Have you ever been invited someplace, and you just didn’t want to go, so you made an excuse why you couldn’t attend? We all tend to sometimes make excuses for what we do or don’t do. It probably isn’t a good practice, but making excuses is not new. Even back in the time of the Bible, people made excuses for their behavior. Jesus once told a parable (story) in Matthew 22 about a king who threw a party, but none of the people he invited showed up for his party. In Jesus’ story, the king was going to have this party for his son who was getting married. Since he was a king, and this was his only son, you can imagine that it was going to be quite a celebration.
All of the plans had been made, the food was prepared, and the invitations had been sent. The day of the celebration came, but no one showed up! I can only imagine how disappointed the king must have been and upset too. The king sent his servants to see where the people were and why they had not come to his party. The people all began to make excuses about how busy they were, so they couldn’t attend.
After the king heard all the reasons his friends couldn’t come, he told his servants to go out into the streets and invite everyone they saw to come to his son’s wedding celebration. They did exactly what the king told them to do, and the Bible tells us that the wedding hall was filled with guests. It was a wonderful celebration!
Can you guess who the King was in the story that Jesus told? It was God. I’m sure you know who his Son was in the story. That’s right, it was Jesus.
Jesus has sent us invitations many times too. We will find those invitations in His book, the Bible. In fact, the Bible is full of invitations from Jesus. For example, He says in Revelation 22:17b, “All who are thirsty may come; they can have the water of life as a free gift if they want it.” Then from Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me all of you who are tired from the heavy burden you have to carry. I will give you rest.” And finally from Matthew 19:14 Jesus tells us another promise, “Let the little children come to Me. Don’t stop them, because God’s kingdom belongs to people who are like these children.” Jesus continually invites us to come to Him, and yet, some people are still making excuses. One day it will be too late to accept the invitation, and then those people will be very sad they did not listen. Let’s all go to Jesus!
Let’s say a prayer. Father, thank You for Jesus, and His invitation to come and receive the free gift of life which He offers. Without making excuses, may we say, “Yes, Lord, Yes!” Amen.
Ann Moody is pastor of Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church and the Middleport First Presbyterian Church. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.