- 1. Synopsis
- 2. Parable Given in Response to
- 3. Symbolism Chart
- 4. The Parable in Luke
- 5. Symbolic Interpretations
- 5.1. The Servant is Jesus
- 5.2. The Master of the House is God
- 5.3. The Great Supper is the Kingdom of God
- 5.4. The Bidden was Contemporary Israel
- 5.5. The Various Excuses are the Cares of the World
- 6. Conclusion
Synopsis of Parable:
Rich man hosted party, sent slave to notify the invited. The invited declined to come. The man told the slave to invite the poor, crippled, blind, and lame. And there was still room, so the rich man told the slave to invite anyone on the highway.
Parable Given in Response to:
In response to a man in the audience saying "Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God."(Luke 14:15.) However, a complete study from Luke 14:1 through 14:35 is beneficial to learning this parable.
|↓Master of the House||God||Luke 14:16|
|↓Great Supper||Kingdom of God||Luke 14:16|
|↓The Bidden||Contemporary Israel||Luke 14:17|
|↓Various Excuses||The Cares of the World||Luke 14:18|
|↓The Ailed||Followers of Jesus||Luke 14:21||Where "ailed" refers to the poor,
maimed, halted, and blind people.
|↓Highwaymen||Anyone who Hears the Word||Luke 14:23|
The Parable of the Dinner Guests
As presented in the King James Version of Luke 14:15-24
Luke 14:15And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him,
Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.
16Then said he unto him,
Explanation of the Interpretation of Symbols
The Servant is Jesus Back to Top ↑
The servant is Jesus. He is the one who speaks with God, and was come to Earth for the bidden,(Matthew 10:6; 15:24.) which we will soon find out to be contemporary Israel.
However, the Jews rejected God and his commandments,(Mark 7:9.) and so Jesus finally told his disciples to preach to all nations.(Matthew 24:14; 28:19, 20; Mark 13:10.)
This interpretation is common.
The Master of the House is God Back to Top ↑
The only person Jesus is subservient to is God. There is none other, therefore the master of the house must be God.
There are no other common interpretations as to who the master of the house is either. Everyone (or nearly everyone) agrees this person represents God.
The Great Supper is the Kingdom of God Back to Top ↑
The great supper is an event that had been prepared for a while. Note that the master bade many before it
was suppertime. That is why he had to send out his servant to say
This parable can sum up the whole of the reactions to Jesus's ministry. The Jews did not come, so Jesus spoke in parables and sent his disciples elsewhere to gather people.
The Bidden was Contemporary Israel Back to Top ↑
This symbol and the previous three all work together to identify what each other symbol represents. Here, the bidden represent all those Jews who, during Jesus's time, did not listen to him and did not repent of their inward perversion.
The Various Excuses are the Cares of the World Back to Top ↑
The excuses that the bidden used to deny the invitation are shallow in the eyes of God.
Jesus likewise warns us not to care for the gains of this world.(Luke 9:25.) He even goes so far
as to say,
We should note that the man was excited over a purchase, over property, over five oxen. Five oxen today
would be an interesting thing to be excited over, but it is not the oxen that matter, but the excitement
that puts God off to the side that matters. For us modern folks, this could be as small as a screen on the
porch, or new sheets on the bed. Or perhaps more traditional luxury purchases, such as a televsion, video
games, tickets to the movie, books, or a trip to an amusement park. It matters not what the purchase is,
only how we feel about it.
The next person said,
Jesus once said to a man,
For more on the cares of the world, see the thorns section of the Parable of the Sower. For more on Jesus not considering even his own family, see the found sheep and found silver piece section of the Parables of the Lost Sheep and Lost Coin.
The Ailed are Followers of Jesus Back to Top ↑
Here, we use the catch-all term "ailed" to refer the poor, the maimed, the halted, and the blind, that the master of the parable ordered the servant to bring in.(Luke 14:21.) These are the people that search for God much like a person searches for a cure to their illness. These people need a doctor, which is why Jesus came.(Matthew 9:12; Mark 2:17; Luke 5:31.) These are all people who would likely love a warm and cozy supper, even if they cannot pay the master back for it.
Solomon commends this, writing
Thus, the ailed people the master of the house invited are now fed, much as Jesus came to feed us the bread of life,(John 6:33, 35, 48, 51.) and to give us the water of life.(John 4:13, 14.)
The Highwaymen are Anyone who Hears the Word Back to Top ↑
The master also orders the servant to invite anyone on the highway.
These are just the random people in the world that are unconnected with God, and that live
their normal everyday lives. Even these people deserve a chance to eat at the supper. Many of
them will turn to him and act like the Pharisees, saying they do good deeds in his name but ignore his will.
About these people, Jesus says,
In Conclusion Back to Top ↑
There is a lot going on in the Parable of the Dinner Guests, however, when broken down into its symbolic parts, it all comes together easily. God had prepared the Kingdom for his chosen people, but they rejected him, so instead he will let anyone that wants to sup with him inside.
We should note that just because a group of people rejected him and his son does not mean that God would not let these people inside. Jesus's message was to repent, which means to change the mind on something. If these people repented of their traditions and followed Jesus, even today, they would be in the kingdom of God.