house full. So do I. How about you? Judy and I were talking last week how much better the Sunday banquet is when lots of people are here. As much as I enjoy it, imagine how Jesus enjoys it.

He said make them come in. The word for make them is anagkazo {an-ang-kad’-zo}drive to, by force, threats. It’s “Don’t take no for an answer.” These were not simply invited. These were sought out and made to come. Be happy someone is pushing or pushed you and made you come even when you didn’t want. Be thankful they didn’t take your excuses. Be thankful that mom, or dad, or wife, or husband, or a preacher didn’t let you make lame excuses. Also, don’t accept lame excuses. People give me their excuses. I’ll respond with something like you know you’re not where you need to be. They say, “I’m ok. I can stay home and be ok.” Really? Are you certain? It’s not that way according to Jesus. Excuses don’t work.

Other Related Sermons:

The Promise – Easter sermon video audio notes

What Then? – Easter sermon video audio notes

You and the Tomb – Easter sermon