Lk.14:12-14 – Then He also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.
Asking people to dinner or having people over to your house for a party can have cloaked expectations. What do I mean? If you are always paying for the meal it tends to get quite old. Other motives can also come into play, maybe there are some business benefits and networking involved in the invitations. These are not necessarily evil motives, they are natural and part of the day to day lives we all live. In the parable quoted today Jesus is describing another guest list. He said when you throw a party invite people who have no way to reciprocate. This is quite a radical approach to throwing a party. The only motive in this unusual guest list is to advance the kingdom of God. Here are some descriptions of those Jesus told us to invite.
Poor – someone in abject poverty, utter helplessness, complete destitution.
We see these folks everyday on the corners and under the overpasses of our city. Ministering to these folks carries no expectation of pay back. We have however seen some of the homeless we bring to our church start coming regularly, get jobs, and begin to give back.
Maimed – maimed, disabled in a limb. Maimed, having lost a limb or some part of the body
This definition can be taken literally or figuratively. There are plenty of veterans who have lost limbs that can use some help. There are many more who have been maimed by life disasters. Helping those is what Jesus is getting at.
Lame – to slacken, loosen, let fall, be lame
The Lord also said to invite the lame. There are many folks in our world whose whole life could be described as a limp. It doesn’t matter how it happened, these too are on the Lord’s guest list.
Blind – to envelop with smoke, be unable to see clearly. Figuratively in respect to the mind as being blind, ignorant, stupid, slow of understanding.
Many are groping through life blind to any spiritual understanding. Bring these into the house of God. In that gathering of light they may just begin to see.
This is the strange guest invited to the Lord’s banquet. Sounds strangely like our annual Feed the Multitudes event. This is a true picture of our gospel life.