Absent Master of the House – Mark 13:33-37 – Inductive Bible Study

Luke 14:16-24

But He said to him, ” A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many;  17 and at the dinner hour he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for everything is ready now.’  18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at itplease consider me excused.’  19 “Another one said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.’  20 “Another one said, ‘ I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come.’  21 “And the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the head of the household became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’  22 “And the slave said, ‘Master, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’  23 “And the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled.  24’For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste of my dinner.'” 

  1. What title do you give to this parable?

The great banquet

Lame excuses

What’s a good reason?

Spurned invitation

Truly deceived

  1. What other parables have similar characteristics or theme?

The two builders

The sower

The weeds

The dragnet

The unforgiving servant

The workers in the vineyard

The two sons

The wicked vinedressers

The wedding feast

The fig tree

The wise and foolish virgins

The talents

The absent householder

The creditor and two debtors

The good Samaritan

The rich fool

The faithful servant and the evil servant

The barren fig tree

The rich man and Lazarus

Unprofitable servants

The Pharisee and the tax collector

The minas

  1. Who was Jesus speaking to when He gave this parable?

He was speaking to one of the guests at a leader of the Pharisee’s house where they had been invited for bread.

  1. What was the context for this parable?

He was teaching about dinner invitations, humility and places of honor, which guests to invite, and extending true hospitality.

  1. What are the main elements of the parable and what does each represent?
    1. Man (head of the household v 21) – God (or possibly Jesus)
    2. giving a big dinner – the kingdom of heaven
    3. invited many – initial invitation to the Jews
    4. the dinner hour –
    5. sent his slave – anyone with the gospel message
    6. Come – the invitation is reiterated
    7. everything is ready – the time is right
    8. make excuses – pretends to have a reason not to come, but does not
    9. bought a piece of land – investments
    10. go out and look at it – wrong priorities, love for the world and contempt for God
    11. please consider me excused – rejection of the gospel
    12. bought five yoke of oxen – business
    13. try them out – more wrong priorities, love for the world and contempt for God
    14. married a wife – family
    15. for that reason I cannot come – both a lie and an excuse
    16. reported this to his master – related their response to God
    17. became angry – God’s mercy is replaced by His wrath
    18. Go out at once into the streets and lanes – don’t just invite the respectable leaders, but go expand the invitation into all the community
    19. bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame – the less respectable, outcast Jews
    20. what you commanded has been done – the gospel had already been taken to the entire Jewish nation
    21. still there is room – more elect remained
    22. Go out into the highways and along the hedges – take the gospel to the Gentiles
    23. compel them to come in – sovereign election → irresistible grace
    24. my house may be filled – all the elect saved
    25. none of those men who were invited – damnation of all who reject Jesus
    26. taste of my dinner – have any part in the kingdom
  1. What spiritual principle(s) does this parable teach?
    1. The invitation was extended to all
    2. There is no good reason for rejecting God’s mercy, only poor excuses
    3. Eternal riches are forfeited because of love for the temporal riches
    4. The cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke out the word
    5. God’s grace is for a short season, it should be accepted without delay
    6. Investing in land, purchasing oxen, and getting married were all good things
    7. Adam’s wife persuaded him to eat while this man’s new wife may have persuaded him not to eat
    8. When God’s mercy is spurned, it turns into righteous wrath
    9. The invitation was rescinded and head of the household declared that none of the original invitees would attend the banquet
    10. The Jews were cut off because of their rejection of Jesus
    11. The Jews’ rejection of Jesus meant the gospel would be taken to the Gentiles
    12. By the sovereign election of God, His house will be full of dinner guests
    13. The master’s slave eave Him an accurate report of the response to His invitation
    14. Those who are undeserving and cannot possibly repay the hospitality were compelled to come
    15. God’s abundant grace is twice shown, first in His initial invitation, then in the expansion of the invitation
    16. Everyone needs to eat dinner just as everyone needs salvation
    17. Many of those who did come were incapable of coming under their own power
    18. “I cannot come” isn’t true. He really means “I will not come”
  1. Cross references to this parable?

Rom 11:11 I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. 12 Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be!

Isa 55:1-7

“Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters;

And you who have no money come, buy and eat.

Come, buy wine and milk

 Without money and without cost.

2 “Why do you spend money for what is not bread,

And your wages for what does not satisfy?

Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,

And delight yourself in abundance.

3 ” Incline your ear and come to Me.

Listen, that you may live;

And I will make an everlasting covenant with you,

According to the faithful mercies shown to David.

4 “Behold, I have made him a witness to the peoples,

A leader and commander for the peoples.

5 “Behold, you will call a nation you do not know,

And a nation which knows you not will run to you,

Because of the LORD your God, even the Holy One of Israel;

For He has glorified you.”

6 Seek the LORD while He may be found;

 Call upon Him while He is near.

7 Let the wicked forsake his way

And the unrighteous man his thoughts;

And let him return to the LORD,

And He will have compassion on him,

And to our God,

For He will abundantly pardon.



Mark 16:15 And He said to them, ” Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

Rev 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.


Matt 26:28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.

Rom 5:15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.

Rom 5:19 For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

Heb 9:28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.

Matt 22:5 “But they paid no attention and went their way, one to his own farm, another to his business,

John 1:11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.

John 5:40 and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.

Acts 13:45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began contradicting the things spoken by Paul, and were blaspheming. 46 Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first; since you repudiate it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles.

Acts 18:5 But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul began devoting himself completely to the word, solemnly testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. 6 But when they resisted and blasphemed, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”








Isa 49:6 He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant

To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel;

I will also make You a light of the nations

So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

Matt 13:19 “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.

John 9:40 Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, ” We are not blind too, are we?”

Luke 12:20 “But God said to him, ‘ You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’  21 “So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” 

John 3:36 “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

  1. Questions or problems with the interpretation of this parable.
    1. Why did they reject the invitation?
    2. What are some good reasons for not attending the banquet?
    3. How many group invitations were issued and to what groups?
    4. What do you think about the man who had just gotten married saying that he could not come?
    5. Why did the head of the household invite the “outcasts” to his banquet?
    6. What force was used to compel people to come?
  1. Based on this parable, what changes in my life does Jesus want me to make?

Pray that God will help me to communicate the urgency of trusting Christ without being pushy.