Hearing this, a man sitting at the table with Jesus exclaimed, “What a blessing it will be to attend a banquet in the Kingdom of God!”
Jesus replied with this story: “A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations.
When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant to tell the guests, ‘Come, the banquet is ready.’
But they all began making excuses. One said, ‘I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me.’
Another said, ‘I have just bought five pairs of oxen, and I want to try them out. Please excuse me.’
Another said, ‘I now have a wife, so I can’t come.’
“The servant returned and told his master what they had said. His master was furious and said, ‘Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’
After the servant had done this, he reported, ‘There is still room for more.’
So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full.
For none of those I first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet.’”