“But all the guests [one after another; or in a similar manner] began to make excuses [C a great offense in that culture]. The first one said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go look at it. Please excuse me.’
But Jesus said to him, “Once upon a time, a man planned a big dinner party and invited a great many people. At dinner-time, he sent his servant out to tell those who were invited, ‘Please come, everything is ready now.’ But they all, as one man, began to make their excuses. The first one said to him, ‘I have bought some land. I must go and look at it. Please excuse me.’ Another one said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen and am on my way to try them out. Please convey my apologies.’ Another one said, ‘I have just got married and I am sure you will understand I cannot come.’ So the servant returned and reported all this to his master. The master of the house was extremely annoyed and said to his servant, ‘Hurry out now into the streets and alleys of the town, and bring here the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ Then the servant said, ‘I have done what you told me, sir, and there are still empty places.’ Then the master replied, ‘Now go out to the roads and hedgerows and make them come inside, so that my house may be full. For I tell you that not one of the men I invited shall have a taste of my dinner.’”
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