15 When one of those
at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, "Blessed is the man
who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God."
16 Jesus replied: "A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited
17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had
been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.'
18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, 'I have just
bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.'
19 Another said, 'I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I'm on my
way to try them out. Please excuse me.'
20 Still another said, 'I just got married, so I can't come.'
21 The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner
of the house became angry and ordered his servant, 'Go out quickly into
the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled,
the blind and the lame.'
22 Sir,' the servant said, 'what you ordered has been done, but there
is still room.'
23 Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country
lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full. 24 I tell
you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.'"