Luke 14:15 Commentary - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New TestamentOne of them that sat at meat with our Saviour in the Pharisee's house, hearing Christ speak of being recompensed at the resurrection of the just, repeated that known saying among the Rabbins, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God: that is, who shall be partakers of the joys of heaven. Here upon Christ utters the parable of the marriage supper, recorded here by St. Luke, with small variation from that which was delivered by St. Matthew, Mat 22:1-14
The first intention of our Saviour in that parable seems to be this, to set forth that gracious offer of mercy and salvation which was made by the preaching of the gospel unto the Jews, and to declare God's purpose of receiving the Gentiles into the fold of Christ, upon the Jews despising and rejecting that inestimable favor. But besides this, it has an aspect upon us Christans, who have embraced the doctrine of the gospel.
Here note, 1. That the gospel for its freeness and fullness, for its varieties and delicacies, is like a marriage supper:
1. It does create the same religion between Christ and believers, that marriage does between husband and wife.
2. It entitles to the same privileges that a conjugal relation does; to the same endearing love and tenderness, to the same care, protection, to the same honor, to the same happiness.
3. It obliges to the like duties, namely, unspotted love and fidelity, cheerful obedience to his commands, reverence to his person, submission to his authority.
4. It produces the same effects; as the effect of marriage is increase of children, so the fruit of the gospel is bringing many sons to God.
Note, 2. That gospel invitations are mightily disesteemed; they made light of the invitation, and offered frivolous excuses for their refusal of it.
Note, 3. That the preference which the world has in men's esteem, is a great cause of the gospel contempt; one had purchased a piece of ground, another had bought five yoke of oxen.
Note, 4. The deplorable sadness of their condition who refuse, upon any pretence whatever, to comply with the gospel tender of reconciliation and mercy: The king was wroth, pronounced them unworthy of his favor, and resolved they should not taste of his supper; but sends forth his servants to invite others to his supper.
Note, 5. The notion under which the Gentiles are set forth unto us, such as were in lanes, streets, and highways; that is, a rude, rustic, and barbarous people; whom the Jews despised, yea, whom they held accursed; yet even these are called accepted, while the Jews, the first intended guests, are excluded by means of their own contempt.
Note, lastly, the means used to bring in the Gentiles to the gospel supper: Go and compel them to come in; not by violence, but persuasion; by argumentation, not compulsion: the plain and persuasive, the powerful and efficacious preaching of the word, with the motions and influences of the Holy Spirit, are the compulsions here intended: not external force, not temporal punishment, nor outward violence. "No man ought by force and violence to be compelled to the profession of the true faith," says Tertullian.
Observe here, how vainly these words are brought to prove, that men may be compelled by the secular arm to embrace the Christian faith.
1. From the nature of a banquet, to which none are compelled by force, but by persuasion only.
2. From the scope of the parable, which respects the calling of the Gentiles, who believed by the great power of God.
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Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament
William Burkitt (1650 - 1703) was a Church of England clergyman, bible expositor, and devotional writer.
Volume 1: Matthew - John, was published in 1700.
Volume 2: Acts - Revelation was published 1703.