Land (Political, Pride of Life)
Work (Economic, Lust of the Eyes)
Family (Social, Lust of the Flesh)
Jesus gave a parable, in Luke 14:16-20, of a man who gave a big dinner, inviting many to come. They began to make excuses, however, as to why they could not attend. This is an illustration of three kinds of people who make decisions not to follow Jesus and the Kingdom of God. Each of these excuses falls in line with a Trinity pattern category.
Excuse #1: “I have bought a piece of land.” This correlates to the Political category of Man’s Soul (society), as well as the Pride of Life category of Man’s Flesh (temptations). “Their inner thought is, that their houses are forever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they have called their lands after their own names. But man in his pomp (honor) will not endure; he is like the beasts that perish.” (Ps. 49:11-12)
Excuse #2: “I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out.” This correlates to the Economic category of Man’s Soul (society), and also the Lust of the Eyes category of Man’s Flesh (temptations). Plowing a field to produce a crop harvest meant money and provision. In an agrarian society oxen were highly valued, as they brought much increase (financial gain). “Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, but much increase comes by the strength of the ox.” (Prov. 14:4)
Excuse #3: “I have married a wife.” This correlates to the Social category of Man’s Soul (society), as well as the Lust of the Flesh category of Man’s Flesh (temptations). “One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided.” (I Cor. 7:32-33)
Regarding excuse #1: It is not wrong to have a name, dominion and authority on the earth. “A good name is to be more desired than great riches, favor is better than silver and gold.” (Prov. 22:1)
Regarding excuses #2 and #3: It is not wrong to be financially prosperous, or to have a wife, family and social well-being. “Jesus said, ‘Truly I say to you there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and the Gospel’s sake, but that he shall receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first, will be last; and the last, first. (Mk. 10:29-31)
Conclusion: It is not about having any of these things, but rather about priority in our lives. “Do not be anxious then, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘With what shall we clothe ourselves?’ For all these things the Gentiles (nations) eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matt. 6:31-33) Many people miss out on the wonderful ‘feast’ God has prepared for our lives because they are preoccupied with life’s competing desires. When we seek the first thing: God in our lives, then all the rest will be abundantly supplied.