THE WEEK OF TRINITY II – SATURDAY

LESSON: PSALM 84

“Compel people to come in!” Luke 14:23

We must understand the compulsion referred to here as applying to those who have a despondent and feeble conscience. These people should also be invited to the banquet and compelled to come in. The reference, however, is not to any external compulsion but to an inner, spiritual compulsion.

This results when the Law is preached and sin is disclosed and brought to light, so that a man comes to realize what he really is. He is brought under compulsion, compelled to come in, when a vivid knowledge of sin is stirred up in his conscience. As a result of this, he also realizes that he is nothing in God’s sight, that all his works are sinful and even condemnatory. His despondent conscience and tender, terrified heart so overwhelm him that he loses all confidence in himself and can see no help at hand anywhere to provide any comfort at all. In this wretched condition he is finally led to despair.

When a man has been brought under compulsion in this way, you should not delay with the invitation to “come in” and help him out of this despondency. This is achieved when you comfort him with the Gospel, telling him how he has been freed from his sins with the words, “Believe in Christ, that He has freed you from your sins and you will be rid of your sins.” This is what is meant in this Gospel by compelling men to come in so that the householder’s home may be filled.

SL 11:1214 (12-13)

PRAYER: Lord, you have reminded us in a very vivid manner that we are always confronted with a situation of grave urgency respecting our invitation to men to come in and partake of the banquet prepared for them in your kingdom of grace. Grant us wisdom and courage to perform our duties in this area with determination and love, in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

Editor’s note: No American Edition (AE) equivalent for today’s sermon excerpt exists at the time of this publication. For an alternate English translation of this sermon, see Lenker, Church Postil—Gospels, 4:33-38.