In Isaiah 55:1, God says,
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.”
I have read that 100 times and missed the critical word—no. The invitation to the king’s banquet is not for those who don’t have enough, but for those who have nothing—NO money. It is not just for the poor, but for the utterly destitute. And of course, the analogy is not merely for the financially destitute, but for the spiritually destitute who are called to dine at the feast “without cost” because the price has already been paid in full. It is not a free meal, it is a costly one whose bill has been covered fully, tax, tip and all. My calling now is to partake in the feast of grace by eating, or by “believing” that Jesus is the One who paid such a price for my seat at the table by experiencing the ultimate destitution on a Roman cross. And at such a price, the banquet is to be deeply enjoyed… even savored. For the gospel tells me that the more I delight my heart in the riches of God’s fare (ie, his grace in Jesus), the more God is magnified as the master of the banquet. Indeed, my joy is for his glory. But on most days I tend to live as if I am to leave a tip, or contribute in some small way. But to the degree I try to “do my part,” I insult God’s grace, diminish my joy, and cloud God’s glory. So today, I pray that I will come in my spiritual and moral poverty to Jesus, hungering and thirsting after his righteousness, which he gives to the destitute freely and fully.