From the Desk of Pastor Kevin Ballard
Welcome to our growing church family
CCI PRAYER PARTNERS
Dear Prayer Partners,
THE LOVE OF CHRIST COMPELS US!
Luke 14:23 "Then the master said to the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled."
This Sunday (03/17) we turn our attention to Luke 14:15-24. Jesus had been invited to dinner with a prominent Pharisee. The host belonged to the Sanhedrin, which meant he was one of the seventy most powerful men in Israel. Because of the Pharisee's position there were many dignitaries in attendance.
During the course of the evening a confrontation took place. Jesus had noticed a man who was sick and in pain. He had walked over to the man, took hold of him and healed him. The whole ordeal had been a trap set by the dinner host. His motivation was evident. The Pharisees hated Jesus. But, as usual, Jesus had turned the tables on them.
ItÃ?Â¢??s amazing how Jesus conducted Himself. He never lost control. He never lashed out in frustration or rage. He never threw up His hands in disgust. When confronted, He would confidently and passionately share the truth of God's Word. He did this through parables. A parable is an 'illustration from everyday life that helps the listener understand a spiritual truth.'
As Jesus shared the parable first with the host, and then with the other guests, one of those who sat at the table with Him said, "Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!" (Luke 14:15) What was he saying? What was his motivation? The text does not spell it out. But, as you study the context, it seems that this guest was either publicly defending the hostÃ?Â¢??s spiritual standing or his own.
Jesus responds by sharing another parable. ItÃ?Â¢??s known as "The Parable of the Great Supper." In the parable, a King prepares a great supper and invites many to come. He sends out his servants to go and invite everyone to come and share in his feast. It was an extravagant feast. It was an elaborate affair. The food choices were extensive. Cost was not a factor. And, the best part of the feast, it was free. All anyone had to do was accept the invitation.
As the servants went, into the city, they came across many and extended the King's invitation. It seems like everyone said yes, at first, but, then made excuses why they were not able to come.
The servants relayed the bad news to their Master. He became very angry and sent his servants back out to invite more people. This time he told them to, "Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind" (Luke 14:21). They did, and returned again and said, they have done what he had commanded but, there were still many spaces at the table. Finally, the King told them, "Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled" (Luke 14:23).
Jesus had ended the parable with a warning, "For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper" (Luke 14:24). The last two verses contain a warning and a charge. The warning was given to those who trusted in their own righteousness and gave excuses for not accepting the dinner invitation. The other was a charge for His followers. The King had told his servants to go and invite everyone they came in contact with and compel them to come. The word 'Compel' means to persuade or convince with passion. The reason for the passion, was the lateness of the hour.
May we understand the lateness of the hour. The return of Jesus is imminent. It can happen any day. May we be willing to share the Gospel with passion, to our family, friends and community with an overwhelming sense of urgency. We are to compel them. Not beat people over the head. Not to manipulate them. Not to berate them. But, passionately and accurately share the 'Good News' of what Jesus has done.
See you Sunday,
SUNDAY 03/17 OUTLINE:
GOSPEL OF LUKE
"GOD'S GREAT INVITATION"
TEXT: LUKE 14:15-24
- THE INVITATION IS OFFERED (15-17)
- THE INVITATION IS OPPOSED (18-20)
- THE INVITATION IS OPENED (21-24)