A Seat at the Banquet

“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 servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant to ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’” — Luke 14:16-18, 21

The Gospel sounds like a tragedy: Die to yourself and you’ll live. Salvation sounds like bad news: We are not saved because we are brave, clean, and reverent, but because we are dead and our life is his with Christ in God. In short, the Good News has nothing to do with turning bad men into good men but dead men into living men.

Little wonder the Gospel seems so distasteful, so offensive. It’s mostly off-putting to people who feel they have everything, people who want to keep their winnings in this world.

That’s why the Gospel is only good news to those who consider themselves losers, whether it’s crane operators or bag ladies, schoolteachers or drug addicts, the tennis pro on a world tour or the homeless drunk living in an alley. Each must consider himself a loser if he wants a seat at the King’s banquet. And the price of a seat? That each dies to himself.

The price of salvation is high and, yes, you should sit down and count the cost. But when you finish counting, you have the absolute certainty that everything you’ve got turns out to be exactly the right price for a seat at the banquet. All you have to be is a certified loser and God will send His servant, Jesus, to positively drag you into His house.

I hold back nothing. I give you everything. Jesus, You win.

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