Thinking about this verse I read a few days ago. Surely it applies at face value. But could it also apply in the same way that the parable after it applies--the parable of the great supper to which none of the original guests would come (vs. 16-24)?
We have a feast, a rich dinner of knowledge about God, about who He is, about what He can do in us. Who are we inviting?
Our "rich" neighbors and friends, who already know all we do, and will "repay" us with blessings?
Or are we inviting the poor?
Who needs this feast the most? Who are the people I know "forgotten" by the Christian world, isolated from us because of their spiritually crippled state in our eyes? (Remember, the Jews believed that anyone who wasn't well-off must have offended God and therefore been cursed.) Who are the people starving near our land of plenty?
Who do I need to invite?