Christ, The Church, The Commission 4: All Come In
Text: Luke 14:15-24Video
This is the 4th message in the series Christ, The Church and The Commission.
We began with All The World Acts 1:8 ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth
Next All Your Need Philippians 4:19 God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Then All She Had Mark 12:44 they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
Today is All Come In Luke 14:23 compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
This passage begins in Luke 14:1 And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him.
Either there at the feast for on the way or just outside a man comes before him, Luke says, “Behold” so it seems this was sudden and unexpected. The man has dropsy and is seeking Jesus to heal him. Dropsy is a swelling of the body caused by the retention of excessive liquid in the tissues. We aren’t told nor could they know back then what was causing it, but it was a painful, pitiful condition. He comes for healing, but it is the Sabbath Day, when no work should be done and the Pharisees are watching.
You of course know what Jesus did. He healed him after asking, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath Day? This situation and this question have happened before, as had the challenge that Jesus issued, “Which of you having your work animal fall into a ditch would not immediately pull it out, even on the Day of Rest?” Vs. 6 says, “they could not answer him again.”
Once inside he gives two quick parables really just illustrations of truth, about suppers like this one he is attending.
First, he tells the invited guests it is better to take the lower seat at a supper and be raised higher. Luke 14:11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
The Second parable is to the host of the supper instead of the guests. Jesus tells him, Luke 14:13-14 when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
The third parable is the most extensive and it is told in response to one of the guest, I’m sure it was a Pharisee, making what he must have thought was a very fitting and pious statement. In Luke 14:15 And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. Now Jesus really has something to say.
Go Call - Luke 14:16-20
Luke 14:16-20 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
Now before we go any further lets definition what a parable is an who you interpreting them.
The simplest definition of a parable is “An earthly story that tells an Heavenly truth.” The word is transliterated from the Greek word παραβολή (parabolē) and literally means to place alongside. It is a story told alongside the truth that is being taught.
And there are rules for interpreting parables. If you don’t apply these then you’ll wander off into some of the worst heresies that circulate among the false churches of this world.
1st Never make a parable walk on all fours. (Only one truth being taught, stay with that truth.)
2nd Interpret according to context. (Who, what, when, where and why)
3rd Interpret according to proper time frame. (Kingdom parable, Church Age parable, Life Lesson)
4th Never use a parable to interpret doctrine. (Parables are pictures of the truth not the truth itself.)
This of course is a Kingdom parable, we know that because of the context of the guest who calls out, “Blessed is the one who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. Jesus purpose then is to set in order this idea, this presupposition about who is going to be in that kingdom supper one day. Because obviously this guest and probably many others there that day, believe it will be them.
The parable is very simple, a man makes a great supper, a great feast and invited many people to come. This feast like any big event took time and much preparation days if not months in advance. He host of the supper sends his servants to those who have already been invited, the people who the supper was for, people who have been invited weeks ago. Luke 14:17 say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.
The people for whom the supper was set and had been invited and, we would say, should have already sent in their RSVP begin to offer excuses why they can’t now come, to a supper that was prepared for them. Such a refusal now, at this late date, is an extreme insult to the host of the feast.
In this day and culture when you invited guests to a supper, you told them the day but not the exact hour of the meal. The host had to know how many were coming so he could have enough food and drink. When it was time, the host would send servants to each of the guests to tell them everything was ready Come and dine. Each of the guests in this parable had already accepted the early invitation. They should have been there when the time came.
Nor are the excuses even valid. At face value they are meant to be insults. They may have been a conspiracy of these guests against the man for the Bible says, “with one consent, one agreement.”
Luke 14:18 The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: Who buys land without first looking at it?
Luke 14:19 another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them. Again, no one would buy an ox team without first trying it, anymore than you would buy a car without driving it.
Finally, Luke 14:20 I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. Even marriage was not an excuse to refuse the master's invitation since a Jewish wedding was the major event of a Jewish society and was planned years in advance. This man either lied about the wedding or about coming at the first invitation.
Of course you can see the Lord’s purpose in this parable can’t you. The proud Jewish people, especially the super religious, super legalistic Pharisees believed they had a reserved place in the Kingdom of God and yet Jesus who was no in their midst was inviting them to enter the Kingdom through repentance of their sin and belief in Him and they were refusing the invitation.
Today we live in a world that is trying to excuse itself from God’s invitation and God’s house. We have people who are too intellectual to believe in fairytales. Instead, they believe in science and the fallible men who make up the science as they go along.
We have people who are too busy with work, or careers or just life to take time out to even think about God.
We have people who are quite sure they are good enough and therefore repentance, faith and church are okay for some but not for them.
There are as many excuses for refusing God’s invitation as there are people in this lost and dying world, but just like the excuses giving in this parable, they invalid lies and insults to the grace of God.
I am reminded of the poem, Poem "No time for God."
No time for God?
What fools we are to clutter up
Our lives with common things
And leave without Heart's gate
The Lord of life, and life itself-
No time for God?
As soon to say, no time
To eat or sleep or love or die.
Take time for God
Or you shall dwarf your soul
And when the angel death
Comes knocking at your door,
A poor misshapen thing you'll be
To step into eternity.
No time for God?
That day when sickness comes
Or troubles find you out
And you cry out for God,
Will He have time for you?
No time for God?
In the parable when the servants come back with these insulting excuses, look at the master’s response, Luke 14:21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry…
This is a parable, but when the truth behind the parable is a revelation of the anger of God almighty, these ceases to just be a story about a supper. People think they can play games with the creator of the universe and it is not a game that God will ever play.
Galatians 6:7-8 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
The master of the feast, who we understand is God the Father, in response to this rejection acts in..
Go Quick - Luke 14: 21-22
Luke 14:21-22 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
First the master of the feast gives this command to the servant, " Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind."
This is what Jesus had told the host of this supper in the second parable. Now he was saying to the self-righteous Pharisees and upper-class Jews. That God, just like the man in the parable will not be denied his gift of grace. If those for who it was first offered refuse it then God will search out those who they have rejected and offer it to them.
John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
After the servant goes he comes back and says, "it is done and yet there is room." Aren't you glad, there is still room.
Notice the servant,
The word here is bond servant, this is a slave who has been bought with a price. He doesn't belong to himself he belongs to his master. This of course is who were are if we are saved and the children of God. We are bond servants brought with the price of Jesus life blood. We are not our own, Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
Notice also the command
Luke 14:21 Go out quickly, There was no time to wait, for the supper was ready, the banquet was set and it would start at the Master's appointed hour. And by His will, grace and love there would be guests sitting at that supper. It is the task of the servant to bring them in.
It is the task, the command of the servant of God to go quickly, for there is no time to wait for a better day. The invitation of grace will end at the Master’s appointed time. It is our command to invite those are broken, hurt, and rejected to come and to come now.
Notice the place the servant was sent.
Luke 14:21 Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city… literally these were the main streets and the little roads. He is saying look everywhere and anywhere in this city. From the busiest place to the quietest place, find them at work, find them in the parks, find them in their homes. Find them all around you, and find them now.
Notice the people the servant is to bring.
Luke 14:21 bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
Why these people? They also were rejected and in that rejection they would respond to the graciousness and love of the one calling them to a feast.
The servant was to look for the rejected. Look for the hurt. Look for the blind. They see their need, they know they have no right to a great feast, and when a faithful servant of the Master comes to bring them to a great banquet they respond.
Finally, notice the result.
Luke 14:22 Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. They had come but there was still room. Isn’t that a wonderful thought? There is still room for more. If anything should keep us working, invititing and sharing the Gospel it should be this truth, “There is still room.”
If you are here today and haven’t responded to the invitation of grace, then understand that in God's house and at that great supper waiting in heaven there is still has room for you. It's been 2000 years since this parable but still there's room for more. There is a place for you, an invitation but remember that invitation can and will end. The servants go out quickly and the guests must respond in that same manner, for none of us know when the invitation will end for us.
Room at the cross for you.
There's room at the cross for you. There's room at the cross for you. Though millions have come there's still room for one. There's room at the cross for you.
If you are here today without God’s grace then know, there's room for you. And servant of God, there’s room for your friend, your mother, dad, brother and sister. Yes, there's room for your neighbor, your co-worker, there's room. Go quickly and bring them all in and there will still be room.
After the servant tells his Lord, there is still room, the Lord gives his next command.
Go Compel - Luke 14:23-24
Luke 14:23-24 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.
Now the servant is sent out one more time. This time he is sent outside the city to the highways and hedges.
And it is an even more powerful invitation for He says, "Compel them to come in. That my house may be full." This is not being forced against their will, this isn’t a confirmation of Calvinism or the first guests who refused would have been forced to come anyway. No, this word means to use every means the servant has to convince them to come.
The word is used of Jesus in in Matthew 14:22 And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.
Can see also see the parallels in this parable with the commission given to the church.
Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,
Mark 16:15 Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, (the streets of the city) and in Samaria (outside the city), and unto the uttermost part of the earth (the hedges, the fenced in places.)
To us the servants of God, the parable has a powerful application. Jesus is saying to us, "Keep going. Don’t quit, don’t coast, don’t give up. Go out and compel them by the love of God to come to the feast prepared. Go out beyond your Jerusalem, there are highways leading to multitudes that are lost. Go out past the fences, the obstacles, even the laws that hedge the lost from the grace of God. Behind those barriers are people who haven’t heard the invitation to Come and dine in heaven with God.
Praise the Lord for missionaries that He has sent and for those we support but never allow yourself to think that by putting money in the plate to pay the pastor or support a missionary that I've done all my part as a blood bought servant of God.
God is telling us, you and I, "Go out to the highways and hedges and compel them that my house must will be full." He tells us to "compel them."
I once heard a preacher man talking about winning souls, He said he was going to do everything that he could to win everyone he could. Even when the rapture came he was going to grab the nearest sinner by the shirt and as he dragged upward to heaven he would be shouting, "Repent you sinner or I'm going to let go."
We are to compel them and that means to use every chamber of our heart, it means use every particle of our intelligence, it means use every memory of our experiences, it means use every cord of our muscles, it means use every breath of our lungs, it means use every penny in our pocket, it means use every prayer we pray and every word we speak to bring them to Christ.
John Harper's Compulsion for souls
John Harper was a Scottish Baptist preacher in 1914 he had been called to be the pastor of the church of D. L . Moody in Chicago. He booked a passage from England to America for himself, his daughter and his niece, his wife had died years before, He bought tickest for their transatlantic voyage on a ship called the Titanic, the newest, fastest and unsinkable ship of the White Star line.
Well you know the story of the ship but you may not know the story of John Harper. After the ship hit and iceberg and it was told to the passengers that there were not enough lifeboats for all, he placed his six-year-old daughter Annie and his niece Jessie into a lifeboat than then stepped back to the deck of the sinking ship. As the ship sank the passengers in the lifeboat looked back and saw John Harper clinging to the rail while pleading with a young man to come to Christ. It was said that he went from person to person as long as he could and urged people to come to the Lord.
The story didn’t end there in that cold seas, for four years later, after Titanic become the most famous maritime disaster of modern times, a young Scotsman stood up in a testimony meeting at a church. In giving his story of salvation he said, "I am a survivor of the Titanic. When I was drifting alone on a spar that awful night, the tide brought Mr. John Harper, of Glasgow also on a piece of wreck near me. "Man, he called out to me, “are you saved?” “No, I said, I am not." He told me, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved."
The waves bore him away, but strange to say brought him back a little later, and he said, "Are you saved now?' 'No,' I said, 'I cannot honestly say that I am.' He said again, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.' And shortly after he went down; and there alone in the night, and with two miles of water under me, I believed. I am John Harper's last convert."
John Harper was a servant of God who understood his Lord’s will. He had been called at 18 years-old by his master to invite and to compel men to come into the Lord’s house and even as he struggled in the icy waters of death, he was still compelling them to come to Christ. “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”
What of us this morning? Are we searching the streets and lanes of our city for the broken, the needy and the rejected? Are we willing to go to to the highways seeking the lost and to break down the hedges to compel and constrain? Are you following the compulsion of God to fill up his house for there is still room?
Bring them In.
Hark tis the shepherds voice I hear out in the desert dark and drear. Calling the sheep who've gone astray. Far from the shepherd’s fold, away.
Who'll go and help this shepherd kind. Help him the wandering ones to find. Who'll bring the lost one's to the fold? Where they'll be sheltered from the cold.
Out in the desert hear their cry. Out in the mountains wild and high. Hark tis the Master speaks to thee. Go find my sheep where’er they be.
Bring them in, bring them in. Bring them in from the fields of sin. Bring them in, bring them in. Bring the wandering ones to Jesus.