nothing Else.

He replied to him,
“A man gave a great dinner to which he invited many.
When the time for the dinner came,
he dispatched his servant to say to those invited,
‘Come, everything is now ready.’
But one by one, they all began to excuse themselves.
The first said to him,
‘I have purchased a field and must go to examine it;
I ask you, consider me excused.’
And another said, ‘I have purchased five yoke of oxen
and am on my way to evaluate them;
I ask you, consider me excused.’
And another said, ‘I have just married a woman,
and therefore I cannot come.’
-Luke 14:16-20

nothing elseCome. Jesus, by taking on our human flesh, invites us all to the heavenly banquet. He invites us all to the greatest feast we will ever attend, and yet so often, like the people in the story, we make excuses. We’ve purchased a fancy new smart phone and we have to figure out how to use it. We bought the latest gaming system and we have to beat all of the games on it. We just starting dating someone or we just got married and are too busy to attend His banquet.

On some level, they sound like legitimate excuses. We are too busy to attend the banquet because we have all of these pressing matters going on in our lives. Jesus reminds us, over and over in Scripture, that nothing else is more important than following Him. Want to turn back and bury the dead? Nope, follow Jesus. Want to love your mother and your father? Nope, you should prefer loving Jesus to loving your family (not that you can’t love both, but your love for one should exceed your love of the other). Found a new love? Had a new baby? Bought a new house? Finally paid off your debt? Bought a new car? Going on vacation? Those can all be great things, but they should never be an excuse to miss the banquet of the King.

The fact of the matter is that one of Satan’s greatest weapons against us is distraction. We busy ourselves with countless things, all the while being distracted from the one thing that truly matters. In the story of Martha and Mary, Jesus tells Martha that “There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” Mary chose to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to Him speak. Certainly, as Martha knew, there were things to be done around the house, food to be prepared, dishes to wash, etc. But when it comes down to it, what is really important? Busying about the house, being distracted by the field we’ve bought, the oxen we’ve obtained, the spouse we’ve taken, or sitting at the feet of Jesus?

We all make excuses. God knows I do it more times a day than I care to count. I work at a church for crying out loud. I can sit in my office and work for 12 hours a day without taking so much as a five minute break to go sit in the adoration chapel that is mere feet away from my office. But at the end of the day, and even more importantly, at the end of our lives, what will really matter? The countless hours I spent in my office? The field we purchased? Our newlywed bliss? Or the sacrifice required to put the distractions away (however holy and well-intentioned they appear) and attend the banquet of Jesus?

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