Many of the lessons at dinner for my family came through long discussions. Other lessons came through pun wars. It taught us to be quick-witted, and to laugh often. Jesus got invited to eat with a Pharisee (read along in Luke 14). That was more like an uncomfortable meeting that happened to have food that went with it.
The Pharisees were waiting for Him to mess up. So He started telling parables. He started with humility, give the best to someone else. Then He told a story about people who didn’t go to a banquet. Who’s that crazy?
The Pharisees didn’t want to listen to what Jesus had to say, even though He was offering them the fulfillment of all God’s dreams for them. They provided lousy excuses, just like the dinner guests who had to go look at a field they had bought “without seeing it”. They did not want to change.
Jesus started talking hard with the crowds, too. He told them whoever did not hate their family and carry an tortuous instrument of death after Him could not be His disciple. I’m sure it turned away a bunch of the thrill-seekers.
Jesus called them to think carefully. He wasn’t after numbers. He was after hearts. He called them to logically consider their lives, like a general planning for war. He does not call us to senseless action. He calls us to give up everything, hopes, plans, dreams, fears, lies, pride, to follow Him.
What does He call you to give up?