George H. Morrison - Devotional Sermons
The Great Supper -- Part II
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. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind--Luk 14:17, Luk 14:18, Luk 14:21
Don't Let Pride, Anxiety or Family Keep You Away
Next note the excuses of the invited guests, and see first the points in which they differ. The first had bought a piece of ground--it was pride in what he possessed that kept him back. The second wanted to prove his yoke of oxen--it was the cares and the worries of his work that filled him. And the third had married a wife (and he was the only one who was uncivil: he had lost his manners since his marriage) --it was the ties and claims of home that hindered him. The guests all differed in their excuses, then, as men do still when they make light of the invitations of the Gospel. But at some points they all agreed, and we must note at least two of these. Firstly, not one of them was kept away by occupations sinful in themselves. Secondly, the root of the whole matter was indifference: had they cared enough, they could all have gone. There was nothing sinful in buying a piece of ground. There was no harm in proving a yoke of oxen. But things that are quite lawful in their own place prove hindrances and offences in the first; and it was into the first place that these things had crept, with the men who all began to make excuse. Are you so busy and glad with other things that you are really indifferent to God? Is your whole day a silent prayer to God to have you excused from accepting His calls? God grant it be not so. "Keep Christ in His own place--and His place is the first."
There Is Room for the Truly Hungry
I want you, lastly, to observe how the circle of the invitation widens. There are first of all the duly invited guests. They had a long invitation to the supper, and when all things were ready they got another bidding. Then they refused, and the invitation widens; it extends through the lanes and streets of the town. But still the servant is within the walls; he has received no mandate to go through the gates. There may be many a hungry gypsy by the hedge, but no glad word of welcome reaches him. Then comes the last great widening of the circle, consequent upon the servant's word, "yet there is room." And away beyond the towers of the city, in the lawless and dangerous and beautiful environs of it, there is given the strange calling to the feast. So is it with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. He came unto His own, and they received Him not; the guardians of the people's faith rejected Him; so He went to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, to the lanes and the streets of the old city of God. But the clay was coming when an ascended Savior was to say to His disciples, "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature," and in that day it is our joy to live. Every preacher who tells of a crucified Lord, and every missionary who in the zeal of love uplifts the cross in the far and darkened countries, does so because the Master has said to him, "Compel them to come in."
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