If the gospel of forgiveness in Jesus Christ is such good news, and God is so good, then why aren’t people breaking the door down to get into the church? Today’s Gospel lesson gives us one reason why: They just aren’t interested. The parable Jesus told was of people, when invited to come to the great banquet, kept making one excuse after the other why they couldn’t come.
Jesus was not talking to the sinful outsiders, but the religious insiders – they were the ones making the excuses why they could not participate. Here’s the deal: If professing believers in God are not excited about the gospel; if Christians are not enthused over what they possess in the gospel; if we as the church are content to go through the motions of Christianity without a concern to be with Jesus; if we are simply too busy to come and attend God’s banquet of grace; then, why in the world should those persons who don’t profess Christ as Savior break down the door to get in?
Jesus was offering a penetrating warning: The unresponsive religious insiders will be replaced by the responsive sinful outsiders. If the insiders take for granted what they possess and have better things to do, then God is going to call people who will hear, listen, and respond to his gracious invitation.
The deeply probing question for every believer today is this: Are we so familiar with Jesus, and so content with the way things are that when God breaks into our lives in the form of an invitation that we refuse to respond because we are not interested in going to some stupid banquet? Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Gracious God, forgive me for wasting time in things that just don’t matter in the scope of eternity. I choose to go out and compel outsiders to come in, so that your house will be full for the great feast at the end of the age. Through Jesus, in the power of the Holy Spirit, I pray. Amen.