3/15 Luke 14:23

23 "And the master said to the servant, 'Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.'"

Luke's account of the parable of the great banquet came in response to someone saying how blessed would be those who ate bread in the kingdom of God. The person assumed all Jews would be included. Jesus' parable declared that those who were invited made excuses because of other priorities in their lives. The master who had the banquet prepared then sent his servants to bring in all those they could find, including the poor, crippled, blind, and the lame. Still there was room. He sent them again but to a greater distance and had the servants compel those they found to come in so the master's house would be filled.

Jesus seemed to be regularly challenging the assumptions of the religious elite of His day. The religious leaders thought for sure they would make it into the Kingdom. They believed most if not all Jews would be there, but certainly not Samaritans and Gentiles.

The parable shows us the great heart of God that sends missionaries and evangelists to every corner of the world so that His house may be filled. He even commands us to compel them to come in. God is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9). He desires that as many as are willing should be there with Him. However, some guests will have other priorities and refuse to come even though they have been invited.

Consider: Do you have assumptions about who will be in heaven? How does this parable speak to you? What mindset does it encourage us to have?