Luke 14:21
So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
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(21) The master of the house being angry . . .—The element of righteous indignation is more strongly emphasised in the analogous parable of Matthew 22:6-7, where the mere apathy of those who were invited passes into scornful outrage.

The streets and lanes . . .—See Note on Matthew 6:2. The former word includes the “piazza” or “place” of an Eastern town; the latter is the long, narrow “street” or “lane” hardly wide enough for a man to ride through. It is the word used for the “street called straight” in Damascus (Acts 9:11). In the application of the parable these represent the by-ways of Jewish life—the suburbs, and the wretched courts and alleys, which no scribe deigned to enter, and which lay entirely outside the notice and the functions of the priesthood. “The poor, the maimed, the halt, and the blind” are the publicans and sinners and harlots and men of violence, who obeyed the summons and pressed eagerly into the kingdom. The repetition of the same four adjectives as had been used in Luke 14:13 is singularly suggestive. Our Lord was following, in the spiritual feast of His kingdom, the very rule which He had given for those who made great feasts on earth. Each class may possibly represent some spiritual fact which would seem to men a disqualification, but which was, for the pitying love of Christ, the very ground of invitation and acceptance.

Luke 14:21-24. So that servant came, and showed his lord these things — So ministers ought to lay before the Lord in prayer the obedience or disobedience of their hearers. Then the master of the house — Who had made the entertainment; being angry — As he reasonably might be, to see such an affront put upon his splendid preparations, and such an ungrateful return made for the peculiar kindness and respect he had shown, in sending for these guests; said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets, &c. — Being of a benevolent and generous disposition, he determined that preparations so great should not be made in vain: and since those for whom they were first intended slighted the favour, he resolved that a great number still should be made happy with his supper, though they were of the poorer sort, nay, and diseased too; and the rather, because the persons of this class, upon whom he proposed to bestow his supper, had never partaken of such a meal before. He therefore ordered his servant to go as fast as he could into the streets and lanes of the city — Where the poor used to be, and to bring them all in, however maimed, or halt, or blind they might be. The servant readily went as directed, and quickly returned, saying, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded — These poor, distressed people, are come in, and have sat down at the table. Many of the Jews were obedient to the gospel call, and were brought to God, and became members of the Church of Christ; but not the scribes and Pharisees, and such as Christ was now at dinner with, but such as are here mentioned, the poor of this world, and the afflicted; or such as were figuratively represented by them, the publicans and sinners. And yet there is room — The supper being great, and the hall of entertainment spacious, all those whom the servant happened to find in the streets and lanes of the city did not fill the tables. Wherefore, knowing that his lord’s intention was to make as many happy with this feast as possible, he came and told him there was still room for more. The lord said, Go out into the highways and hedges, &c. — The benevolence and generosity of this great lord were such, that he could not be easy till as many people were brought in to partake of his supper as his house, with all the apartments where tables could be placed, would contain. Wherefore he ordered his servant to go even out of the city, to the highways and hedges leading into it, where beggars usually had their stations; and to use the most earnest entreaties with those who showed any unwillingness, in order that his house might be filled with guests. Thus the apostles, and first preachers of the gospel, were not to confine their labours to the towns and cities of Judea, but extend them to all parts of the country, and invite to the gospel feast persons of all descriptions: or rather, being rejected by the Jews, they are here commanded to turn, as Paul expresses it, to the Gentiles, and to offer them the blessings of the gospel, though as unlikely to be called into the Church of Christ, as vagrants in the highways are to be invited to a feast at a nobleman’s house. As to the clause, Compel them to come in, “How vainly,” says Whitby, “these words are brought to prove, that men may be compelled by the secular arm to embrace the true faith, appears, 1st, From the nature of a banquet, to which no man is compelled by force, but only by the importunity of persuasion: 2d, From the scope of the parable, which respects the calling of the Gentiles, whom only Mohammedans think fit by force of arms to compel to the faith.” Indeed, the word αναγκασον, rendered compel, frequently, as Elsner has shown, signifies only, pressing persuasion. And it certainly cannot here imply that any external violence was to be used with these persons; for only a single servant was sent out to them, who surely was not capable of forcing so great a multitude to come in, as was necessary to fill his lord’s house. The proper meaning of the expression, therefore, here is, Use the most powerful persuasion with them; and so it fitly denotes the great efficacy of the apostle’s preaching to the idolatrous Gentiles, whereby vast numbers of them were prevailed with to embrace the gospel. Indeed, force has no manner of influence to enlighten men’s consciences; so that, though one should pretend to believe, and should actually practise a worship contrary to his opinion, it could never please God, being mere hypocrisy. Those, therefore, who suppose that this passage of the parable justifies the use of external violence in matters of religion, are grossly mistaken. For I say unto you, that none, &c. — This declaration of the master of the house refers to the commands given to his servant, Luke 14:21; Luke 14:23. Because he had determined to reject and abandon those first invited, therefore his servant was ordered to go out and gather guests from the streets and lanes, and then from the highways and hedges. None of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper — This is like that sentence which God passed on those ungrateful Israelites who despised the pleasant land. He sware in his wrath that they should not enter into his rest — What is here intended is, that, because the Jews rejected Christ and his gospel, they were given up by God to hardness of heart, and a reprobate mind. “Grace despised,” says Henry, “is grace forfeited, like Esau’s birthright. They that will not have Christ when they may, shall not have him when they would. Even those that were bidden, if they slight the invitation, shall be forbidden. When the door is shut, the foolish virgins will be denied entrance.” Only, the reader must remember, that not the condition of individuals, but the general state of the nation is here described; in which view, the parabolical representation is perfectly just, notwithstanding many individual Jews have believed on Christ, and obtained eternal life.

14:15-24 In this parable observe the free grace and mercy of God shining in the gospel of Christ, which will be food and a feast for the soul of a man that knows its own wants and miseries. All found some pretence to put off their attendance. This reproves the Jewish nation for their neglect of the offers of Christ's grace. It shows also the backwardness there is to close with the gospel call. The want of gratitude in those who slight gospel offers, and the contempt put upon the God of heaven thereby, justly provoke him. The apostles were to turn to the Gentiles, when the Jews refused the offer; and with them the church was filled. The provision made for precious souls in the gospel of Christ, has not been made in vain; for if some reject, others will thankfully accept the offer. The very poor and low in the world, shall be as welcome to Christ as the rich and great; and many times the gospel has the greatest success among those that labour under worldly disadvantages and bodily infirmities. Christ's house shall at last be filled; it will be so when the number of the elect is completed.Showed his lord - Told his master of the excuses of those who had been invited. Their conduct was remarkable, and it was his duty to acquaint him with the manner in which his invitation had been received.

Being angry - Being angry at the people who had slighted his invitation; who had so insulted him by neglecting his feast, and preferring "for such reasons" their own gratification to his friendship and hospitality. So it is no wonder that God is angry with the wicked every day. So foolish as well as wicked is the conduct of the sinner, so trifling is his excuse for not repenting and turning to God, that it is no wonder if God cannot look upon their conduct but with abhorrence.

Go out quickly - The feast is ready. There is no time to lose. They who partake of it must do it soon. So the gospel is ready; time flies; and they who partake of the gospel must do it soon, and they who preach it must give diligence to proclaim it to their fellow-men.

The streets and lanes of the city - The places where the poor, etc., would be found. Those first invited were the rich, who dwelt at ease in their own houses. By these the Jews were intended; by those who were in the streets, the Gentiles. Our Lord delivered this parable to show the Jews that the Gentiles would be called into the kingdom of God. They despised the Gentiles, and considered them cast out and worthless, as they did those who were in the lanes of the city.

The maimed ... - See the notes at Luke 14:13.

21. came, and showed, &c.—saying as in Isa 53:1. "It is the part of ministers to report to the Lord in their prayers the compliance or refusal of their hearers" [Bengel].

angry—in one sense a gracious word, showing how sincere he was in issuing his invitations (Eze 33:11). But it is the slight put upon him, the sense of which is intended to be marked by this word.

streets and lanes—historically, those within the same pale of "the city" of God as the former class, but the despised and outcasts of the nation, the "publicans and sinners" [Trench]; generally, all similar classes, usually overlooked in the first provision for supplying the means of grace to a community, half heathen in the midst of revealed light, and in every sense miserable.

See Poole on "Luke 14:16"

So that servant came and showed his Lord these things,.... The several excuses which those that were bidden to the supper made. So the ministers of the Gospel come to God and Christ, and give an account of the success of their ministry, which is often with grief, and not with joy:

then the master of the house being angry; as well he might, at their ingratitude to him, their slighting of his kindness, and the contempt they poured upon his entertainment. Christ resented the impenitence and unbelief of the Jews, who were favoured with his ministry and miracles; and looked upon them with anger, and was grieved because or the hardness of their hearts; and threatened them with a sorer punishment, more aggravated condemnation, and more intolerable torments, than other men.

And said to his servants; the apostle, when their commission was enlarged to preach to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem:

go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city; to the Jews, who lived under a civil government, under the law of Moses; though the meaner sort of them, the poor, and such as knew not the law in such sort as the Scribes and Pharisees did, who rejected the counsel of God against themselves; and so are comparable to persons that lie about the streets, and live in lanes and alleys: and, it may also regard the Jews that were scattered abroad in other places, and the proselytes to their religion among the Gentiles; to whom the Gospel was first preached, after it was rejected by the Jews at Jerusalem and in Judea:

and bring in hither the poor; not in a literal, but in a mystical and spiritual sense; such as have no spiritual food to eat, but ashes, gravel, wind, and husks of carnal lusts and sins; nor any spiritual clothing, no righteousness, but what may be justly called filthy rags; nor money to buy either, but are in debt, owe ten thousand talents, and have nothing to pay; of which spiritual poverty some are sensible, and others are not.

And the maimed; who are debilitated and enfeebled by sin; and so weak and strengthless, that they are not able to keep the law of God; to atone for sin; to redeem themselves, or others, from the bondage of sin, Satan, and the law; to begin and carry on a work of grace and holiness in them; or to do any thing that is spiritually good:

and the halt; which is sometimes a character of persons that are in suspense about matters in religion, and know not which side to take; or who halt in religion, and falter and fail in the exercise of it: but here, of such who are in an incapacity of going or walking in a spiritual sense; as unto Christ, for life and salvation, without the drawings and influences of the Father's grace:

the blind: who are so, as to any saving knowledge of God in Christ; of Christ, and the way of righteousness, life, and salvation by him; of the plague of their own hearts, the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and the need of a Saviour; of the work of the Spirit of God upon their souls, and the necessity of it; and of the truths of the Gospel, in a spiritual and experimental way. In short, under these characters are represented natural and unconverted men, and the most vile, profligate, and abandoned of them; which are sometimes under the power of divine grace accompanying the ministration of the Gospel brought to Christ, and into his church. So the "blind and the lame", in 2 Samuel 5:6 are by the Targum on the place, explained of, , "sinners and wicked persons".

So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the {c} streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.

(c) Wide and broad areas.

Luke 14:21-24. Εἰς τὰς πλατείας κ. ῥύμας] into the (broad) streets and (narrow) lanes. Comp. Isaiah 15:3. On ῥύμη = στενωπός, see Phrynichus, p. 404, and thereon Lobeck.

Luke 14:22. Here the narrative is supposed to be silent, leaving it to be understood that the servant went away again, and after fulfilment of the commission returned. But with what reason is this supposed in the narrative, otherwise so circumstantial? No; the servant, when repulsed by those who had been invited, did of his own accord what the master here directs him, so that he can say at once to this behest: it is done, etc. This point in the interpretation is, moreover, strikingly appropriate to Jesus, who, by the preaching of the gospel to the poor and miserable among the people, had already before His return to God fulfilled this divine counsel, in regard to which He did not need further instruction.

Luke 14:23. This commission to the servant is fulfilled by Him through the apostles, comp. Ephesians 2:17.

φραγμούς] not: places fenced in, which the word does not mean, but: go forth into the ways (highways and other roads outside the town) and hedges (beside which wanderers, beggars, houseless folk have camped). In the interpretation: αἱ κατοικίαι τῶν ἐθνῶν, Euthymius Zigabenus.

ἀνάγκασον] as Matthew 14:22. The time presses! A strikingly picturesque touch, which, moreover, found its corresponding history in the urgent holy zeal of the apostles (especially of Paul) for winning the heathen to the faith; but its pernicious abuse, in the case of Augustine and many others, in their approval of the coercion of heretics (see, on the other hand, Grotius and Calovius). Maldonatus well says: “adeo rogandos, adeo incitandos, ut quodammodo compelli videantur.”

γεμισθῇ] “Nec natura nee gratia patitur vacuum. Multitudo beatorum: extremis mundi temporibus maximam plenitudinis suae partem nanciscens,” Bengel.

Luke 14:24. Not an assertion of Jesus (Kuinoel, Paulus, and others), but of the master of the house, which is certain from μου τοῦ δείπνου (none shall taste of my supper), since Jesus in the parable appears as the servant.

γάρ] for the empty place is not to be occupied by you.

ὑμῖν] spoken to the servant, and to those who were supposed to be elsewhere than there present. Euthymius Zigabenus, moreover, says aptly: διὰ τοῦτον οὖν τὸν λόγον ἡ ὅλη παραβολὴ συντέθη. Comp. Luke 14:15, to the substance of which this conclusion reverts. Those who are excluded are thus those Jews who have despised the call of Christ, but who, as the representatives and chiefs of God’s people, were first of all by the gospel invited and laid under obligation to follow the invitation to the kingdom (κεκλημένοι and παραιτούμενοι, Luke 14:17 ff.); not the Jews in general, as Baur supposes, in accordance with his assumption of a Gentile-Christian tendency.

Luke 14:21-24. The sequel.

21. that servant came, and shewed his lord these things] We have here a shadow of the complaints and lamentations of our Lord over the stiffnecked obstinacy of the Jews in rejecting Him.

Then the master of the house being angry ]

“God, when He’s angry here with any one His wrath is free from perturbation;

And when we think His looks are sour and grim The alteration is in us, not Him.”


the streets and lanes of the city] This corresponds to the call of the , publicans, sinners, and harlots—the lost sheep of the House of Israel, Luke 4:18; Mark 12:37; Matthew 21:32; James 2:5.

Luke 14:21. Ἀπήγγειλε, reported) It is the part of ministers to lay before the Lord in prayer an account of the obedience and disobedience of their hearers.—ὀργισθεὶς, being angry) Therefore He had invited them with entire sincerity.—ἔξελθε, go out) So Luke 14:23.—ταχέως, quickly) Because all the viands were already prepared, and, as it were, still hot; and the excellence of these viands is to be vindicated from contempt [such as had been thrown on them by the self-excusers] by means of other guests.—πλατείας, streets) which are larger.—ῥύμας, lanes) which are smaller.—τῆς πόλεως, of the city) We may suppose, that by these are meant those nations, among which the Jews were dispersed.—V. g. (Comp. however the following note, E. B.)]—τοὺς πτωχοὺς, the poor) Those already called [κεκλημένοι, Luke 14:24] were those, who were accounted among the Jews to be the best men, Luke 14:1; Luke 14:3 [“the chief Pharisees and lawyers”]; the poor in the streets are the “Publicans and sinners” [who welcome the invitation in], ch. Luke 15:1 : see Matthew 21:31.—πτωχοὺς, the poor) whom otherwise no one feels disposed to invite.—ἀναπήρους, the maimed) whom no wife (woman) would take, Luke 14:20.—χωλοὺς, the lame) who cannot go (πορεύομαι), Luke 14:19.—τυφλοὺς, the blind) who cannot see (ἰδεῖν, Luke 14:18.

Verse 21. - Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. The invitations to the great feast, seeing that those first bidden were indifferent, were then sent out far and wide - through broad streets and narrow lanes, among wealthy publicans (tax-collectors) and poor artisans. The invitations were distributed broadcast among a rougher and less cultured class, but still the invitations to the banquet were confined to dwellers in the city; we hear as yet of no going without the walls. Here the invitation seems generally to have been accepted. All this in the first instance referred to the Galilaean peasants, to the Jewish publicans, to the mass of the people, who heard him, on the whole, gladly. Luke 14:21Streets (πλατείας) - lanes (ῥύμας)

The former word from πλατύς, broad; the broad streets contrasted with the narrow lanes. Wyc., great streets and small streets.

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