The parables of Jesus modernized for a contemporary audience (Conclusion)

July 2, 2020

The parables spoken by Jesus were all relatable to Jesus’ audience. Jesus often took an everyday, common subject to explain a deeper and valuable moral lesson to His hearers and followers.

This month, my goal has been to take a parable of Jesus and recreate a modern scenario using the interpretive elements in the parable to speak to my contemporary audience. These modern scenarios have used today’s cultural elements to not only make them more accessible to today’s reader, but to also show that the parables Jesus spoke are as applicable today as they were when first spoken.

It is my prayer I have captured the essence of what Jesus was saying and that this process of information transfer has been useful and helpful to you. My inspiration for this series has been Pastor Fred L. Crouther, New Covenant Baptist Church, Milwaukee. God has blessed him with the gift of being able to take a parable of Jesus, update it and movingly and persuasively deliver a sermon on its applicability for today’s audience while maintaining parable integrity. The concluding parable of this series is the parable of the Great Banquet – Luke 14:15-24, first presented in a modern scenario using similar concepts and discussed afterwards:

“A man decided to throw a small backyard party at his house. The party was for only a limited number of guests to adhere to social distancing rules and the guidelines recommended by the CDC. The couple even offered to provide masks to everyone who attended. The man is celebrating the good news that his wife was expecting a baby after years of infertility. When everything was ready and the grill fired up, he sent reminders via social media to the couple’s close friends reminding them of the backyard kickback. The responses began coming in and each of the friends had an excuse as to why they couldn’t now attend. One gave the excuse he had bought a new house and this was the only window he could get for delivery of his appliances. Another one of their friends said she had bought a new puppy and she was taking her to her first pet training class. Yet, another gave the excuse he had just gotten married implying his buddy should know what time it was! The man got into his feelings big time! He then invited a few residents of the local homeless shelter who were willing to come.”

The parable of the Great Banquet is in response to the attitude of the Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day. The Host represents God. The announcement that the banquet was ready carries the meaning that Jesus had come. The guests on the A-list represented the Jews and the second list of invitees allegorically represented the Gentiles. The excuses given represents the excuses people make today rejecting God’s invitation to accept Jesus as Savior and Lord! The good news is the Host in the parable did not cancel the banquet, but extended the invitation to the marginalized of society.

Beloved, this parable has a number of theological themes, but one of the most prominent is the emphasis on evangelism. The second group of invitees were urged to accept the invitation. God has given us the task of evangelism, of sharing the Good News of salvation with others. May we fulfill that task by compelling those “whosoever will” to accept God’s invitation for salvation!

If you’ve missed any articles in this series, feel free to view the archived digital edition at: https://milwaukeetimesnews.com/category/digital-editions

Next Month: Declaration of Independence

General Disclaimer: The writer has used her best efforts in preparation of this information. No representations or warranties for its contents, either expressed or implied, are offered. Neither the publisher nor the writer shall be liable in any way for readers’ efforts to apply, rely or utilize the information or recommendations presented herein as they may not be suitable for you or necessarily appropriate for every situation to which they may refer. This information is for educational purposes only and in no way is meant as a literal paraphrase of the parable discussed. It is an attempt to aid in understanding and applying the material. In some instances, this article contains the opinions, conclusions and/or recommendations of the writer. If you would like to contact Rev. Lester, write to her c/o P.O. Box 121, Brookfield, WI. 53008.