For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge and condemn the world [that is, to initiate the final judgment of the world], but that the world might be saved through Him. John 3:16-18a AMP

Parable of the Marriage Feast

Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. And he sent his servants to call those who had [previously] been invited to the wedding feast, but they refused to come. Matthew 22:1-3 AMP

Parable of the Dinner

But Jesus said to him, “A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many guests; and at the dinner hour he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, because everything is ready now.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. Luke 14:16-18a AMP

I enjoy using different versions of the Bible because I find that it is too easy to pass over something if I get too familiar with how it is said in one version. What catches my attention in the above scriptures are the words: “gave” in John 3:16, “gave” in Matthew 22:1 and “was giving” in Luke 14:16.

I can only imagine what it would have been like for the religious leaders, the disciples and the rest of the people who heard Jesus tell the parables above, but it seems obvious that Jesus was referring to how God desired to love and give honor to both his son and the invited guests.

It also appears that the “invited” guests originally said they would come, because in order to have a feast for a large number of people the host had to know how much food to prepare for it. Matthew 22:4 gives the massive amount of meat that was prepared for the feast and had to be eaten promptly. (There was no way of keeping the meat for a later event in Jesus’ day.)

I have to ask myself how I respond to God in how he loves and invites me to spend time with him feasting on his word. Do I make excuses for not doing that, particularly if I have already told him I desire a growing relationship with him as Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit?

How about you? As you engage in the devotional readings this week, ask yourself some similar questions. As a reminder of how much God loves us,
read 1 John 4:7-21.

Friday’s devotional is going to be a podcast by Alex Walton and Aaron Bjorklund where they will discuss the sermon from Sunday, November 6. The link to it will be published on Friday.