Luke 14:23 – “Then the master told his servant, “Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in so that my house will be full.”
In Luke 14, Jesus was reclining at the supper table of one of the ruling Pharisees. It truly was the meaning of Psalm 23:5 “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies…” The Pharisees and the Lawyers present were enemies of Jesus.
He tells the parable of a wealthy master who prepares a banquet, and when it is time to eat, he calls his servant to go and bring in those who were invited. The guests make lame excuses why they cannot come.
One was going to see the property he purchased but had not yet seen. One goes to try out oxen he had already purchased. One had recently gotten married. Really? Who buys property before they see it? Who buys oxen to plow their fields without trying them first to see if they can do the work? What does a recent marriage have to do with inability to attend a lavish party? These friends sound shallow and false.
After their rejection, the master sent out his servant to bring in the lame, the blind, the poor, and anyone else he found, so his house would be full. God wants everyone in His house no matter the condition He finds them. All are welcome in God’s home.
Jesus tried to communicate to these rulers that they were not better than everyone else. Riches and power do not make them automatically eligible for the kingdom of God, but rather an openness to respond to the invitation to enter.
The real hero of this parable is the humble servant. First, he goes to those already invited and is humiliated by their refusal. Then he goes out to every dark, dusty corner of the city and draws people into the master’s house where they receive blessings.
What do we need to take away from this scripture? We need to be the humble servant, telling others we are all invited to sup with Jesus. This scripture uses the phrase ‘compel them to come in’. The word ‘compel’ means “to use any means necessary.”
What means have you used to bring people into the kingdom of God? Have you invited them to church? Have you told them your salvation story? Have you offered to pray with them? How have you served another to help them see Jesus in you? Have you gone out into your city, country, or the world to compel them to enter?
Today, practice being the humble servant. Today, as you go about your business, pray that the Master will open doors of opportunity for you to compel them to come to Jesus.
~ Dee Ouellette