Jesus Shows Up When & Where He’s Invited

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke. More specifically today’s passage begins with the fifteenth verse of the fourteenth chapter and continues through to the tenth verse of the fifteenth chapter. “And 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. Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were hidden, 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 shewed his lord these things. Then the master of this 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. And the servant said, Lord it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, 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” (Luke 14:15-24). “And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, if any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sense the an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dung hill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Luke 14:25-35). “Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. And he spake this parable unto them, saying, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layers on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance” (Luke 15:1-7). “Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth” (Luke 15:8-10). When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will encounter what I am convinced is one of the greatest parables Jesus delivered during His time among us as the Word made flesh. I sit here today thinking about the words and language contained within this parable and I can’t help but be absolutely astounded by the words Jesus chose to use within this parable for this same Jesus who would choose to perform His first miracle at a wedding in Cana of Galilee would choose to deliver a parable concerning a certain man who made a great supper. I am absolutely convinced we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words and language found in this passage of Scripture for within it we find the language of invitation. What’s more is that not only do we find the language of invitation but we also find the language of the called and the chosen. If we are to truly understand that which is presented in this parable there is a great need for us to recognize and pay close attention to the incredible truth that within it we encounter Jesus using the language of those who were called—and not only those who were called but also those who were called based on invitation. As you read the words presented in this passage of Scripture you will find the Lord Jesus speaking of a certain man who made a great supper and bade many to come. What we must needs recognize and understand when reading these words, however, is the language which came before it. It is in the fifteenth verse of this passage of Scripture we find one from among those who sat at meat with the Lord Jesus emphatically declared and proclaimed “Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.” It would be in direct response to these words Jesus would speak the words which we see in this particular section of the fourteenth chapter. I am absolutely convinced that when considering the words which are found in this passage of Scripture it is absolutely necessary to turn and direct your attention back to the words which are found in this chapter beginning with the seventh chapter. It is within this earlier portion of this text we find Jesus delivering a parable—and not only delivering a parable but delivering a parable which a specific purpose. If you begin reading with and from the seventh verse of this passage of Scripture you will find Luke describing how Jesus put forth a parable to those which were bidden when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms. The parable which the Lord Jesus would deliver on this particular occasion would be in direct response to that which He had observed during those days. If you take the time to read the four gospels you will find that there were a number of times when the Lord Jesus was indeed bidden to suppers, and dinners, and meals and even a wedding. The New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John does in fact present very early on—specifically within the second chapter—Jesus, His disciples and His mother—being invited to a wedding which took place in Cana of Galilee. Oh if there is one thing I cannot help but be absolutely gripped and captivated when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture it’s how many times within the gospels you will find Jesus deliberately and intentionally entering into the houses and homes of those who invited Him. As you read and study the four gospels you will find that Jesus was indeed invited into the houses and homes of specific individuals and how it would appear that Jesus never declined any invitation to enter into the house of one who had invited and bidden Him. Pause for a moment and consider the words which are found within the four gospel narratives for within them you will find that at the very beginning of the gospel narrative written by the apostle John Jesus was bidden and invited to come unto a wedding which was present in Cana of Galilee. What’s more is that not only was Jesus invited to come unto this wedding in Cana of Galilee but so also were His disciples and His mother. There is within and throughout the four gospel narratives powerful examples of the Lord Jesus being invited into the houses and homes of those who would seek fellowship together with Him. We know and understand that Jesus’ movement during those days would indeed bring Him into the courts of the Temple countless times and we know that the movement and activity of Jesus would bring Him into the synagogues which were present during those days, however, there is something else we find within the four gospels. It is within the four gospel narratives you will encounter and come face to face with Jesus being invited—and not only invited but also entering into the houses and homes of certain individuals who were present during those days. From being invited into the house of Simon Peter and his wife and mother-in-law, to being invited into the house of Levi called Matthew whom Jesus invited to walk with and follow Him, to being invited into the house of Mary and Martha, to being invited into the house of Zacchaeus, to being invited into the house of Simon the Pharisee and to other instances where Jesus was invited into the houses of individuals we find Jesus always accepting and showing up when He was invited. JESUS SHOWS UP WHEN HE’S INVITED! The more I think about and consider the words which are found within the four gospels the more I am brought face to face with the fact that nowhere in any of the four gospels will you find any account of Jesus being invited into one’s house or home and declining that invitation. Throughout the four gospels there is nothing but a strong and powerful revelation of the truth surrounding the Lord Jesus being invited unto weddings and into the homes of men and women and how He never declined such invitations. What’s more is that when you read the four gospels you will find that Jesus accepted the invitation to enter into the homes of His disciples just as much as He accepted the invitation to enter into the houses of certain Pharisees. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand when reading the four gospels it’s that the Lord Jesus would indeed be invited into houses and homes alike—into the houses of publicans, into the houses of Pharisees, into the houses of disciples and into the houses of women—and always showing up when He was invited. There is not a doubt in my mind that when we read the words found in this passage of Scripture within the gospel narrative written by Luke we must needs recognize and understand that at the very heart of it is the understanding that when the Lord Jesus was Himself bidden and invited into one’s house and home He always showed up and never declined any invitation. Nowhere in any of the four gospel narratives will you find the account of Jesus ever declining any invitation to enter into anyone’s home and there was even one instance when Jesus Himself seemed to invite Himself into the home of an individual. It would be the case of Zacchaeus where we find Jesus deliberately and intentionally speaking unto this publican that on this particular day he must needs be a guest within his house. With all of this being said I find it absolutely necessary to set as the foundation and context of Jesus being invited into the houses and homes of individuals the words which are presented in the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus. It is within this prophetic book we find the language of Jesus speaking unto one of the seven churches and declaring that He would stand at the door and knock. Not only would Jesus declare that He stood at the door and knocked but He would also declare that if any man heard His voice and opened up to Him both He and His Father would enter in and make their abode and sup with them. This is something we must needs recognize and acknowledge for within the scripture we find the Lord Jesus emphatically declaring that He stands outside the door and knocks and does so with the express intention of entering in that He and His Father might have fellowship together with that one in the house or home. What’s more is that when you turn and direct your attention to the words which are found in the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth chapters of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John you will find similar language when Jesus will speak of both He and His Father coming unto those who hear their voice and how they can and will enter in and dine and have fellowship together with them. This is something which is absolutely necessary to recognize and understand for within it we are brought face to face with those who are willing to invite the person and presence of the Lord Jesus into their own personal space—invite the Father and the Son into their house, into their home, into their family, into their heart, into their soul, into their mind, into their spirit and the like. Having said this I invite you to consider if you will the following words which are found in these two passages of Scripture presented in the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus as well as the words which are found in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John: “Behold, I stand at the door, and nock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come tin to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Revelation 3:20-22). “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my. Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings; and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me” (John 14:15-24). We must pay careful and close attention to the words which are found within these passages of of Scripture for each of them paint a powerful picture of the fellowship both the Father and the Son desire to have with those who have believed on the name of the Lord Jesus and who have been given the power to become the sons of God. The words which we find within these passages of Scripture paint a powerful and beautiful picture of Jesus standing at the door and knocking—and not only knocking but knocking with the express intention of having the door opened unto Him. What’s more is that with Jesus knocking on the door that it might be opened unto Him—if the door is in fact opened unto Him He can and will enter in. What’s more is that not only can and will Jesus enter in that He might abide therein and have fellowship together with that one but so also would His Father enter in and abide therein. This is what is so incredibly unique and powerful about the words which we see in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John for within the fourteenth chapter of this gospel we find Jesus proclaiming that if a man love Him that man would keep His words. If a man would love the Lord Jesus and would keep His words His Father would love Him and both he and the Father would come unto that man and make their abode with him. Oh please don’t miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible it truly is for within this passage we again find the language of fellowship and the language of abiding for it is without a doubt true that the Father and the Son desire to have fellowship together with those who love them and keep the words and commandments. This is something we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of for when you read the four gospel narratives you will not find a single instance or occurrence when the Lord Jesus every declined an invitation to enter into the house and home of one who bid Him come. As you read the four gospel narratives you will find Jesus being invited into the houses and homes of a vast array of individuals and how each and every time He would be invited into those houses and homes He would always show up. Oh there is a part of me that can’t help but wonder what it would have been like to invite the Lord Jesus into one’s home and then taking the time to prepare everything for His arrival. I sit here today and I can’t help but think about and consider what would have gone through the hearts and minds of those who invited Jesus into their house and home and how they might very well have undoubtedly spent a considerable amount of time preparing that home for His arrival. PREPARING FOR THE ARRIVAL OF THE LORD! There is not a bout in my mind that there would indeed have been those who would have taken the time to prepare their house and home for the arrival of the Lord Jesus for within the gospels we find Jesus being invited into the home of Mary and Martha and how Martha was cambered about with much labor and toil there in the midst of the house. The four gospel authors paint a powerful picture of Martha laboring and serving since the Lord Jesus was present within her home. The imagery we find within the four gospels is not only that of Martha serving but Mary simply sitting at the feet of Jesus as she would hear and listen to the words which He would speak unto them. Oh this is something we must needs recognize and pay close attention to for there is something to be said about preparing for the arrival of the Lord Jesus to arrive at the home of that one who had bidden and invited Him to come. Within the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ we find Jesus standing at the door and knocking—and not only Jesus standing at the door and knocking but also standing at the door and knocking that whosoever would hear His voice would open the door unto Him and invite Him in. I absolutely love the imagery of the Lord Jesus standing at the door and knocking for I can’t help but wonder if within the gospels Jesus ever showed up at the house of one who had bidden Him come and stood at the door knocking. As surely as there are no instances of Jesus every declining any invitation given unto Him to come unto the house and home of that one who had bidden Him there is also no instance of any one who invited Jesus into their house and home and then denying Him access and entrance. You cannot read in any of the four gospels and find a single instance where one who had bidden and invited the Lord Jesus to come into and unto their home denying Him access and entrance once He stood at the door and knocked. Imagine the events leading up to that time when the Lord Jesus would indeed show up at the house and home of one who had bidden and invited Him to come. Of course we know and understand that these days were days before clocks, and alarms, and calendars, and cell phones, and e-mail, and text messages and phone calls. We do know that during those days there was mention of the third hour, the sixth hour, the ninth hour and the twelfth hour, however, there is rarely ever any instance of time and those who were able to tell and know the time like we are able to do so in this generation. With this being said there is something incredibly unique and interesting when you think about those who invited the Lord Jesus unto their house and home and how they would have appointed and scheduled a time for Him to enter in. If there were no cell phones, if there were no phones, if there was no e-mail or text there was absolutely no way to call or text Jesus and confirm that He was indeed coming and even what time He would show up. I sit here today thinking about Jesus being invited to come unto one’s house and home and how they would determine at what time the Lord would show up. Was it possible that they were able to invite Jesus unto their house and home and it was something that was sort of spontaneous and perhaps fly by night type of thing? Is it possible that when the Lord Jesus was invited into the house and home of someone it was rarely if every something that was scheduled but something that was initiated in that particular moment? I can’t help but think about and consider the absolutely incredible truth that is found within the words presented in these passages of Scripture and how absolutely wonderful they truly are concerning the Lord Jesus being invited into the houses and homes of men and women. What’s more is there is a part of me that can’t help but think about whether or not Jesus was invited into the house and home and a particular day and time was set apart for his arrival—perhaps even his arrival together with his disciples. If there were indeed times when Jesus was invited into the house and home of one and it was a future time and not within the moment I can’t help but think about the time, the effort and the energy that would be spent preparing that house and home for the arrival of the Lord Jesus. There is a great part of me that can’t help but think about and consider the various accounts of Jesus being invited into the houses and homes of men and women during those days and how Jesus would never deny any such invitation. There is not a single place within any of the four gospels where you can and will find Jesus never accepting any invitation given unto him—whether that invitation was given by Pharisees and religion, or whether that invitation was given unto him by publicans, or whether it was given by disciples, or any one else. It is at this particular juncture I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the various accounts of the Lord Jesus being invited into the houses and homes of those who had bidden Him come. You cannot read the four gospel narratives and not encounter and come face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding Jesus being invited into the houses and homes of various individual—from Levi called Matthew, to Zacchaeus, to Mary and Martha, to Simon called Peter, to Simon the Pharisee and others. What’s more is that Jesus was even invited into the house and home of a Roman centurion and would have showed up and yet was restrained from doing so by the centurion who would speak of authority—and not only the power of authority but also of the authority that is found in a spoken word and command. Not only this but there is also the account of Jesus being invited unto the house of Jairus the ruler of the synagogue whose daughter lie at home sick with a fever and on the verge of death. In addition to this there is also the account of Jesus and His disciples and mother being invited unto the wedding which was present in Cana of Galilee. Oh we must needs consider each and everything one of these narratives and accounts for within each of these accounts we are brought face to face with the absolutely awesome and wonderful truth surrounding the Lord Jesus being invited unto weddings, and suppers, and into houses and homes and always accepting those invitations and always showing up. It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following narratives and accounts of Jesus being invited into houses, into homes, unto weddings and unto suppers and how He always showed up and never declined such invitations: “And the third day there was as marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there; and both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with the? Mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servant, Whatosever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six water pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three fir kings apiece. Jesus with unto them, Fill the water pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (But the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, and saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk I, then that which is worse: but thou hast keep the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him” (John 2:1-11). “And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, and saying, Lord my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my root: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour” (Matthew 8:5-13). “And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever. And he touched her hand, and the fever left her; and she arose, and ministered unto them. When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils; and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken be Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare out sicknesses” (Matthew 8:14-17). “And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him. And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am. Not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Matthew 9:9-13). “While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples. And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with and issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made while from that hour. And when Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose. And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land” (Matthew 9:18-26). “Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field” (Matthew 13:36). “And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money, came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thickest thou, Simon? Of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? Of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee” (Matthew 17:24-27). “Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper. There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. But when his disciples saw it, they had indication, saying, To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? For she hath wrought a good work upon me. For ye have the poor Wally’s with you; but me ye have not always. For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her” (Matthew 26:1-13). “And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat. And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment. And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the airs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that touché the him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss; but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven: for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that for giveth sins also? And he said unto the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace” (Luke 7:36-50). “Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was countered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid here therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about m any things: But one thing is needful: and mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:38-42). “And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; behold, Lord the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, for so much as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:1-10). “Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised form the dead. There they made him a supper; and Martha served: But Lazareth was one of them that sat at the table with him. Then took Marty a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always” (John 12:1-8). “And again he entered into Capernaum, after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was; and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only? And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto hem, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion” (Mark 2:1-12). I am absolutely convinced there is a great need to pay attention to the words which are found within these passages of Scripture for within each and every one of them we find Jesus being invited into the houses and homes of various different individuals. As you read the words presented in these passages you will find Jesus invited into the home of Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew as well as unto the house of Levi called Matthew. It would be in the house of Simon and Andrew Jesus would heal the mother-in-law of Simon as well as all those who were brought unto Him within that particular region and area. It would be within the house of Levi also called Matthew that many publicans and sinners would come and eat together with the Lord Jesus and His disciples. As if this weren’t enough Jesus would be invited into the house of Mary and Martha where there would be a distinct different in response to His presence. On the one hand you will find Martha cambered about with much laboring and toiling while you will find Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus hearing and listening to the words which He spoke. What’s more is that as you continue reading the words which are found within these passages you will find Jesus being invited into the house of one Simon who was a leper and even into the house of another Simon who was a Pharisee. Scripture is unclear whether or not these two Simon’s were the same person, however, the context and what took place within the house was incredibly similar. It would be in the house of Simon the leper that a woman would come with an alabaster jar with a precious ointment contained within and would break it at the feet of Jesus and would not only anoint His feet with the ointment but would also dry them with the hairs of her head. In the cast of Simon the Pharisee a woman from the town who was a sinner would enter into the house and would anoint the feet of the Lord Jesus with ointment from an alabaster box while also washing his feet with her tears and drying them with the hairs of her head. As you continue reading the words which are found within these passages of Scripture you will go on to read the narrative and account of Zacchaeus who was not only a publican but was also perceived by those present in Jericho as being a sinner. When Jesus came to the place where Zacchaeus was perched in a sycamore tree He would command him to come down from that place for on that particular day he needed to be a guest within his house. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the incredible truth surrounding Jesus of Nazareth being invited into the houses and homes of countless men and women and not once refusing a single invitation. There is something incredibly powerful about the words we find in these passages of Scripture for within them we find Jesus being invited into the houses and homes of countless individuals and each and every time entering into their homes. Jesus would have even entered into the house of the Roman centurion if he didn’t respond in faith and forbid Jesus from coming unto his house and entering therein. What’s more is that within the Scripture we find Jesus entering into the house of Jairus who was a ruler of the synagogue that he might heal and raise up his daughter who lie home sick and dying. It would be when Jesus entered into the house that he would put every one else out save Peter, James, John and the child’s parents. Immediately thereafter the Lord Jesus would enter into the room where the young girl was and would take her by the hand and raise her up from her bed of affliction and death. I sit here today thinking about the words which are found in these passages of Scripture and I am captivated with the incredible truth that when it comes to the Lord Jesus being invited into the houses and homes of individuals during those days there was not a single instance where the Lord Jesus would refuse or decline an invitation. The more you read the four gospel narratives the more you can and will be brought face to face with the truly awesome and powerful truth surrounding Jesus accepting the invitations that were given unto Him to enter into the houses of homes of individuals—regardless of whether those homes belonged to publicans, or Pharisees, or lepers, or centurions, or rulers of the synagogues. Oh how absolutely powerful and wonderful this truly is when you take the time to think about and consider it for there is something to be said about a Jesus who not only stands at the door and knocks but also about a Jesus who is willing to accept any invitation given unto Him to enter into one’s house and home. It would be in the twelfth chapter a great supper was made and prepared for Him and Jesus and His disciples would enter into the house where He would sit at the table with Lazarus whom He had raised from the dead and His disciples. It would be in the context of this house that Mary the sister of Lazarus would enter in and would not only anoint the feet of Jesus with the precious ointment from her alabaster box but would also wash his feet with her tears and would dry them with the hairs of her head. Oh if there is one thing I find to absolutely captivating when reading the words presented in these passages of Scripture it’s not only would forgiveness of sins take place within these houses but so also would salvation take place. It would be in the house mentioned in the second chapter of the gospel written by John Mark where a man sick with the palsy would not only find forgiveness of sins but would also be healed of the palsy which had plagued his body. It would be in the house of Simon the Pharisee where this woman who was a sinner would find forgiveness of her sins—and not only forgiveness of her sins but also salvation for her soul as Jesus would instruct her to go in peace for her faith had made her whole. I am absolutely convinced we must needs recognize and pay close attention to the words which are found in these passages of Scripture for they help set the stage—not for Jesus Himself to be invited into the houses and homes of those who were present during those days but for others who were bidden, called and invited. When you come to the fourteenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke you will find it beginning once more with Jesus entering into a house of one who was present during those days. What’s more is that this chapter would begin with Jesus entering into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day. There in the midst of the house those who were present watched him to see what he would do among them in their midst. Luke goes on to write how there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy and Jesus answering spoke unto the lawyers and Pharisees which were present asking them whether or not it was lawful to heal on the sabbath day. Pause for a moment and consider that in the house of Levi called Matthew there were publicans and sinners present in the house which offended and angered the scribes and the Pharisees while in the house of this chief Pharisee there were Pharisees and lawyers which were present. LIKE ATTRACTS LIKE! LIKE KEEPS COMPANY WITH LIKE! LIKE INVITES LIKE! LIKE DRAWS LIKE! It would be in this house of the chief Pharisee—that place where Jesus would come that He might eat the bread of fellowship on the sabbath day—that Jesus would ask the lawyers and Pharisees whether or not it was lawful to heal on the sabbath day. What we find here in this passage of Scripture is the Pharisees and lawyers holding their peace and Jesus taking the man sick with the dropsy and healing him and letting him go. In response to this Jesus would speak unto the Pharisees and lawyers and ask which of them would have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit and would not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day—a question which they could not answer, refute or respond to. If you continue reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you can and will be brought face to face with a parable which the Lord Jesus would put forth to those who were bidden when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms. Oh if there is one thing we must needs recognize when reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture it’s not only that Jesus would put forth a parable to those who were bidden when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms but he would also speak unto those who had bidden him to come. I am absolutely convinced we must needs recognize and pay close attention to the words which are found in these two passages of Scripture for they call and draw our attention to the truth surrounding Jesus being bidden unto the house of one of the chief Pharisees on the sabbath day that he might eat bread together with him. It would be there in the house Jesus would heal a man who had the dropsy which would have undoubtedly offended and angered the Pharisees and lawyers who were present in the midst of the house. As if this weren’t enough we find Jesus entering into this house and after entering into it would put forth a parable uno those who were bidden when He observed and marked how they chose out the chief rooms and chief places which were present therein. This parable which Jesus would speak would be immediately followed by Jesus who would also speak unto those who had bidden Him to come unto the house for He had somewhat to say unto them. The words which we find in each of these two sections of the fourteenth chapter help serve as the foundation and backdrop for the language that comes thereafter concerning a certain man who made a great supper and feast and bade many to come. It is with this being said I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the fourteenth chapter of this New Testament book beginning with the seventh verse concerning the parable which Jesus spoke when watching how those who were bidden chose the chief rooms: “And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them, When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honorable man than thou be bidden of him; and he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted” (Luke 14:7-11). “Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: and thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:12-14). Please pay close attention to the words presented in these two passages of Scripture for the parable which the Lord Jesus would set forth unto those who were bidden was one that was intended to teach humility within the heart and soul of one. The parable which the Lord Jesus would deliver on this particular occasion would indeed be a parable that would call and invite those who are bidden unto a feast, or a dinner, or a supper to humble themselves upon their invitation and not seek the place of prominence or prestige. The parable which the Lord Jesus would indeed teach and deliver was intended to invite men and women into a place of humility that they might indeed be exalted in the sight and presence of the living God. What’s more is that it would be both the apostle Peter and James who would write in their epistles that when we humble ourselves in the sight of the living God it is He who will exalt and raise us up. Oh that we would recognize the tremendous power that is found within humility and how we are called and invited to be men and women who do indeed and do in fact walk in humility in the sight and presence of the living God. What’s more is that when you read the words found within this passage of scripture you will find in the words Jesus spoke unto the one who had bidden Him come the foundation and backdrop for that which proceeds after. It would be unto that one who had bidden him Jesus would instruct him to call not his friends, nor his brethren, nor his neighbors, nor his kinsmen, nor his rich neighbors when he prepared a dinner or supper. The reason and purpose for this is that when he invites such a people unto a supper or dinner they might also bid him again and a recompense would be made unto him—that which he would receive in this life. What’s more is that it would be in this particular passage Jesus would instruct him that when he makes a feast he was to call the poor, the maimed, the lame and the blonde for in that he would be blessed for they could not and would not Abel to recompense him and he would be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. What makes this chapter so incredibly interesting and intriguing when you take the time to think about it is when you consider the response of one who was present at meat with Jesus in the house of this chief Pharisee. Jesus would speak unto those who had been bidden unto this particular chief Pharisee’s house when He marked and observed how they sought out the chief rooms and places of prominence. Jesus would deliver a parable unto them instructing them to be individuals who possess an inner humility that does not seek to exalt itself in the company and presence of men but rather that which is willing to abase themselves before others. This is something we must needs recognize and understand for there would be a second side of this humility mentioned in this passage—this time, however, it would not be directed toward those who were bidden but rather that one who bade them come. As you read the words found in this passage you will find Jesus speaking unto and addressing both those who were bidden and that one who had done the bidding needing to address the condition of the heart(s) within both parties. It would be unto those who were bidden Jesus would instruct them in humility through being willing to abase themselves and not seek to elevate, exalt or promote themselves. Within this passage we find Jesus calling inviting those who were bidden to enter into a place of self-humility where they were willing to forfeit and forego any need and desire to promote, elevate and exalt themselves in the company of others. Not only this but when speaking unto the one who had bidden those to come Jesus would further demonstrate humility when speaking unto him concerning those whom he would bid, invite and call to come unto his house. It would be Jesus who would deliberately and intentionally instruct that one who had bidden others to come concerning those times when he would prepare a supper or a dinner and to be deliberate and intentional with those whom he invited. As you read the words which are presented in this passage of Scripture you can and will be brought face to face with the incredible truth surrounding Jesus speaking unto the chief Pharisee who had not only invited Jesus unto the house on the sabbath but had undoubtedly invited many Pharisees and lawyers. It would be there in the house of this chief Pharisee and in the presence of the Pharisees and lawyers—after Jesus had already healed a man of the dropsy among them in their presence—Jesus would speak to and address that one who had given the invitation to come. Jesus would indeed speak directly unto him and proceed to describe how when he prepared a supper or dinner he was not to bid the rich neighbors, or his neighbor, or his friends, or his brethren, or his kinsmen lest those same individual bid him again. Jesus would clearly demonstrate and show forth unto this one who had bidden him to come that there was an inherent danger and trap in bidding the rich, one’s friends, one’s neighbors and even ones brethren and kinsmen unto any supper or dinner which they had prepared. Jesus would describe unto this chief Pharisee that when he invited such individuals he would not only receive in kind but he would also receive in this life a recompense and reward of men rather than of the living and eternal God. This is in stark contrast between that which Jesus would indeed suggest unto this chief Pharisee would take place when he deliberately and intentionally chose to bid those who had no means to reward or recompense him—the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind and the like. It is this context of the poor, the blind, the maimed, the lame and the blind that serves as the context and backdrop for what we find in this fourteenth chapter beginning with the fifteenth verse. When you come to the fifteenth verse of this passage of Scripture you will encounter one of those who sat together with the Lord Jesus hearing the words Jesus had spoken and proclaiming unto him, “Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.” Within the context of eating bread on the sabbath day with Pharisees and lawyers this one who doesn’t have a name and who Scripture neither indicates as a Pharisee or a lawyer would make the wonderful statement concerning those who would eat bread in the kingdom of God. In a house full of Pharisees and lawyers this one from among them would speak directly unto Jesus—perhaps when all others would hold their peace and keep their tongues and remain silent—there would be one who would actually choose to speak directly unto and address the Lord Jesus. This one from among those who had been bidden would not have his eyes upon eating bread in the house of a chief Pharisee in the presence of Pharisees and lawyers but in the kingdom of God together with the Lord Jesus and with His Father. This is something we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of for when we read the words presented in this passage of Scripture we find Jesus responding unto him concerning a certain man who made a great supper and bid many to come unto him. The words Jesus would speak in response to this one’s comments would be absolutely incredible when you take the time to think about them for they call and draw our attention to an entirely different manifestation of what we had seen in the prior verses. In the first fourteen verses of this chapter we find a chief Pharisee bidding Jesus unto his house to eat bread together with him on the sabbath and how there were many Pharisees and lawyers who were present in the house. If there is one thing we can be absolutely certain of it’s those who weren’t bidden and those who weren’t invited into the house of this particular chief Pharisee—the poor, the maimed, the blind, the lame and the like. Those who were present in the midst of this house were indeed Pharisees and lawyers who were exactly likened unto that one who had bidden them and yet Jesus would caution him against such invitations which were shallow and accomplished nothing. If you continue reading the words which are found within this passage of Scripture you will find Jesus delivering another parable in response to that one who declared “Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.” It would be response to this Jesus would deliver a parable concerning a certain man who made a great supper and bade many to come. Not only would this man made a great supper and bid many to come but he would also send his servant at supper time to say unto those that were bidden, “Come; for all things are now ready.” What we must needs recognize and understand when considering these words is not only the invitation that was given but also the summons to call those who had been bidden. Within this passage of Scripture we not find the bidding of many to come but we also find the sending of the servant unto those who were bidden. This is something we must needs recognize and understand for it calls and draws our attention to the incredible truth surrounding the bidding and the calling for that one who had prepared the supper would send his servant to call those who were bidden. In essence that which we find within this parable was not only the bidding of those that might come unto the supper, and not only do we find the sending of the servant to gather all those who had been bidden but we also find the obedience of the servant to that which had been commanded him. The man who had prepared a great feast and supper would indeed bid many to come and when the time was ready he would send his servant to gather them all together unto the supper. How absolutely incredible it is to read this particular passage and end encounter the initial bidding of many and how they would not be able to to come until the time was ready and all things were prepared for the supper. Perhaps one of the greatest truths that is found in this passage of Scripture is what you can and will consider with this man bidding many to come unto the supper and yet how despite his bidding them they could not yet come for all things were not yet ready. What we must recognize within this passage of Scripture is that the bidding of many would come prior to the actual time when all things were ready and this man would not send his servant unto those who had been bidden until the time came when all things were ready. It is absolutely necessary when reading the words presented in this passage that we understand that there is directly connected to the bidding of many the appointed time of the supper—and not only the appointed time but also that time when all things were ready. There were indeed many who were bidden to come unto the feast and supper this man had prepared, however, they could not yet come unto the supper until all things were ready. One thing we do not find here within this passage of Scripture is how much time elapsed between the time this man who bid the many to come and the time when he sent forth his servant to call them unto the feast. There was indeed the initial bidding and the invitation to come unto this great supper and feast and yet there would also be a subsequent calling of those who were bidden. With this being said we must needs understand and recognize that perhaps during the time of the bidding and the calling all those who were bidden began to make excuse. What makes this all the more captivating and challenging when you take the time to think about it is when you consider the use of the word “all” when referring to those who made excuse as to why they couldn’t come. It would have been one thing for many of those who were bidden to make excuse as to how and why they could not come and yet within the parable Jesus told He would declare how ALL those who were bidden would make excuse as to why they could not come unto the supper. MAKING EXCUSES! WHAT’S YOUR EXCUSE? WHAT EXCUSE HAVE YOU GIVEN? There is a great need to pay close attention to the words presented in this passage of Scripture for within it we are brought face to face with the reality that each and every one of those who were bidden to come unto the feast would all make excuses as to why they were unable to come unto the feast. There were those who would use the excuse that they bought a piece of ground and they needed to go and see it. There were others who would present the excuse of buying five yoke of oxen and they needed to go and prove them. Still there were others who would make the excuse that they had just married and therefore they were unable to come to the supper. All of these individuals were bidden to come unto the supper and the feast and yet they all would make excuse as to how and why they couldn’t actually come unto the supper. This is something we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of for their excuses would forfeit their being able to come unto the banquet and feast as they would essentially miss and lose their chance at participating in it. Within this passage of Scripture we find this man who had prepared the great supper being angry with those who had made excuse and would instruct his servant to go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind—the very same individuals whom Jesus spoke unto that one who had bidden both He and the Pharisees and lawyers to come unto his house. The very same ones whom Jesus had instructed this chief Pharisee to invite and bid unto his house would be the very same ones Jesus would reference and speak of in this particular passage of Scripture. Oh this is of tremendous importance and significance for it calls and draws our attention to the incredible truth surrounding the Lord Jesus and the words which He would speak on this particular occasion. The Lord Jesus would indeed deliver this additional parable and would speak about those who made excuses as to how and why they could not come unto the supper and feast would indeed be replaced by those who hadn’t been bidden, those who hadn’t been called and those who hadn’t been invited. With all of this being said we must needs recognize the words which our Lord would speak after His time in the house of the chief Pharisee. Beginning with the twenty-fifth verse of this chapter we find Luke writing how great multitudes went with the Lord Jesus. In the midst of this great multitude and crowd of people Jesus would turn and speak something incredibly profound unto them—something that would indeed draw a dividing line between those who walked with and followed Him. As you continue reading the words found in this passage of Scripture you will find Jesus emphatically and boldly declaring that if any man would come unto Him and hate not his father, or mother, or wife, or children, or brethren, or sisters, and yea, even their own life they cannot be His disciple. What’s more is the Lord Jesus would also declare that those who did who did not bear their cross and come after him could not be His disciple—seemingly striking, pointed and power words spoken by the eternal and only begotten Son of the living God. Moreover if you continue reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will find Jesus beginning to speak using earthly and natural examples and language—the first being those who would seek to build a tower and those who would go forth to make war. When speaking of those who sought to build a tower the Lord Jesus would declare how such individuals would not do so without first sitting down and counting the cost whether they had sufficient enough to finish it lest after they had laid the foundation they were not able to finish it. Furthermore Jesus would go on to speak of that king who would seek to make war against another king and did not sit down first and consult with others whether he were able to with ten thousand to meet him which came against him with twenty thousand. Each of these examples would be to demonstrate the reality that whosoever there be among us that does not forsake everything that they have cannot be His disciple. CONSIDER THE COST! As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the tremendous truth surrounding those who would seek to walk with and follow Jesus and yet have never been instructed to consider the cost. Jesus made it very clear that whosoever sought to come after Him, walk with and follow Him and be one of His disciples needed to first consider the cost. What’s more is that they not only needed to consider the cost but they also needed to take up, bear and carry the cross. COUNT THE COST & CARRY THE CROSS! If I would be honest with you who are reading these words I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the incredible truth that we as those who view ourselves as and those who wish to be disciples of the Lord Jesus must needs be those who have indeed considered and counted the cost and those who are willing to carry the cross. The late Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote a masterpiece of a book entitled “The Cost of Discipleship” and I find it absolutely necessary to declare unto you that the cost of discipleship is carrying up and taking up the cross. Not only this but the cost of discipleship is also denying oneself and forsaking all that they might indeed be delivered from anything and everything that would hold them back. When Jesus called Simon and his brother Andrew, and when He called James and his brother John, and when He called Levi also known as Matthew to walk with and follow Him they immediately abandoned and forsook everything they had in this life that they might walk with and follow Him. When Jesus spoke unto the rich young ruler concerning that one thing he still lacked he declared unto him that if he sought to come after and follow him and have eternal life he needed to go and sell all that he had, give to the poor and then come and follow Him that He might have treasure in heaven. The tragedy of the rich young ruler, however, was that instead of being joyful at Jesus’ words he would be sorrowful and would actually depart from the presence of Jesus full of sorrow because he had much possessions. What’s more is that not only would he depart from Jesus sorrowful because he had many possessions but more than him having many possessions it was the many possessions which had him and his heart. I bring this writing to a close by asking you who are reading these words what has your heart, and what has your mind, and what has your soul. Jesus emphatically asked what good was it for a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul and the question we must needs ask is what is the price of our very soul. Perhaps the greatest question we must needs ask ourselves when reading these words is not only whether or not we are counting the cost and have counted the cost when seeking to follow Jesus but also whether or not we are willing to take up and carry our cross. It would be Jesus who would also declare that no man who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is worthy to be His disciple. At the very heart and center of all this is not only the invitation that has been given us to be those who would come unto the marriage supper of the Lamb but also whether or not we are willing to invite the person and presence of the Lord Jesus into our houses, into our homes, into our hearts and into our lives. What’s more is there must needs be a deliberate and intentional willingness to detach ourselves from the things of this world for they not only serve as chains and shackles around our heart and soul keeping us from following Jesus but they also keep us from committing ourselves unto Him and being those who are found ready when the call to come unto the marriage supper of the Lamb is ready. We must needs be those people who are indeed ready, willing and able to carry out cross—and not only carry our cross but also deny ourselves. One of the greatest and yet one of the hardest things to do in this life is to deny ourselves and to completely and utterly detach and deliver ourselves from those things in this world that would indeed hold us back and keep us from not only walking with and following the Lord Jesus but would also cause us to make excuses when bidden to come unto the marriage supper prepared by the Father. Oh that we would be those who are ready, willing and able to deliver ourselves from anything and everything that would keep us in bondage and would hold us in chains preventing us from denying ourselves, taking up our cross and walk with and following the Lord Jesus.

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