“So the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the master of the household was furious and said to his slave, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and alleys of the city, and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ Then the slave said, ‘Sir, what you instructed has been done, and there is still room.’ So the master said to his slave, ‘Go out to the highways and country roads and urge people to come in, so that my house will be filled. For I tell you, not one of those individuals who were invited will taste my banquet!’” —Luke 14:21–24
I am reminded of the promises recorded in the book of Isaiah:
“Strengthen the hands that have gone limp, steady the knees that shake! Tell those who panic, ‘Be strong! Do not fear! Look, your God comes to avenge! With divine retribution he comes to deliver you.’ Then blind eyes will open, deaf ears will hear. Then the lame will leap like a deer, the mute tongue will shout for joy; for water will burst forth in the wilderness, streams in the arid rift valley.” —Isaiah 35:3–6
Jesus demonstrated again and again that His ministry was directed toward those who realized they had a desperate need for Him. He specifically said:
“Those who are healthy don’t need a physician, but those who are sick do. Go and learn what this saying means: ‘I want mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” —Matthew 9:12–13
And this presents an important question: Do you and I realize that each one of us has a need?
The Pharisees did not think that they were sinners so consequently they felt no need for a Savior. When one is filled with self-sufficiency and self-righteousness, the sufficiency and righteousness of a Savior is the furthest thing from their mind. The Laodiceans experienced this very thing:
“Because you say, ‘I am rich and have acquired great wealth, and need nothing,’ but do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked, take my advice and buy gold from me refined by fire so you can become rich! Buy from me white clothing so you can be clothed and your shameful nakedness will not be exposed, and buy eye salve to put on your eyes so you can see!” —Revelation 3:17–18
The Laodiceans were wealthy with possessions! And yet, clad in expensive and beautiful clothing, dripping in gold, they were oblivious to their need for clothes of righteousness to cover their nakedness and for God’s salve to open their spiritually blind eyes. Unaware of their own depravity, they needed a wake-up call!
“The LORD your God is in your midst; he is a warrior who can deliver. He takes great delight in you; he renews you by his love; he shouts for joy over you.” —Zephaniah 3:17
The Bible Knowledge Commentary has this to say about our verses for today:
“The people who originally had been offered a share of the kingdom had rejected it, so now the message was going out to others including Gentiles. The excuses seemed good to those who gave them, but they were inadequate for refusing Jesus’ kingdom offer. Nothing was so important as accepting His offer of the kingdom, for one’s entire destiny rests on his response to that offer.”
God gives us many wake-up calls and warnings through His Word, through His people, and through the circumstances that He allows in and around our lives orchestrated to turn our hearts back to Him. Patiently, lovingly and mercifully He waits for us to come.
I am reminded of Jesus’ words in Revelation:
“All those I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent! Listen! I am standing at the door and knocking! If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come into his home and share a meal with him, and he with me.” —Revelation 3:19–20
“God hovers over the entire world, seeking to pluck from sin immortal souls who are in danger of ‘drowning’ in hell. He tosses out a line to all those who are in trouble. Some grab on to God’s line and freely receive the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ … But others ignore the line, or even knock it away, believing they are not really in peril, or that they can make it to safety on their own. Tragically, they are lost not because God has rejected them, but because they have rejected God. Don’t make the wrong choice!” —Billy Graham
“I remember two things: that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Savior.” —John Newton
“In the gospel we discover that we are far more wicked than we ever dared believe, yet more loved than we ever dared hope.” —Tim Keller