Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full.
In today’s story a man invites guests to a celebration banquet, but all who are invited turn him down. They make excuses about having other commitments, but, as Jesus’ listeners would know, the excuses are all lies. For example, in those days, no one would buy oxen without trying them out first. And if a social friend had just been married, the host would have known and would not have interrupted him with an invitation to another party. The host refuses to give up, however, and sends his servants to invite others whom most people would not expect to be invited.
The parable of the great banquet is a warning that God’s people must not take him for granted (see Luke 14:1-14). If they ignore his invitations to full life and faithful living, or if they expect no others will be invited, they will be in for a surprise. God “wants all people to be saved” (1 Timothy 2:4), but if his guests refuse and insist on going their own way, they will not “eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”
Sadly, God’s invitations are still turned down by people who have known about him all their lives. Many even who have grown up in Christian homes turn away, thinking they are doing just fine without God.
The Lord still invites us to come to him by believing in Jesus. He wants us to accept his invitation, and when we do, he sends us out to invite others, whoever they are, to come.
Lord, thank you for inviting us to celebrate with you. May we also faithfully invite others who do not know you. Amen.
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