Who Is on Your Invitation List?
Read Luke 14:12-14 (ESV)
He said also to the man who 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. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.
What does the list of people Jesus said to invite tell you about Jesus’ heart?
When thinking about who you could invite over for dinner at your home, who do you consider inviting? When you ask your kids to pick a friend to invite to vacation bible school or Sunday school, who do they think of asking? Now, consider this. When you make your invitation list, are you seeking social time and fellowship or are you seeking opportunities to evangelize and minister to others?
Now, to be fair, there isn’t anything wrong with socializing! We need friendship and fellowship with other believers. But in today’s verse, we get a glimpse into the heart of Jesus. He wasn’t concerned with social hour. He was concerned with meeting the needs of others. His mind was focused on His ministry.
In today’s verse, His point isn’t so much that our friends and family shouldn’t be a part of our lives. His point was that we shouldn’t be exclusive about who we invite into our lives. And we shouldn’t include people just because we stand to gain something from them.
Think of it this way. Jesus invited us into His Kingdom and restored our relationship with God through His sacrifice on the cross. Did we have the status to deserve that invitation? No! Are we able to repay Him? Of course not! But Jesus is telling us to participate in His work by spreading His Good News and inviting everyone into His Kingdom.
So when we consider who we want to invite into our lives, we shouldn’t leave anyone out. In fact, we should go out of our way to look for the outcasts and the ones who are usually excluded— the poor and the needy. Jesus said to invite those who have no way to repay you because it exposes your pure and humble intentions. You aren’t doing anything with ulterior motives and you aren’t expecting anything in return. You are simply inviting people into the fold the same way someone invited you.
Friends, I challenge you to look around and consider who God may have placed in your sphere of influence that could use an invitation. Stretch farther than just church friends who are already believers. Invite people who need to hear the message of Jesus Christ into your home, into your church, into your ministries. Seek to build relationships with them that can bridge the gap between your differences. Invite those over supper who aren’t able to reciprocate. Ask your kids to consider inviting a child to join them at church who doesn’t have as many friends and doesn’t have a church home. The road to eternal life is narrow but the invitation to walk on it is broad!
Jesus, I want to do as You said and invite those who need You into my life. Show me who You would have me build relationships with and keep me from being exclusive when it comes to sharing the Gospel. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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