Pastor James J. Barker

Text: LUKE 14:7-24


  1. Several important dinners are featured in Luke chapter 14.
  2. Luke 14:1 says, "And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him."
  3. Then in verse 8, our Lord said, "When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him."
  4. Being invited to a wedding included being invited to the banquet which would immediately follow the wedding ceremony (14:8).
  5. Then in verse 12, our Lord said, "When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again (invite you in return) and a recompence be made thee (and you be repaid)."
  6. Then, in verse 15: "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."
  7. Then in verses 16--24, we have the parable of the great supper.
  8. In this parable, the "certain man" represents God, and the "great supper" represents salvation (14:16).
  9. Let me emphasize that when it comes to salvation, God has invited everyone (cf. Matt. 22:1-14).
  10. But unfortunately, most people have rejected God's gracious invitation (cf. Matt. 22:2-5).
  11. This morning I would like to speak on the danger of rejecting God's gracious invitation.



  1. The occasion was a certain dinner held in the home of one of the chief Pharisees (14:1, 7). "The chief rooms" (14:7) and "the highest room" (14:8) refer to the best places at the dinner table.
  2. And "the lowest room" (14:9, 10) refer to the lowest place at the table.
  3. Our Lord said in Luke 20:46, "Beware of the scribes, which desire...the chief rooms at feasts."
  4. There is a Bible principle taught in Luke 14:11, and elsewhere in Scripture (cf. Luke 18:9-14; Matt. 23:1-12).
  5. "Worship" in Luke 14:10 literally means "glory and honor," and that is how it is usually translated.
  6. Albert Barnes said, "They will learn your rank by your being invited nearer to the head of the table, and it will be better to learn it thus than by putting yourself forward. They will do you honour because you have shown a humble spirit."
  7. In Luke 14:7-11, our Lord is speaking to the dinner guests -- "those which were bidden" (14:7). Then in verse 12, our Lord is speaking to the host -- "to him that bade (had invited) him."
  8. Here we are reminded that we need to reach everyone with the Gospel (14:12-14).
  9. Some churches are basically social clubs. Members come to see their friends but they have no interest in reaching their community (or the world) with the Gospel. Some members even complain when newcomers start attending church services.
  10. Some churches go through the entire year without one person getting saved, and without one person getting baptized.
  11. They should hang up a big banner on the front of the building saying, "Ichabod, The glory of the LORD has departed."
  12. Luke 14:12 says, "When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee."
  13. In other words, these friends and neighbors will feel obligated to return the favor and invite you to their next big dinner.
  14. "A recompence be made thee" (14:12) means you will be repaid. This is how worldly people operate. They invite people, anticipating a future "recompense."
  15. As Christians, we should not get caught up in this. Our Lord said, "But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just" (14:13, 14).
  16. This "recompense" (14:12, 14) refers to the judgment seat of Christ. "And thou shalt be blessed" (14:14) means thou shalt be blessed in seeing people saved.
  17. Isn't it a blessing seeing sinners saved?
  18. "And thou shalt be blessed" (14:14) at the judgment seat of Christ.
  19. The word "recompense" (14:12, 14) is used in two different ways. It is used in a good sense here, meaning "to repay, to requite."
  20. But it also can be used in a bad sense, where it refers to penalty and vengeance. It refers to the judgment of God in II Thessalonians 1:6-9 and Hebrews 10:30 and 31.
  21. Romans 12:19 says, "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay (same word) saith the Lord."
  22. Luke 14:14 refers to "the resurrection of the just." This reminds us there is also a resurrection of the unjust. In John 5:29, our Lord said there will be two resurrections -- the resurrection of life, and the resurrection of damnation.
  23. Daniel 12:2 says the same thing: some will be resurrected to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
  24. Revelation chapter 20 also describes these two resurrections.



  1. One of the dinner guests, probably some unsaved Pharisee (14:15; cf. 14:1), responded to our Lord's warning with a "pious platitude" (14:15).
  2. One preacher said this lost religionist "expressed undue complacency" in view of our Lord's warning of future judgment (W.H. Griffith Thomas, Outline Studies in Luke).
  3. Another put it this way, "One of those present tried to turn the sharp edge of His words by giving utterance to a pious much as to say, 'Oh, yes, we shall all be very happy when we get to heaven.' Jesus turned to him with a parable which had for its motive the question, Are you sure that you shall be there?" (D.M. McIntyre, cited by W.H. Griffith Thomas).
  4. There have been occasions when the congregation is singing, "When We All Get to Heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be..." and I look over the auditorium with a heavy heart because I know some of the people singing this song will never get to heaven. Sadly, some of them are heading straight for hell!
  5. This Pharisee in verse 15 apparently thought "the kingdom of God" would be for the Jews only. Our Lord corrected those teachings in the parable of the great supper which followed his remark (14:16-24).
  6. The "certain man" (14:16) represents God.
  7. The "great supper" (14:16) is the Gospel invitation. "The poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind" (14:21) represent these despised Gentiles, whom the Jews considered dogs.
  8. The "great supper" (14:16) is the Gospel invitation. Our Lord said, "Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring" them in. It is a glorious invitation!
  9. Some preachers do not give invitations. And some preachers criticize invitations, but there are many invitations in the Bible. The "certain man...bade (invited) many (14:16)."
  10. And he sent his servant at supper time to say to them who were invited, "Come..." (14:17).
  11. Back in Genesis 7:1 we read, "And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark..."
  12. The ark was a picture and type of salvation in Christ. Those who came into the ark were safe from the judgment of God. Those who would not enter the ark perished.
  13. Those who are in Christ are safe from the judgment of God. Those who reject Christ perish.
  14. The last invitation is found in Revelation 22:17, "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."
  15. The Gospel invitation has gone out all around the world, and millions have accepted God's gracious invitation.
  16. But sadly, many have responded with indifference, and even ingratitude.
  17. Isaiah 1:18 says, "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."
  18. A preacher said, "God might have dealt with us as rebels and said, Submit! But He speaks as a father and says, Come!" (W.H. Griffith Thomas, Outline Studies in Luke).
  19. "Come; for all things are now ready" (14:17b). The Bible says, "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (II Cor. 6:2b).



  1. "And they all with one consent began to make excuse..." (14:18).
  2. Billy Sunday used to say, "An excuse is a skin of a reason stuffed with a lie."
  3. D.L. Moody said, "No sooner does anyone begin to preach the Gospel than men and women begin 'to make excuse.' It is the old story. There is not an unsaved person here but has got some excuse. If I were to go to each of you and ask why you do not accept God's invitation to the Gospel feast, you would have an excuse ready on the end of your tongue; and if you had not one ready, the devil would be there to help you to make one. And if they could be answered he is ready to make new ones. He has had six thousand years' experience, and he is very good at it; he can give you as many as you want. Do you know the origin of excuses? You will find it away back in Eden. When Adam had sinned, he tried to excuse himself. 'The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.' He tried to lay the blame on God, Eve tried to lay it on the serpent; and down to the present time, men and women, with one consent, begin to make excuse."
  4. People make foolish excuses. The first man said, "I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused" (14:18). You're supposed to look at property before you buy it, not after you buy it. This was a ridiculous excuse.
  5. The second man said, "I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused" (14:19). You're supposed to inspect oxen before the purchase, not afterward. This was another ridiculous excuse.
  6. The third man said, "I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come" (14:20). This man should have brought his wife with him!
  7. The first man placed property before God.
  8. The second man placed business before God.
  9. The third man placed his wife before God.
  10. These are all legitimate pursuits -- buying property, ploughing with a new ox, and marrying a wife. But God must come first!
  11. Our Lord said, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33).
  12. The idea here is that sinners find plenty of excuses. They insist that the affairs of the world are so pressing and so demanding that they cannot find time to attend to their souls.
  13. They claim to have no time to pray, and no time to read the Scriptures, and no time for church. I recall that old song --
    The soul that had put off salvation,
    “Not tonight; I’ll get saved by and by,
    No time now to think of religion!”
    At last they had found time to die.
    And, oh, what a weeping and wailing,
    As the lost were told of their fate;
    They cried for the rocks and the mountains,
    They prayed, but their prayer was too late.
  14. We need to understand that God is "angry" with excuses (14:21). "For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper" (14:24). This means none of them will be saved.
  15. God is "angry" at those who have slighted His gracious invitation. They have insulted Him by refusing His invitation.
  16. Psalm 7:11 says that "God is angry with the wicked every day."



  1. I quoted from D.L. Moody's sermon on our text.
  2. This passage here in Luke 14 was D.L. Moody's last sermon. He preached it on November 23, 1899 in St. Louis. Reports say that Moody was in great pain as he begged people to repent of their sin and trust in Christ. He had great pains in his chest, and had to hold on to the organ to keep from falling down. Fifty people came forward at his invitation. He died a few weeks later, a very sick man. Right up to the end, D.L. Moody was compelling sinners to come to Christ (cf. Luke 14:23).
  3. Don't reject God's gracious invitation!

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