A certain man made a great supper, etc. - See a similar parable to this, though not spoken on the same occasion, explained, Matthew 22:1-14; (note).
A great supper - Or great feast. It is said to be “great” on account of the number who were invited.
Bade many - Invited many beforehand. There is little difficulty in understanding this parable. The man who made the supper is, without doubt, designed to represent God; the supper, the provisions which he has made for the salvation of people; and the invitation, the offers which he made to people, particularly to the Jews, of salvation. See a similar parable explained in the notes at Matthew 22:1-14.
Had this work been done earnestly and vigilantly, had the workers perseveringly watched for souls as they that must give an account, many more sheaves would have been the fruit of the seed sown at our camp meetings. Ev 433.1
This work has also been carried on in _____. There are now no less than fifty new Sabbathkeepers as the result of this personal labor, this hunting for souls. Unless the workers appointed by God do the most interested hunting for lost sheep, Satan will succeed in his work of destroying, and souls will be lost that might have been found and restored.—Letter 18, 1898. Ev 433.2
Some Not Reached by the Public Effort—In large cities there are certain classes that cannot be reached by public meetings. These must be searched out as the shepherd searches for his lost sheep. Diligent, personal effort must be put forth in their behalf.—Gospel Workers, 364 (1915). Ev 433.3Read in context »
Under the parable of a great supper, our Saviour shows that many will choose the world above Himself, and will, as the result, lose heaven. The gracious invitation of our Saviour was slighted. He had been to the trouble and expense to make great preparation at an immense sacrifice. Then he sent his invitation; but “they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.” The Lord then turns from the wealthy and world-loving, whose lands and oxen and wives were of so great value in their estimation as to outweigh the advantages they would gain by accepting the gracious invitation he had given them to eat of his supper. The master of the house is angry, and turns from those who have thus insulted his bounty offered them, and he invites a class who are not full, who are not in possession of lands and houses, but who are poor and hungry, who are maimed and halt and blind, and who will appreciate the bounties provided, and in return will render the master sincere gratitude, unfeigned love and devotion. 2T 39.1
Still there is room. The command is then given: “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, that none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.” Here is a class rejected of God because they despised the invitation of the Master. The Lord declared to Eli: “Them that honor Me I will honor, and they that despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.” Says Christ: “If any man serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall also My servant be: if any man serve Me, him will My Father honor.” God will not be trifled with. If those who have the light reject it, or neglect to follow it out, it will become darkness to them. 2T 40.1
An immense sacrifice was made on the part of God's dear Son, that He might have power to rescue fallen man and exalt him to His own right hand, make him an heir of the world and a possessor of the eternal weight of glory. Language fails to express the value of the immortal inheritance. The glory, riches, and honor offered by the Son of God are of such infinite value that it is beyond the power of men or even angels to give any just idea of their worth, their excellence, their magnificence. If men, plunged in sin and degradation, refuse these heavenly benefits, refuse a life of obedience, trample upon the gracious invitations of mercy, and choose the paltry things of earth because they are seen, and it is convenient for their present enjoyment to pursue a course of sin, Jesus will carry out the figure in the parable; such shall not taste of His glory, but the invitation will be extended to another class. 2T 40.2Read in context »
There has been a great lack of Christian benevolence in the church. Those who were the best able to do for the advancement of the cause of God have done but little. God has mercifully brought a class to the knowledge of the truth, that they might appreciate its priceless value in comparison with earthly treasures. Jesus has said to these: “Follow Me.” He is testing them with an invitation to the supper which He has prepared. He is watching to see what characters they will develop, whether their own selfish interests will be considered of greater value than eternal riches. Many of these dear brethren are now by their actions framing the excuses mentioned in the following parable: 3T 383.1
“Then said He unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: and sent his servant at suppertime to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. So that servant came, and showed his Lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.” 3T 383.2
This parable correctly represents the condition of many professing to believe the present truth. The Lord has sent them an invitation to come to the supper which He has prepared for them at great cost to Himself; but worldly interests look to them of greater importance than the heavenly treasure. They are invited to take part in things of eternal value; but their farms, their cattle, and their home interests seem of so much greater importance than obedience to the heavenly invitation that they overpower every divine attraction, and these earthly things are made the excuse for their disobedience to the heavenly command, “Come; for all things are now ready.” These brethren are blindly following the example of those represented in the parable. They look at their worldly possessions, and say: No, Lord, I cannot follow Thee; “I pray Thee have me excused.” 3T 383.3Read in context »
Workers Called to Highways and Byways—The things of this world are soon to perish. This is not discerned by those who have not been divinely enlightened, who have not kept pace with the work of God. Consecrated men and women must go forth to sound the warning in the highways and the byways. I urge my brethren and sisters not to engage in work that will hinder them from proclaiming the gospel of Christ. You are God's spokesmen. You are to speak the truth in love to perishing souls. “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that My house may be filled,” Christ says. Do not these words plainly outline the work of the canvasser? With Christ in his heart he is to go forth into the highways and byways of life, giving the invitation to the marriage supper. Men of wealth and influence will come, if they are invited. Some will refuse, but thank God, not all. CM 24.1
O that thousands more of our people had a realization of the time in which we are living, and of the work to be done in field service, in house-to-house labor. There are many, many who know not the truth. They need to hear the call to come to Jesus. The sorrowing are to be cheered, the weak strengthened, the mourners comforted. The poor are to have the gospel preached to them. CM 24.2
The Master knows and watches over His workers, in whatever part of His vineyard they are working. He calls upon His church to arouse and become acquainted with the situation. He calls upon those in our institutions to awake and set in operation influences that will advance His kingdom. Let them send forth laborers into the field, and then see that the interest of these laborers does not flag for lack of sympathy and of opportunities for development.—The Review and Herald, June 2, 1903. CM 24.3Read in context »