In warning the Pharisees not to just assume they will enter the kingdom, Jesus, as he often did, told a parable.
It was a story of how a man invited people to a great banquet. In those days, they didn’t have watches, so while the day of the banquet was known, the time never was until someone came to your door saying, “The banquet is ready. Please come.”
But when that day came, person after person declined to come. And the excuses were all unacceptable. One person said he couldn’t come because he had just bought a field and had to go see it (as if he had been stupid enough to buy a field without looking at it first).
Another said he had just bought some oxen and wanted to try them out. In other words, “I have a new toy. I don’t have time to come your banquet.”
A third said, “I just got married, so I can’t come.” Certainly being recently married was a great thing, but no reason for not going to the banquet. Perhaps he could have even invited his wife.
How often do people give these types of excuses when the Holy Spirit comes knocking on the door?
They say, “I’m too busy right now. I’ve got other things that are demanding my attention.”
Or they get distracted by the things of this world, their money and possessions, and they say, “I want to enjoy all these things first. Maybe some other time.”
Or they let family get in the way. “What will my wife say if I become a Christian? What will my parents say? It’ll cause too much disruption in my relationships with them if I become a Christian now.”
But none of these are acceptable excuses. And the danger is, while other invitations may come, the invitation that you’ve got here and now may very well be your last. You don’t know how long you will be here on earth. You could be in an accident and die tomorrow. So don’t make excuses. Choose to accept it now. For as the apostle Paul wrote,
I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2)