When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, "Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God."
This statement is one man’s reaction to Jesus’ teaching about the inclusion of the poor in God’s Kingdom.
We agree. How refreshing, and not surprising, that the Almighty God is not impressed by social standing, wealth or popularity. Jesus announces – and Luke emphasizes – God has an open invitation to everyone.
This includes the poor! Because with Jesus it is not what we have, but who He is that makes the difference. And He is love.
That’s why the invitation to become a student of Jesus is open to all. Everyone is qualified by virtue of God’s love to come to the spiritual feast Jesus prepares.
But today as in Jesus’ time, it seems the rich and powerful and even those who want to be are too busy to respond to the invitation of Jesus. Here’s how Jesus describes the situation:
Jesus replied: "A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.'
But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, 'I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.' Another said, 'I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I'm on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.' Still another said, 'I just got married, so I can't come.'
The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.'
Sir,' the servant said, 'what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.'