A story about a big meal
15 The people who were sitting at the meal heard what Jesus said. One of them said to Jesus, ‘One day, there will be a big meal in the kingdom of God. How happy are those people who will eat together at that big meal.’
16 Jesus told this story to him: ‘One day an important man prepared a big meal. He asked many people to come to eat in his house. 17 When the meal was ready, he sent his servant out to tell those people, “Come now, the meal is ready for you.” 18 But then each person gave a reason why he could not come to the meal. The first man said, “I have bought a field, so I must go out and see it. Please say that I am sorry. Tell your master that I cannot come to his meal.” 19 The next man said, “I have bought five pairs of oxen. So I am just going out to see if they work well together. Please say that I am sorry. Tell your master that I cannot come to his meal.” 20 The third man said, “I have just married a wife. That is why I cannot come to the meal.”
14:16This big meal is like a picture. God asks all people to come to a big meal where he lives. They should be ready when he tells them to come. The people that said, ‘No’ were really saying ‘No’ to Jesus.
21 The servant went back to his master. He told him what everyone had said. Then the master of the house was very angry. “Go out quickly to every street in the town,” he said to his servant. “Bring the poor people here. Bring those that have lost an arm or a leg. And bring those that cannot walk well, and those that cannot see.” 22 The servant did that. Then he came back to his master. “Sir,” he said, “I have asked all those people to come to your meal. But there are still some places at the table.” 23 The master spoke to his servant again. “Go to the roads and fields outside the town, and look for people there. Command them all to come here, so that my house will be full. 24 But I tell you this. None of the people that I asked at the beginning will eat any of my food.” ’