Parable #28. Invitation to a Great Banquet:
- Today is Day #28
- The Twenty-eighth Mashal of Messiah
- Four Observations
- The Invitation to Israel
- First Interpretation – 3 Waves of Invitations
- Final Interpretation – 3 Excuses and 3 Responses
Today is Day #28:
1. Today is “Day #28” in the forty-nine day Countdown to Shavuot.
2. Today is Twenty-eight days in the Omer.
Today is twenty-eight days which are four weeks in the Omer.
היום שמונה ועשרים יום, שהם ארבעה שבועות בעומר. פ
Haiyom shmonah v’esrim yom, shehaym arba’ah shavuot ba’omer.
“You shall count for yourselves — from the day after the Shabbat, from the day when you bring the Omer of the waving — seven Shabbats, they shall be complete. Until the day after the seventh sabbath you shall count, fifty days.” (Leviticus). “You shall count for yourselves seven weeks, from when the sickle is first put to the standing crop shall you begin counting seven weeks. Then you will observe the Festival of Shavu’ot for Adonai Eloheinu.” (Deuteronomy).
“Blessed are You, Adonai Eloheinu, King of the universe, Who sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us to count the Omer.”
ברוך אתה, אדוני אלוהינו, מלך העולם, אשר קדשנו במצוותיו וצוונו על ספירת העומר.פ
Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, melech ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al sefirat ha’omer.
The Twenty-eighth Mashal of Messiah:
וַיִּשְׁמַע אֶחָד מִן־הַמְסֻבִּים אֶת־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו אַשְׁרֵי הָאֹכֵל לֶחֶם בְּמַלְכוּת אֲדֹנָי׃ וְהוּא אָמַר אֵלָיוי׃
אחד מן המסבים ששמע את הדברים האלה אמר אליו: אשרי האוכל לחם במלכות אדוני! השיב לו ישוע: פ
אִישׁ אֶחָד עָשָׂה סְעוּדָה גְדוֹלָה וַיִּקְרָא לָרַבִּים׃ וַיִּשְׁלַח אֶת־עַבְדּוֹ לְעֵת הַסְּעוּדָה אֶל־הַקְּרוּאִים לֵאמֹר בֹּאוּ כִּי־הַכֹּל מוּכָן׃ וַיָּחֵלּוּ כֻלָּם יַחְדָּו לְהִתְנַצֵּל וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו הָרִאשׁוֹן שָׂדֶה קָנִיתִי וַהֲלֹא אֵצֵא לִרְאֹתוֹ אֲבַקֵּשׁ מִמְּךָ נַקֵּנִי׃ וְאַחֵר אָמָר חֲמֵשֶׁת צִמְדֵי־בָקָר קָנִיתִי וַאֲנִי הֹלֵךְ לִבְחֹן אוֹתָם אֲבַקֵּשׁ מִמְּךָ נַקֵּנִי׃ וְאַחֵר אָמָר אִשָּׁה לָקַחְתִּי וּבִגְלַל הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה לֹא אוּכַל לָבוֹא׃ וַיָּבֹא הָעֶבֶד וַיַּגֵּד אֶת־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה לַאדֹנָיו וַיִּקְצֹף בַּעַל הַבַּיִת וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־עַבְדּוֹ מַהֵר צֵא אֶל־רְחֹבוֹת הָעִיר וְאֶל־חוּצוֹתֶיהָ וְהָבֵא הֵנָּה אֶת־הָעֲנִיִּים וְאֶת־הַנִּדְכָּאִים וְאֶת־הַעִוְרִים וְאֶת־הַפִּסְחִים׃ וַיֹּאמֶר הָעֶבֶד אֲדֹנִי כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתָ כֵּן נַעֲשָׂה וְיֶשׁ־עוֹד מָקוֹם׃ וַיֹּאמֶר הָאָדוֹן אֶל־הָעָבֶד צֵא אֶל־הַדְּרָכִים וְאֶל־הַגְּדֵרוֹת וּפְצֹר בָּהֶם לָבוֹא לְמַעַן יִמָּלֵא בֵיתִי׃ כִּי אֲנִי אֹמֵר לָכֶם אֵין אֶחָד מִן־הָאֲנָשִׁים הַקְּרוּאִים הָהֵם אֲשֶׁר יִטְעַם סְעוּדָתִי׃
איש אחד ערך סעודה גדולה והזמין אנשים רבים. סמוך לשעת הסעודה שלח את עבדו לומר למזמנים בואו, כי הכל כבר מוכן. אך כלם החלו להתנצל פה אחד. הראשון אמר: קניתי שדה ואני חיב לצאת לראותו. אני מבקש ממך, קבל את התנצלותי. אחר אמר קניתי חמשה צמדי שורים ואני הולך לבחן אותם. אני מבקש ממך, קבל את התנצלותי. ואחר אמר נשאתי אשה ולכן אינני יכול לבוא. כשחזר העבד וספר לאדוניו את הדברים האלה, התכעס בעל הבית ואמר לעבדו, צא מהר אל רחובות העיר ואל סמטאותיה והבא הנה את העניים, את בעלי המום, את העורים והפסחים. אמר העבד,אדוני, מה שצוית נעשה ועדין יש מקום. אמר האדון אל העבד, צא אל הדרכים ואל המשעולים ואלץ אנשים להכנס כדי שימלא ביתי. אומר אני לכם, איש מאותם האנשים שהזמנו לא יטעם את סעודתי. פ
[Lukas 14:16] A certain man made a great feast and invited many people. Near the hour of the meal, he sent his servant to say to the guests,”Come! For everything is ready!” At once all of them began to offer excuses (apologies) for not attending. The first said to him, “I have purchased a field; should I not go out and see it? I ask you to excuse me.” Another (the second) said, “I have purchased five yoke of cattle (five pairs of oxen yoked together) and I am going to inspect them. I ask you to excuse me.” Another (the third) said, “I have taken a wife, and on account of this fact, I am unable to come.” The servant came and told his Master these things, and the owner of the house became furious and said to his servant, “Go quickly out to the streets and alleys of the city and bring here the poor, the oppressed (disabled), the ignorant (blind) and the poor (lame).” The servant said, “My master, what you have commanded has been done and there is still room.” The Master said to the servant, “Go out to the roads and open areas (pastures) and compel (force) the people to come so that my house may be filled. I tell you, none of the people we invited will taste my meal.”
Observation #1. Just prior to the mashal of an Invitation to the Great Banquet, at a dinner the Messiah was attending, a pious Jew shouted out a blessing that indicated he believed he was reserved an honored place in the messianic kingdom. This mashal of the Messiah is a correcting response to this man’s belief that being an orthodox Jew – a pious physical descendant of father Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—was his guarantee that he would be a participant in the Great Banquet of the (future) messianic kingdom of Adonai.
Observation #2. The twenty-eighth mashal of Messiah confirms that it is true that there is a reserved place for every member privileged to be born into the Jewish race; that is those who are physical descendants of father(s) Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. However, this honored place is only reserved for as long as it takes for each honored member (of Israel) to accept or decline his or her personal invitation. Therefore, when the invitations are sent out to each elect person (Yehudi), for whom the space is reserved, each (Jew) must decline or accept. If we (Yehudim) ignore the invitation altogether or decline (with or without an excuse) then the (*Chief) Servant of the Household of Adonai (our G-d) will go down the alternative guest list (the non-elect gentiles) until all of the spaces at the Great Banquet Hall of Adonai Eloheinu are filled.
*The Holy Spirit (Ruach Ha-Kodesh) is the Chief Servant who calls us (Israel) to Adonai (our G-d’s) Great Banquet of Redemption and Reconciliation.
Observation #3. Almost two millennia ago the first round of invitations went out to the Tzedukkim (Sadducees), Prushim (Pharisees) and sages of Israel (Torah experts). Nearly all of these first-tier invitees rejected their invitations with polite and not-so polite excuses. The second round of alternative guests went out to the the poor, the oppressed (disabled), the ignorant (blind) and the not much interested in *religion at all crowd (the lame). A larger number of the second-tier group accepted their invitations but this number was not enough to fill up all of the reserved spaces that are available at the Great Banquet Hall.
*The “lame” are those non-observant Yehudim who “do not walk.” What does it mean in the Hebrew idiom that these Jews ‘are not walking’? In Hebrew the word halak (הַלֵך) means “to walk” (לְהַלֵך) and “to be on the go.” In orthodox Jewish tradition halakhah (הֲלָכָה) refers to “walking” according to the Talmudic and rabbinic laws and the customs and traditions about how Jews should behave. So the Master of the House is saying:
“Go get all of the non-religious (secular) Jews and compel them to come and take a seat at My Great Banquet!”
Observation #4. As a result of the poor response to the invitations and more space still being available the Master of the House (Avinu Shebashamayim) was *very angry.
*Note: The Master of the House is not asking for anything but attendance. He is paying for everything at great expense to Himself. Adonai (our Father and our G-d) is paying for everything! At the end of His appeal for participation He is not asking (us Jews) for any sacrifice from us. The cost and the burden of preparing the Feast has all been paid for by the Master of the House. Adonai Avinu just wants us to accept His invitation and attend His Great Banquet.
What the Master is sorely grieved and greatly angry about is that we have thus far refused the great honor of His invitation.
We (Yehudim; both orthodox and secular) have thus far rejected our birthright and as sons and daughters of Adonai Avinu we have despised His love for us. Therefore, He is grieved and angry that we have (like Esau) despised our “birthright.”
The final result of the elect ones rejecting the honor of being invited to the Great Banquet was that the Master of the House sent out His Head Servant (servants) yet one more time to compel outsiders (the third-tier) to fill in all of the rest of the vacant places at the Great Banquet; so that the Great Banquet Hall of the Host might “be filled.” This means that in the third-tier anybody would do: including prostitutes; shrewd-corrupt business people; tax-collectors; even foreigners, etc. (you fill in the blank of anybody will do!)
The Invitation to Israel:
The primary object of the mashal of the “Invitation to a Great Banquet” is to expose the unbelief and non-responsiveness of our elect people of Israel; especially the disrespectful conduct of the self-righteous Yehudim (Jews); that is the Prushim and their ultra-orthodox (past and present) successors. Secondarily, this mashal is a rebuke of the many modern day secular and not religiously inclined Yehudim who have been generously invited by the G-d of Heaven to ‘come as we are’ to the Great Banquet. Our place at the banquet is bought and paid for by the graciousness of G-d; not through any work (sacrifice) of our own. So all that we need to do is humbly *accept and attend.
*Acceptance – Although the invitation and participation is free (paid for by Adonai) our acceptance does require that we must attend in proper attire (follow the dress code) and agree to accept whatever help or guidance the Servant of the Household directs.
Yet these elect persons of Jewish physical descent are presently ignoring the invitation and as such are declining it by virtue of their disinterest. This even though Adonai (our G-d) has graciously provided this Great Feast at His own expense; and not our own. The kingdom of Heaven has come.
The atonement of Israel has already been accomplished; and the work of redemption is done.
The Banquet of Redemption and Reconciliation between Adonai and His People (Israel) is ready. All are invited to eat bread in the Kingdom of heaven. However, quite tragically: thus far the majority of Adonai’s chosen people (Israel) have chosen not to attend His Great Banquet. The elect invitation to the Great Banquet is voluntary.
Nevertheless: if we want we can refuse the invitation of Adonai (our G-d) to His Great Banquet of Redemption and Reconciliation.
First Interpretation – 3 Waves of Invitations:
[The 1st Wave] The first wave of invitations went out to the ultra orthodox Yehudim, the most Torah observant religious Jews (the experts in the Law and the Prushim). They were invited first. In response to the Divine invitation (calling) these persons invented a variety of ingenious excuses for not attending the Great Banquet. Some of these excuses were polite and the other excuses were not so polite. The bottom line: Nearly none of these ultra religious people chose to attend the Great Banquet. Therefore, the religiously privileged Yehudim as a group nearly all refused to attend the Great Banquet of our Father in heaven (Avinu Shebashamayim).
[The 2nd Wave] The second wave of invitations went out to bring in the Israeli “poor and crippled and blind and lame.” These are the not so religious Yehudim, who are the least Torah observant Jews (conservative, reformed, secular, etc.). In this less prestigious group there has actually been a much better response to the invitation. Still the acceptances of these less-religious and secular Yehudim has thus far been insufficient in number to fill up the Great Banquet Hall.
[The 3rd Wave] So, the Master of the House has ordered that invitations be sent to a third wave of invitees, the Outsiders. The third wave of invitations has been going out (the ‘calling’) to those persons who live in “the highways and along the hedges.” These are the Gentiles. They live outside the territorial boundaries of the natural guests (the Yehudim). And these persons are not just politely asked to attend. The Head Servant (the Spirit of the Holy One) is sending His subordinate servants to “compel” these ‘outsiders’ to come in—that the Great Banquet Hall of the Host might be “filled.”
Therefore, the prophetic irony here is that although the Great Banquet of Redemption and Reconciliation with Abba Avinu was prepared specifically for the spiritually privileged people of Israel (secular, reformed, and ultra-orthodox) that due to the destructive influence of our ancestors’ foolish former rejection of the Divine invitation most of us (today) will miss the follow-on celebration of entrance into and participation in the messianic kingdom (the golden age of Israel) that was at the first prepared for the elect people of Israel.
Final Interpretation – 3 Excuses and 3 Responses:
The three excuses, used as veiled rejections of Adonai’s invitation to His first (engagement) Great Banquet of Redemption and Reconciliation, will reciprocally be used by Adonai as reasons why He will dis-invite these persons to His second (marriage) Banquet of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. The Servant (the Spirit of the Holy One) of Messiah will say:
“Sorry, all the spaces of this Banquet are taken-up by the previous attendees of the Great Banquet of Redemption and Reconciliation.”
The people who attended the Great Banquet have the first right of refusal to attend the second Banquet of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. And remarkably, one-hundred per cent of the invitees have already accepted their invitations to participate in this Banquet. Even though you were among the first to be invited before: There is no more room left for you now!” The rejected will then say:
“Please increase the space so that we might attend. For did you not list us first as your most preferred persons to be invited?”
And upon further refusal (in anger) they will reply, “How could your Master ever accept these irreligious and useless people before us?” “How could the Master ever justify giving our places to these Outsiders (Gentiles)?” “Please implore your Master to increase the space so that we too might attend the second supper, the Great Banquet of the Messianic Kingdom (the Marriage Supper of the Lamb).” Then will the Master Servant (the Holy Spirit is the Chief Servant of the Household) quickly respond:
“I am so very sorry but my Master is too busy to make special arrangements for more space for you.”
“It just so happens that He has newly *acquired a large and important parcel of land. He has bought **five yoke of oxen and is readying to use them to plow up His Land and to plant a new set of crops and vineyards for His great new harvest. And furthermore did you know that He recently was married (the Bride of the Messiah) and He must use all of His spare time to attend to ‘His new bride’ (Israel and the International Commonwealth of Israel). Therefore, please consider my Master excused from attending to your request; very regretfully:
“I am most sorry, for these three reasons there is no place for you at the second Banquet of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb!”
*The land acquisition will be complete when the Messiah returns a second time; the land acquisition process, however, did begin in 1948.
**The number five (pair, yoke of oxen) is symbolic of the Grace of Adonai. The total number of ten oxen is indicative of “sanctification.” The five yoke (pair) of oxen and ten oxen in all is a promise that on the day of Messiah’s return to Israel the land will be sanctified (set apart), reworked (plowed under), and thoroughly cultivated by the loving-kindness, favor, and graciousness (chesed, chanan, chen) of the Spirit of Adonai.
Therefore, in the Kingdom of Adonai yet to come, in the golden age of Israel, the Grace of Adonai will be at work in a kind, gentle and favorable way (the easy yoke) to bring about a time of great physical and spiritual prosperity throughout all of the land of Israel and the entire world (the Commonwealth of Israel). This all being a fulfillment of prophecy as was originally promised to our fathers so long ago. Regarding the yet future Banquet of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb that is referred to above: read the forty-first mashal of the Messiah, “Invitation to a Wedding Banquet.”