Compel them

Limited supply and limited room are often hindrances that we are familiar with. But in the Kingdom of God, he has thrown open the doors for all who would want to enjoy the benefits of the Kingdom.

God says “come, enjoy, and dine with me.” To dine together implies more than an acquaintance. There is friendship, relationship, and in some instances, a deep sense of intimacy. 

Jesus told the story of the man who invited guests to his banquet. Those who were invited gave excuses and refused to come. Then the master sent his servant to invite those who were needy and in distress. But even then, there was still more room left. “And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’” (Luke 14:22). The Jewish people of Jesus’ day had conveniently compartmentalized their relationships to keep the poor away. With this story, Jesus has effectively thrown down the gaps and walls that separated them. 

Then, the master instructed the servant to “compel” them. The idea was not to force or coerce them. They just needed to be convinced of their welcome. They could not believe that this master would really welcome them. 

In a society where there is such a divide, the people on the “lower” end would find it hard to trust the rich and wealthy. They’ve been the symbols of oppression, domination, and control for generations. 

So when this wealthy man gives an invitation, those who are poor and downtrodden may doubt the genuineness of the invitation. So this man has to “compel” the people to come. 

But it’s important to note that those who gave excuses were not compelled. They were simply ignored. They were bypassed. Thus the phrase “for many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14) The invitation may be for everyone, but the response will not be the same for everyone. 

When the poor were invited, not everyone came. We know this because the servant said “still there is room.” So the master wanted to compel them. Those people couldn’t believe the master would invite them to dine with him.

Still there is room. Compel them. 

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