One thing our culture hates about God is that he is uncompromising. He demands certain behaviors of us, and condemns others, and there are consequences if we do not respond. We see that here. The master of the house invites several people to come in and be a part of his banquet, but each refuses, citing some excuse. Thus, the master says that none of those who were invited and denied his invitation will taste anything of the feast he has prepared. So uncompromising? Yes.
But he is also a God who compels.
“16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests.
17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.
18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.”
19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’
20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’
21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.”
22 “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’
23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full.
24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’” (Luke 14:16-24)
Though some refused him, he sends out someone to compel others to attend the feast. Someone, like Jesus himself. Yes, God has standards, the highest ones imaginable, but God knows that we are broken, and in his great love for us he does not abandon us to our brokenness. We are poor. We have nothing to offer the God of the universe, and yet he does not simply leave us to suffer in our poverty. We are blind, but we are not condemned to darkness. We are lame, but we are not resigned to a life of immobility. Jesus moves us through his sacrifice, which demonstrated his love for us and atoned for our sin. He compels us through the Holy Spirit, who moves in our hearts that we might be able to hear and respond to the master’s call.
“If today you hear God’s voice, do not harden your hearts.” If we feel convicted over our sin, we should not be angry that the righteous creator God has called us out. Instead, we should recognize that such conviction is a mercy. It’s a call to come in and enjoy the feast of grace that God has prepared for all who are willing to partake.