READ: Luke 14:16-24
“…Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel [anagkazo] them to come in, that my house may be filled.” – Luke 14:23
I believe the story in Luke 14 is symbolic of the Lord Jesus sending us out to invite people to Him. It is also symbolic of pastors sending out their members to evangelize the world.
I describe the man in Luke 14 as an anagkazo man. Anagkazo is the Greek word that is translated “to compel”. It also means “to necessitate, to drive, and to constrain by all means such as force, threats, persuasion and entreaties”. This anagkazo man listened to three amazing excuses from the people who did not attend his party.
The first excuse was about testing oxen in the night. Everyone knows that no one tests oxen at that time of the night. The second excuse was about somebody who had just gotten married; but we all know that a dinner would have been a nice outing for a newly-wed couple. The third excuse was about going to see some land in the night. Let me ask you a question:”Would you not assess a piece of land before you buy it? How could you inspect a piece of land in the night? Yet somebody was using this as an excuse for not attending the party.
Any good minister, must learn to overcome people’s excuses. Anagkazo is important because a certain type of evangelism is not going to work in this day and age. People are not going to be convinced or compelled to know God through our little church games. Our “Mickey Mouse” church programs and bazaars will not go very far in today’s world. We must go out there and drive them to God.