THERE IS A GRIEF AMONG THE PEOPLE OF GOD
ABOUT THE SUPREME COURT’S DECISION.
WISDOM HAS BEEN SUPPRESSED AGAIN.
FROM THE HEIGHTS SHE STILL CRIES ALOUD,
FOR WISDOM HAS SET HER TABLE
SHE HAS SENT OUT THE CALL: COME..
LIKEWISE, A MAN ONCE GAVE A BANQUET
HE SENT OUT THE CALL: COME…
BUT FOOLISH THEY WERE,
FOR THEY ALL BEGAN TO MAKE EXCUSES:
I CANNOT COME TO THE BANQUET
AND SO HE INVITED
FOR THE FIRST WILL BE LAST
AND THE LAST WILL BE FIRST.
BRENNAN MANNING CALLED IT
THE RAGAMUFFIN GOSPEL
OFTEN THE POOR HEED THE CALL,
KNOWING THEIR DESPERATE NEED.
THE RICH AND THE PRIVILEGED ARE MORE LIKELY TO RESIST.
YET THE TRUTH IS:
WE ARE ALL HELPLESS
WE ALL NEED THE DOUBLE CURE:
FROM THE PENALTY OF SIN,
AND FROM THE POWER OF SIN.
COME, WISDOM CALLS,
“FOR WISDOM IS MORE PRECIOUS THAN SILVER,
AND ALL THAT YOU DESIRE CANNOT BE COMPARED TO HER.”
THE NATURAL RESPONSE IS TO RESIST THE CALL OF WISDOM. IN ROMANS 1 GOD TALKS ABOUT INDIVIDUALS RESISTING THE TRUTH UNTIL HE TURNS THEM OVER TO A DEPRAVED MIND AND THEN THEY FINALLY ENCOURAGE OTHERS IN THEIR SIN.
THAT IS THE DEVASTATING TRUTH THAT WE SAW LIVED OUT ON A NATIONAL LEVEL FROM THOSE WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO BE WISE, OUR SUPREME COURT.
WE ARE DEEPLY SADDENED.
SO WHAT DO WE DO?
ON AN INDIVIDUAL LEVEL,
WE MUST RESPOND TO THE CALL OF WISDOM
WE MUST RESPOND TO THE LIGHT HE GIVES US.
SO WHAT DOES THAT MEAN RIGHT NOW?
FOR THIS WEEK?
HERE, HE TELLS US TO LOVE
AND, INDEED, EVEN THOSE WITH WHOM WE DISAGREE.
There are great riches here, so I don’t want to rush you. This is also a busy 4th of July week. So I’ll divide this important lesson — taking the parable this week and the proverbs next week.
We will look at the preface to the parable and the parable. The preface to the parable sheds great light on the parable itself.
The preface to the parable deals with humility and hospitality. Hospitality is especially relevant to summer — such an easy time to have people over to grill or simply root beer floats. Hospitality isn’t a fancy dinner or a fancy house — it’s being the host in conversation with meaningful questions, then good listening, and responding to their needs. (Though I would not recommend initiating a conversation with unbelievers about the Supreme Court decision, it still may come up — and we need to be prepared to listen, to love, and to respond wisely. We’ll have some discussion about how to do that as well.)
A year ago my friend Twila, her husband, and I invited several couples over — at different times — just for a simple supper and some planned conversation. I e-mailed them ahead with these questions:
1. Share a childhood experience that helped shape the person you are today.
2. Share a difficulty you faced in your life from which you learned.
I had games ready in case the questions flopped. But they didn’t flop. They talked and talked and talked. It was the beginning of great friendships. One man left with tears in his eyes, saying he had never experienced a similar evening.
This summer four of those people now know the Lord.
Who knows how the Lord will move in your life this summer if you are open to His voice?
The Parable of the Wedding Banquet
1. What stood out to you from the opening and why?
Monday-Friday Bible Study:
2. Read Luke 14:1-5 and describe the audience and their attitude toward the poor and the needy.
Now Jesus tells a parable (before the one that is our focus) that takes place at a wedding feast. While we learn here a simple principle of wisdom, be sure you see the deeper meaning of the gospel.
3. Read Luke 14:7-11. Challenge question: What is the earthly principle?
4. In regard to responding to questions about the Supreme Court decision, there is a humble and a proud way to respond.
A. What do you learn from 2 Timothy 2:23-26? Give some practical suggestions on how to live this out if an
unbeliever brings up the conversation?
One principle I have learned from listening to Tim Keller is to listen to your opponent so carefully that you can articulate his argument back so well that he absolutely knows he was heard. Do that before you attempt to dismantle any argument, if you attempt at all. This week I also had Ellen Dykas as a guest at my home, who has spoken at The Gospel Coalition’s Women’s Conference on sexual wholeness and works with the ministry of Harvest USA. It was an interesting week to have her here, but again and again, it is so apparent that only Christ can change hearts (and He can!) and we must love others well so that they will be open to Him.
B. What does 1 Peter 3:8-17 teach us about loving those who persecute us?
C. It would be easy to become fearful about this decision. Why do we need not to fear if we are believers?
Just as the definition of marriage has been twisted, so has the meaning of the rainbow. The rainbow is a way to remind us that God promised never to cover the whole earth with a flood again. The rainbow is a promise to believers that just as Noah and his family found refuge in the ark, we can find refuge in the day of wrath in our Savior. The rainbow, Tim Keller pointed out, is like a bow (and the Hebrew word is actually “bow”) pointed up. The arrow points to the heavens for the wrath of God will fall not on His children, because it fell on God the Son.
READ THIS LAEL ARRINGTON
5. There is a gospel truth about the way into heaven hidden in Luke 14:7-11. Do you see it? If so, explain.
6. Read Luke 14:12-14
A. What instructions are we given about hospitality in verses 12-14?
B. Do you think this means we cannot invite family or friends to our 4th of July picnic? Why or why not?
C. In listening to Rebecca Pippert, an evangelism expert, she says she looks for people in whom God is moving.
Remember how Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit?” One paraphrase says, “Blessed are those who know their need.” As you pray, who in your life, in your path, might show evidence of being tender-hearted to the Lord?
D. Whether it is for the 4th of July or another gathering this summer, how might you reach out to those who are open and show them love through a meal, a dessert, and a time of getting to know them? Or to those who are lonely or newcomers?
7. Read Luke 14:15-24
A. Keller sees some irony in verse 15. What do you see?
B. Describe what happens in verses 16-20.
C. If you came to Christ as an adult, were you hesitant, resistant? If so, what was holding you back? What persuaded you to surrender?
D. What do you think holds people back today?
E. Describe what happens in verse 21.
F. And in verses 22-24?
8. We are not only resistant to the initial invitation, we can resist wisdom’s voice, that still small voice, every day. What causes you to resist, do you think, and what would persuade you to obey?
9. Listen to this sermon and share your notes and comments:
Saturday: (Happy Fourth Everyone!)
8. What is your take-away and why?