What’s Your Excuse? | Luke 14:12-24

What’s Your Excuse? | Luke 14:12-24

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What’s Your Excuse? Luke 14:12-24

Introduction

Please Stand For the Reading of God’s Word

Luke 14:12-24 ESV  He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid.  (13)  But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,  (14)  and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”  (15)  When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!”  (16)  But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many.  (17)  And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’  (18)  But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’  (19)  And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’  (20)  And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’  (21)  So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’  (22)  And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’  (23)  And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.  (24)  For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’”

You may be seated.

  • I want to start by explaining why I have started asking everyone to stand for the reading of God’s word.
    • Standing while Scripture is read at the beginning or a sermon is a time-honored tradition that has lost popularity in modern evangelic churches.
    • But I decided to bring it back for two reasons:
      • First, God’s Word is Holy, it is powerful, it is miraculous that it even is available to us. It is not something to be taken lightly, but it should be treasured and honored.
      • And second, to put an emphasis on the key section of Scripture that we read from every week.
      • To set aside those verses from Luke and say “This is our focus”
        • Which is also why I don’t ask you to stand every time I read a scripture, all scripture is Holy and powerful, but today our focus is on these scriptures…
        • Plus if I had you stand every time I read a verse you guys would get tired quick! That’s a lot of squats…
  • So that being said, lets go ahead and talk about this section of Scripture from Luke 14.
  • Jesus starts this section of scripture by giving this bit of, well, interesting advice…

Luke 14:12-14 ESV  He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid.  (13)  But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,  (14)  and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

  • I say this advice is interesting for two reasons:
    • One, it’s good advice, and I think anyone who follows it will absolutely be blessed.
    • But two… because I think Jesus is doing more than offering practical advice about benevolence.
  • You see Jesus has been preparing people for the Kingdom of God to come, and He is slowly getting them around to the very counter-cultural idea that the Kingdom of God is for everyone… and not just for EVERYONE but that it will even be easier for the poor and the destitute to get into heaven than the rich and the privileged.

Matthew 19:24-26 ESV  Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”  (25)  When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?”  (26)  But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

  • So there is this concept that Jesus teaches that anyone can get to heaven, because with God all things are possible, but honestly the wealthier and more influential you are the harder it is for you to get into heaven.
    • So I think this little bit of advice about inviting the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind… I think this was a way for Jesus to kind of warm people up to this idea.
    • He is kind of kneading them with His teaching. And I think the people understood this, because look how at least one man responded when Jesus taught this…

Luke 14:13-15 ESV  But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,  (14)  and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”  (15)  When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!”

  • That dude get’s it, Jesus is actually talking about the Kingdom of God!
  • So, Jesus seeing that this dude gets it, goes into a more detailed teaching about why so many people who are not crippled or lame or blind struggle to get into the Kingdom of God…
    • It’s all about the distractions… the excuses that they make.
    • and that’s what we are going to talk about today.

Show Title Slide

  • What’s your excuse?
    • Why would you refuse your place at the table of God?
    • Why would you refuse to dine in His kingdom?
    • Why would you turn down His invitation?
    • What is your excuse?

PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY

Excuse One: Love of Material Things

Luke 14:16-18 ESV  But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many.  (17)  And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’  (18)  But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’

  • So Jesus tells this parable, and of course He is not actually talking about a dinner meal, but the Kingdom of God.
    • And He says that many will be invited… but will make excuses…
    • Excuses like this one from verse 18

Luke 14:18 ESV  But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’

  • Now hold on just a minute… you bought a piece of property and you haven’t even seen it yet.
    • You have enough money to buy a field on the spot without even looking at it first…
    • Talk about #FirstWorldProblems… Ok, maybe #AncientWorldProblems.
  • But that is exactly what happened here, only the fabulously wealthy could risk buying a field without looking at it.
  • But lets dig deeper…
    • The man was willing to purchase the field without looking at it…
    • He was willing to give money, to sacrifice money for this field, but not sacrifice the time to look at it… I guess had more important things to do?
    • But now, all of the sudden, THERE IS NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT IN THIS GUYS LIFE THAN TO LOOK AT THIS FIELD!
    • I mean he owns it, it’s not going anywhere, it’s his, he has managed to last this long without looking at it…
      • But now that he has been invited to this banquet, to the Kingdom of Heaven… NOW he all the sudden has to look at the field.
  • This is crazy, isn’t it.
    • That would be like skipping out on church because you bought a new car you want to drive.
    • Or because your football team is playing and you just got a new 85inch TV.
    • Or it’s hunting season and you want to bag a buck with your new Shotgun, plus you need to try out that new tree stand you just put up… God will understand, right?
  • It would be like…
    • Refusing to go on a mission trip because there was no air conditioning.
    • Telling “No!” when he calls you to Africa because there is no highspeed internet.
    • Dictating to God when and where you will go based on how comfortable you feel.
  • This is so crazy, refusing the Kingdom of heaven because you need to see something you just bought… It is almost as crazy as:
    • Not giving the 10% of your income back to God because you can’t afford it… But you just spent 68 bucks at Panera buying food for you and a friend.
    • It’s so crazy, it would be like being willing to wake up on Black Friday at 1am to wait inline for 5 hours to get a big tv… then being late to church on Sunday because you “missed your alarm”.
    • It would be like skipping your Mission Faith Pledge, that you pledged to God, because bills are tight…
      • Sure you just bought a new Xbox, a new Rifle…
      • Or maybe you just got that new Coach purse, and coach case that matches your purse to go over your $1000 cellphone… But “Bills are tight”.
  • Am I stepping on some toes this morning? I am preaching to myself too, I like nice things!
    • BUT THE KINGDOM OF GOD MUST COME FIRST ALWAYS!
    • There is no second place for the Kingdom of God, it is either first in your life, or it is not in your life.
    • You either come to the banquet, or you make excuses!

Hebrews 13:5 ESV  Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

1 John 2:16 ESV  For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.

Luke 12:15 ESV  And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

1 Timothy 6:9-10 ESV  But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.  (10)  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

Matthew 6:19-21 ESV  “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,  (20)  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  (21)  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

WHAT IS YOUR EXCUSE? WHY ARE YOU DENYING THE THINGS OF GOD, WHY ARE YOU DENYING HIS KINGDOM?

  • Maybe your excuse is your job, your career, your occupation.
    • Maybe you are saying to yourself “Well golly gee, I just am so gosh darn busy at this here job… well guess I just don’t have time for God right now”
    • Well, you are making excuse number two, using your job as an excuse.

Excuse Two: Job/Occupation/Career

Luke 14:19 ESV  And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’

  • Look, Jesus, I really appreciate the invite to your Kingdom and all, but these fields aren’t going to plow themselves. I got these oxen, and I need to make sure they are ready to go. So you go ahead and enjoy your banquet, enjoy your Kingdom… but I have work to do.
  • Can I tell you a secret? WORK AINT NOTHING BUT A JOB!
    • WORK AINT NOTHING BUT A JOB Y’ALL!
    • What do I mean by that, your job is an means to an end…
    • The point of your job is to make money so you can buy food and provide shelter for your family.
    • That’s it.
      • And that goes for everyone with only a few exceptions.
      • If you work for a ministry like Chains, I am not talking about you.
      • If you work for a small mom and pop operation, I am not even necessarily talking about you.
  • But if you work for a company with an HR department… yeah, I am definitely talking to you…
    • You, as an employee, are a means to an end for the company…
    • You are there to make them money.
    • You are not there because the corporation loves you.
    • You are not there because they care about you and your family.
    • You are there to make them money, and the SECOND they think you are costing them more than you are making them, they will fire you.
    • They will let you go. They will move on. They will outsource your job.
  • I have seen it happen a million times.
  • And that’s ok, because that is how Capitalism works.
    • But please! Don’t let your identity be in your career!
    • You are not what you do!
    • YOU ARE A CHILD OF THE KING! A BEAUTIFUL CREATION! HAND CRAFTED BY AN ALL LOVING GOD! DESIGNED TO WORSHIP AND BE WITH HIM!
    • You are not what you do!
  • The number one excuse I hear for why people can’t come and worship the CREATOR of EVERYTHING who DIED FOR THEM is because of work.
    • JESUS DIED FOR YOU and you can’t worship Him because you got to flip burgers on Sunday?
      • Man up and tell your boss you are a Christian first, and a burger flipper second.
      • Don’t put Christ after burger flipper…
        • But pastor, I don’t flip burgers… my job is so much more important…
        • MAN TELL THAT TO JESUS… tell Him how important your Job is.
    • Unless you are saving lives in a medical profession, or working for a ministry, then I don’t think God cares all to much about your title…
    • The CEO and the Burger flipper is the same in God’s eyes…
    • WORK AINT NOTHING BUT A JOB!

Philippians 4:19 ESV  And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

  • What’s your excuse?
    • You think your needs can’t be provided for if you don’t work Sunday mornings?
      • I think you don’t trust God enough!
  • But maybe you are good with those things… Maybe your job, and materialism doesn’t come before God… then I have an excuse that may just match your life…
    • Jesus I would come… but my family… they need me…

Excuse Three: Family/Friends/Relationship

Luke 14:20 ESV  And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’

  • Look, I get it, you have a smoking hot wife and you want to “be with her”.
    • Can I tell you a secret… your wife isn’t as beautiful as Jesus…
  • You think you are doing your wife a favor by skipping out on Jesus to be with her?
    • Really what you are doing is trying your best to DAMN HER TO HELL!
  • You are supposed to be the Spiritual leader…
    • Jesus invites you to the banquet and you just got married… here is an Idea… BRING YOUR WIFE TO THE BANQUET! BRING YOUR WIFE TO THE KINGDOM!
    • “Yeah Jesus I would love to come, I just got married, can my wife come too?”
      • What, you think Jesus is going to say no?
  • But in America our problem is not our wives… ok, some  wives are a problem, just don’t tell them I said so…
    • Our problem is our kids…
    • We idolize our Children.
    • And instead of putting God first, we put our kids first.
  • I love this article from the Babylon Bee, anyone out here read the Bee?
    • The Babylon Bee is a Christian comedy site that writes funny fake news stories about politics and the church, here is one of my favorites because it hits so close to home…

Show Bee-Quarterly.jpg

  • After 12 years of Quarterly Church Attendance, Parents Shocked by Daughter’s Lack of Faith
    • I am going to read the full article, because it is really funny, but also because it illustrates this point so well. Now remember, I didn’t write this, so don’t get mad at me!

FULLERTON, CA—Local father Trevor Michelson, 48, and his wife Kerri, 45, are reeling after discovering that after 12 years of steadily taking their daughter Janie to church every Sunday they didn’t have a more pressing sporting commitment—which was at least once every three months—she no longer demonstrates the strong quarterly commitment to the faith they raised her with, now that she is college-aged.

Trevor Michelson was simply stunned at the revelation. “I just don’t understand it. Almost every single time there was a rained-out game, or a break between school and club team seasons, we had Janie in church. It was at least once per quarter. And aside from the one tournament in 2011, we never missed an Easter. It was obviously a priority in our family—I just don’t get where her spiritual apathy is coming from.”

“I can’t tell you how often we prayed the prayer of Jabez on the way to a game,” added Janie’s mother.

“You know, the more I think about it, the more this illustrates how the church just keeps failing this generation,” lamented Trevor, citing a recently-googled study by Barna or someone.

The Michelsons further noted plans to have a chat with the pastor of their church after their younger son Robert’s soccer season calms down a bit.

WHATS YOUR EXCUSE?!

  • I hope it is not your kids soccer game.
    • Listen:
      • According to the NCAA:
      • If your kid plays Highschool Varsitey Basketball as a senior…
        • They have a 0.03 percent chance of becoming a professional basketball player.
      • If it’s varsity football they play as a senior in Highschool,
        • They have a 0.09 percent chance.
      • If its baseball or ice hockey
        • It’s half a percent chance…
      • And if it is soccer, it is 0.08 percent chance…
  • Now compare that statistic to this statistic…
    • If your child is a human being they have a 100% chance of being before the judgment seat of God.
  • Now tell me, which should you prepare them for? GOD or THE PRO’s?!
    • Because the odds are overwhelmingly against them that they will ever even see the pros…
    • But guaranteed that they will see God.
  • Am I saying don’t let your kids play sports? No!
    • But what I am saying is that your kids need to know that GOD IS FIRST! Always! He is so much more important.
  • Plus, if God calls you to the mission field, your kids odds of being a professional soccer player skyrocket!
  • Listen, the best thing you can do for your family is lead them to Christ, protect them in the faith, cover them in prayer, worship together with them, and lead your household as a household that serves the Lord!

Conclusion

  • I want to conclude with this scripture…

Joshua 24:14-15 ESV  “Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.  (15)  And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

  • You know what this scripture says? “PICK A SIDE”
    • Are you going to serve money and material things? Fine, then chose those things and serve them.
    • Are you going to serve your job and your boss? Fine, then chose your career and serve it.
    • Are you going to serve your family over God? Fine, then chose your family and serve them as god.
  • AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSEHOLD WE WILL SERVE THE LORD.
  • The parable we read from Luke 14 this morning ends with these 3 verses…

Luke 14:21-24 ESV  So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’  (22)  And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’  (23)  And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.  (24)  For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’”

Gospel Call

Prayer

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